Gun buybacks are probably one of the dumber things I’ve seen done by anti-gun jihadists.
Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the thinking involved. If people have guns and are using those guns for crime, offering them money in exchange for the gun, no questions asked, may offer them an incentive to give up the gun.
It rarely, if ever, works that way. Instead, you get a handful of guns that don’t even work anymore, a handful that were just sitting in closets not doing a damn thing, and the occasional gun used in a crime that’s now too hot for the bad guy to hang onto.
Now, Grand Rapids is going to try their hand at it.
As part of its new strategic plan, the Grand Rapids Police Department will have a gun buyback program that will include two days of buyback periods.
The buyback is partially funded by a contribution of the Safe Alliances for Everyone Task Force.
“Removing these weapons will make the community safer by limiting access to firearms by those emboldened to use them in criminal acts,” said GRPD Chief Eric Payne in a release. He noted the buyback is a good opportunity for people to get rid of weapons they legally possess but no longer want to have in their homes.
Oh, look at that quote. That’s adorably naive.
Look, they’re free to do whatever they want in this regard. I think it’s colossally stupid, but they’re absolutely free to give it a try. No one is obligated to turn anything in, after all, so whatever.
I just don’t think anyone in Grand Rapids should get their hopes up.
See, between two buyback in a much, much larger city–one in New York overall and specifically in Brooklyn–brought in fewer than 100 guns. That’s in a city of almost 8.4 million people. Grand Rapids has just over 200,000 people, so I wouldn’t be holding my breath that this will even net more than a couple dozen guns at most.
Then, of course, there’s the ample evidence that gun buybacks simply don’t work and are just a waste of time and resources, money that could be used to actually combat violent crime with preventative measures rather than making life easier for the criminals. In fact, there has been some studies that suggested buybacks made gun violence even worse.
Even if you don’t buy into that, though, the truth of the matter is that gun buybacks have been going on for decades and there’s little to no evidence that the actually do anything except provide terrified people a way to dispose of their gun without having to go into an icky gun store. That’s about all they do.
The criminals are still getting guns because they steal them from people who don’t actually want to get rid of their guns. The small handful who are fearful enough to use a buyback aren’t enough to make a bit of difference in the overall scheme of things.
Again, they’re free to do it, just don’t expect anything out of it.