Louisville activists offer perfect counter to gun "buyback" programs

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Thanks in part to the billions of dollars in federal tax dollars doled out to cities as part of the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan, we’re seeing a number of gun “buyback” programs being launched across the country. Despite the fact that there’s no real evidence that these programs do anything to reduce crime, they’re popular with Democratic politicians looking for some positive headlines, as we saw in Richmond, Virginia this weekend.

While cities like Richmond and Raleigh, North Carolina were handing out gift cards for “unwanted” guns, however, a group of activists in Louisville, Kentucky were teaming up with a couple of local businesses to put on an event that puts a positive and pro-Second Amendment spin on the whole guns-for-gift-cards idea. Instead of getting a gift card for turning in a gun, participants could get one after going through a simple gun safety lesson.

The group Armed and Educated partnered with Cleav’s Family Market and Black Market to give out groceries with gun safety lessons today.

Shauntrice Martin volunteers with the group and founded Black Market.

She says the goal is to use short lessons – five to ten minutes long – as an entry point to show people that handling guns safely is an easy process.

In exchange for patrons participating in a demonstration with an air pistol, they received a case of groceries.

Organizers believed they gave out groceries to roughly sixty people.

This is brilliant, and I would love to see this idea replicated across the country; both by volunteer organizations like Armed and Educated as well as local governments.

This actually isn’t the first event of this kind hosted by Armed and Educated. In June and July the group also hosted two “Gas Money & Gun Safety” programs that were similarly styled; go through a free basic gun safety program and receive $25 in free gas.

Quinton Johnson organized the event and talked about the importance of responsible gun ownership.

“Our 2nd Amendment, as Americans, tells us we have the right to keep and bear arms so we should keep them we should bear them but we also have the personal responsibility to be trained on them for safety responsibility and how to properly use them, ” said Johnson.

The hope is that training will help people weigh their options when faced with a disagreement with another person.

Imagine how much good could be done if cities were spending tens of thousands of dollars helping to educate people on how to be safe and responsible with a firearm instead of wasting time and money on these compensated confiscation events. Unfortunately, I don’t think most of the officials who put these “buybacks” together are really interested in ensuring that gun owners, particularly those in underserved communities, get the basic understanding necessary to competently handle a firearm. Their goal is to “take guns off the street” and reduce the number of gun owners out there, not increase the knowledge base of those who might own a gun or weighing the idea of exercising their Second Amendment rights for the first time in their lives.

Armed and Educated has a much better idea, and there’s no reason it couldn’t be replicated by other 2A groups around the country, even if they have to rely on private donations instead of taxpayer funds. What the group did this past weekend should be applauded and emulated wherever possible; providing a substantial bit of knowledge and training instead of the empty promises of a gun “buyback.”