RI Mayors Plan Buyback To Address Growing Violence

As we’ve noted a lot here, there’s a lot more violence these days than there was a year ago. At least, it sure seems that way. With everything going on, that’s not overly surprising, though. It’s bad and it appears to be hitting pretty much every city in the United States to some degree.

Unsurprisingly, politicians all over the country are scrambling in an attempt to do something to protect their jobs. After all, even if they’re not responsible for the violence, they’re damn sure going to get blamed for it.

They simply have to be seen trying to do something.

So, a couple of Rhode Island mayors are trying to do something. It’s stupid, but it’s something. They’re having a buyback.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, Commissioner of Providence Public Safety Steven Paré, and Cedric Huntley, Executive Director of the Nonviolence Institute announced a gun buyback program on Thursday scheduled to happen on Saturday, October 17 at locations in both cities.

The gun buybacks will happen on Saturday, October 17 at The DaVinci Center, 470 Charles St, Providence and at the Knights of Columbus 20 Claremont Street, Central Falls from 9:00AM to 1:00PM.

“Gun violence is an ongoing public health issue across our country that has deeply impacted our families and our community,” said Mayor Elorza. “We know that when we remove a single gun off our streets, we may be saving one of our neighbor’s lives. We’re asking residents across Rhode Island to turn in their unwanted guns, no questions asked, and help us keep our community safe. I want to thank Mayor Diossa and our partners for their close collaboration and their help preventing future gun violence in our cities.”

“Central Falls has experienced the national health issue of gun violence,” said Mayor Diossa. “Central Falls will do its part to address this issue by asking the community to participate in the gun buyback program on October 17th from 9am to 1pm by bringing illegal or unwanted guns to the Knights of Columbus on Claremont Street in Central Falls. Please help us take steps in ensuring the issues with guns are cleared out of our streets and help us provide the quality of life that all residents deserve.”

Well, that’s about the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

Look, I get the idea behind these things. Unwanted guns can be unloaded somewhere that they’ll be destroyed rather than put back into circulation where they might end up in criminal hands.

Except, that’s not supposed to happen. I mean, Rhode Island is fairly pro-gun, but they also have universal background checks. Aren’t those supposed to prevent guns from being sold to criminals?

If those work, then why worry about how people get rid of unwanted guns?

See, the thing is, the bad guys? They already have guns. If not, they have sources to get guns that don’t require those handful of guns that will be turned in at such an event. They’ll still get guns just fine.

Look, for the most part, buybacks are harmless. People are free to dispose of their property however they wish. Offering $100 gift card for a rifle and $200 for a handgun, though, isn’t going to entice a lot of people to turn much in. It might convince me to buy a few Hi-Points and make a profit, though.

One thing that’s interesting is that they’re offering $500 for any firearm that’s been previously reported as stolen. It makes me wonder just how many people will report their cheap guns stolen, then sell them, only to use that money to get something better. Remember, these are no questions asked, so how are they to know that it was your gun the whole time?

I’m not encouraging anyone to do that, mind you. Quite the contrary, don’t do it. It’s fraud and if you’re caught, you’ll deserve the jail time, on top of making a false report to police.

But we all know someone has already thought about it and are considering it, which is another reason why these things are just so stupid.

On the same token, though, it makes it more profitable to dump a gun used in a crime, so there’s that.

The only thing I want to tell these mayors is for them to not get disappointed when it has absolutely no impact on violent crime in their cities.