San Diego's Crime Rate Soars, Considers Gift Cards For Guns

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The city of San Diego isn’t one of those places we talk a lot about here. Yes, it’s a large urban area in California, to be sure, but with a large military population, it tends to not be quite as anti-Second Amendment as much of the rest of the West Coast.

But there’s still a lot of California in the city, too.

Like so many of California’s other major cities–and cities across the nation, to be fair–they’re seeing a significant upswing in violent crime. A big one.

Violent crime is up across San Diego County, especially in San Diego city limits where police saw a 18.8% increase in the first half of 2021.

The statistics were revealed in a recent report by SANDAG that looked at crime in the San Diego region in the first half of 2021 and how the numbers compare to prior years.

Violent crimes reported in the region during the first half of 2021 increased 14% over the last year, and were 9% higher than in 2019. From January to June 2021, the violent crime rate was 3.64 per 1,000 population, the second highest over the past ten years. Compared to this time frame last year, the region has had fewer reported homicides and robberies, but a greater number of rapes and aggravated assaults.

Gang-related homicides are up 67%, according to the data. San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit says he sees more than statistics.

Unsurprisingly, the chief blamed “ghost guns,” since that the preferred boogieman for the anti-Second Amendment narrative. Never mind that even if you suddenly cut off all less than 80 percent receivers from being sold anywhere in the world, we live in the era of the 3D printer. People can make their own.

So-called ghost guns aren’t evidence you need more gun control, they’re evidence that any illusion that gun control could stop crime needs to end.

But that’s OK. It seems San Diego has a plan.

Part of their efforts include a “Guns For Gift Cards” event this Saturday. San Diegans can hand over unwanted firearms — no questions asked — from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Police Plaza on Murphy Canyon Road. Target gift ranging from $100-200 are offered in exchange.

Of course, Chief Nisleit went through the usual rigamarole about how it can remove a gun from a home where it’s not wanted and prevent it from being stolen, but I have questions.  For example, on a Venn diagram of households with guns they don’t want and households that will be robbed, just how big is the overlap between the two circles?

It’s not very, now is it?

Yet part of Nisleit’s entire schtick here is that this will somehow reduce that huge increase in violent crime. It won’t do any such thing. At most, we’re talking about a couple of guns that might avoid criminal hands this way. That’s not enough to justify the huge expenditure for these kinds of things nor the waste of resources for holding them.

Especially since studies show us that buybacks like this simply don’t have any measurable impact on crime in the first place, making it a well-documented failure.

But, the upside for the bad guys is that they’ve got a handy way to dump guns that might link them to certain crimes, so there’s that.

Honestly, there are better ways to go about addressing crime than pretending guns are the real problem. The issue, as always, is that people are the instigators. Remove the guns and they’ll stab each other to death.

Focusing on the weapon is always the wrong approach. Focus on the people instead and you might actually get somewhere.