Gun buybacks have been all the rage for decades now.
The idea is simple. You offer a bit of money for guns, then take those guns and destroy them so they cannot be used for criminal actions. The concept seems to be that if criminals need money, you’ll provide money in exchange for the gun and all will be well.
Except, they don’t work.
Seriously, studies have shown that they simply don’t have any actual impact on violent crime.
But some people–who often tout other studies to support gun control–don’t want to hear anything about that. Others have outright said they know they don’t work, but push them anyway.
However, sometimes something happens that makes it very clear just how little is accomplished with buybacks. Like a shooting near such an event.
Five people were injured in a shooting at a Los Angeles beach Saturday – a few miles from where city officials had hosted a gun buyback event earlier in the day, according to the Los Angeles Police Department and City Councilmember Tim McOsker.
The LAPD’s Harbor Division responded to a radio call of a shooting at Royal Palms Beach around 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
“We’re outraged and saddened by the shooting at Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro that has left 5 people injured,” said a joint statement by McOsker and Janice Hahn, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“It’s tragically ironic that today we hosted a gun buy-back event just a few miles away from this location. Gun violence is wreaking havoc on our community.”
Ironic is putting it mildly.
First, let me say I hope all the injured recover. That’s just all kinds of awful.
However, with that said, talking about illustrating the stupidity of buybacks perfectly.
A few miles from where this happened, an event meant to get those kinds of guns was taking place and it made absolutely no impact at all. None.
Why would it, though? The criminals who opened fire weren’t interested in a $100 gift card. They weren’t looking to buy groceries or diapers or anything. They wanted their guns and are going to keep their guns until and unless someone physically makes them give them up.
Offering a piddling amount of money won’t do anything. It sure as hell didn’t stop this from happening, after all.
The truth is that for decades, we’ve known that buybacks don’t work. This is just one illustration of how they don’t, but the data is pretty clear.
So why keep doing them? Because people think they work, so officials keep doing them as a sort of “bread and circuses” thing to keep the masses distracted. A lot of them know they don’t work, but they push them anyway for just that reason. It’s a virtue signal shining in the sky, a way to show you care without having to actually do anything that difficult.
Addressing violence is difficult. We’re still not quite sure how to make a meaningful impact, apparently, so we do stupid stuff like this.