Philly Fail: Gun "Buyback" Results Less Than Impressive

Since January 1st, the Philadelphia police have seized more than 1,000 guns from people who were carrying them illegally, but the confiscations haven’t put a dent in the city’s violent crime rate. Homicides are still soaring, along with carjackings and home invasions, and city officials turned this past weekend to a favorite “do something” measure for anti-gun politicians: a gun “buyback.”

The more accurate term for these events is “compensated confiscation,” and this time around participants could turn in a firearm, no questions asked, for a $100 gift card from a local grocery chain. Besides one modern sporting rifle that was turned in, it looks like the vast majority of firearms that were handed over are what police call “garbage guns,” rusty old revolvers and even derringers that aren’t used in a lot of crime or favored by many criminals.

There’s no evidence that these types of programs reduce violent crime, suicides, or even accidents involving firearms, and the relatively small number of guns handed over should demonstrate that these kinds of compensated confiscation events aren’t a serious strategy to deal with the increase in shootings, robberies, and home invasions in the city.

Still, organizers of the so-called buyback are still offering empty promises of a gun-free Philly to residents who want to see some peace in their streets.

Organizers are attempting to bring down the city’s violent streak; a total of 76 homicides have occurred this year, up 33% from this time last year. 2020 closed the year with a record 499 homicide victims, the most the city has seen in 13 years.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says while the city gets the weapons off the streets, criminals bring them back.

“I think 800 or so guns have been taken off the streets by our officers since January 1 of 2021. And they’re all replaced almost immediately,” said Kenney at the press conference.

Community leaders say the gun buybacks are exceeding expectations and they hope to get all illegal guns out of homes and off the streets.

So, Mayor Kenney says as soon as guns are taken “off the streets,” others immediately appear, but the organizers honestly believe that they can get rid of every illegally-possessed gun in the city through a series of “buybacks”? I actually hope that they’re intentionally lying about what they expect to achieve, because the alternative is that they’re too ignorant or gullible to be trusted with serving as a crossing guard, much less community leaders.

While city officials were busy patting themselves on the back and preening for the camera this weekend, criminals ignored the $100 bounty for turning in a gun and continued to pursue more lucrative ventures like robbery, including the shooting of a 29-year old during an attempted hold-up on Saturday.

He is the 77th homicide victim in the city this year, up about 30% compared to 2020, according to police statistics.

An argument turned violent Sunday afternoon in East Germantown, leaving one man shot and another stabbed.

Just before 12:30 p.m., during what investigators describe as a domestic altercation, a 39-year-old man was shot once in the forehead. Officers rushed him to Einstein Medical Center, where he was in critical condition.

The man who allegedly shot him was stabbed five times, including twice in the face, police said. His injuries are not expected to be life-threatening.

Authorities said the man, 42, is being held as a prisoner and charges are expected.

Investigators said a couple who was trying to break up a fight ended up injured early Sunday morning in Overbrook.

A 31-year-old man told police he and his wife saw a group of men and women fighting just after 2 a.m. on the 5500 block of Jefferson Street. When they tried to intervene, the man was punched in the face.

While lying on the ground, he heard loud bangs, which he thought were gunshots, and saw his 42-year-old wife bleeding heavily from her face, according to police.

He helped her into their car in an attempt to drive her to the hospital, and, as he pulled off, a gunman fired two shots into the air, authorities said.

The husband received six stitches to his lip, and there was no word on the woman’s condition.

Just another deadly weekend in the City of Brotherly Love, and Philly officials can’t gun control their way out of this problem, no matter how hard they try. They can (and have) proclaimed their “buyback” to be a huge success, but go ask the good people living in the city’s worst neighborhoods if they noticed a difference this weekend and my guess is once they stopped laughing they’re answer would be “hell no.”

There are far more guns in Philadelphia than there are violent criminals. If the city’s going to work to get one or the other “off of the streets,” they should focus their efforts on the human beings who are actually committing these crimes instead of trying to eradicate the inanimate object that most residents have the right to possess.