Flint, MI conducting gun buyback with $850K grant

Flint, MI conducting gun buyback with $850K grant
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Gun buybacks are stupid.

They’re stupid for a variety of reasons, such as providing a great place for criminals to dump guns they use in crimes and that they don’t otherwise take guns out of bad guys’ hands.

Studies have shown they don’t do anything except waste money.

That won’t stop Flint, MI from doing it anyway.

Part of an $850,000 Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grant will help pay for a gun buy-back program in Flint — one that’s designed to take specific types of automatic weapons out of circulation.

The city announced the grant in a news release on Tuesday, July 26, and said it would also pay for an expanded cold case resolution unit, development of a witness protection program, overtime pay for police officers, and funding for the police department’s intelligence center.

One of those things is not like the others.

What I mean by that is one of those things is nothing but a waste of money while the others may actually do some good.

Moving on…

“I am thankful for the Mott Foundation’s support in addressing our urgent need to curb violent crime in our city,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said in a statement released by the city. “This grant provides crucial tools for increasing the capacity of our personnel and enhancing our public safety infrastructure.”

Neeley requested the grant following Memorial Day weekend after police responded to four shootings during a single 24-hour period.

Awful as that is, wasting money on a gun buyback isn’t exactly the way to address that issue.

You see, as I’ve already said, they don’t work. Study after study has concluded that they don’t work. The one study that almost suggested that they did tried to make the case that they worked in conjunction with other programs, but failed to illustrate whether or not the other programs were what actually caused a reduction in violent crime.

So gun buybacks simply don’t work.

And why would they? They offer meager amounts of money for firearms which means they tend to get the junk rotting in people’s basements or attics.

Criminals aren’t going to sell their guns unless they’re desperate for a way to dispose of a weapon. Guns are the “tools of the trade” for them. Would a carpenter sell their hammer? Would a mechanic sell his or her wrenches? Of course they wouldn’t.

In that same vein, a bad guy isn’t going to sell a gun because the city is offering a couple hundred bucks for it–and usually, they offer much less.

At most, people who inherited guns they don’t want but don’t know what to do with will show up and sell them, which might keep those guns out of bad guys’ hands, but since most are bordering on ancient, it’s unlikely a criminal would make use of such a firearm in the first place.

That’s why all those studies find that gun buybacks don’t work.

(And yes, I know that they’re not really “buybacks” because the government never owned them in the first place, but the purpose of words is to communicate ideas and since you know what I’m talking about, the term accomplishes its purpose.)