Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Buy them a clue

The Gazette has written an editorial sympathetic to the idea of a gun buy-back.

Kalamazoo area law enforcement officials should follow the lead of their counterparts in Kent County.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department, the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Kent County Prosecutor's Office recently announced that weapons can be turned in over the course of several days in early September. Supporters have so far raised about $10,000 to use in purchasing the weapons and hope to increase that amount to $50,000.
First of all, the name "gun buy-back" is highly misleading. The government did not own the guns in the first place, so how can it buy them back? The Gazette seems to believe that all power ought to be in the hands of the government.

There are those who say buy-back programs as ineffective. But recent programs in Detroit, Chicago and Boston show those critics are off target. Detroit had a five-day program that brought in 683 guns, including some high-powered assault rifles. Chicago got more than 3,000 weapons in its buy-back and Boston took more than 1,000 guns off the streets.
How do you like that non sequitur? The goal of a gun "buy-back" is supposedly to reduce crime. Its success is measured in reducing crime, not in the number of guns collected.

The critics are correct, of course, that these programs do nothing to reduce crime. Criminals who depend on guns for their living are not going to turn them in. The only possible exception is if they are guaranteed that evidence in a crime will be destroyed.

Once again, the consequences are quite different than what liberals expect. People will only sell "back" guns if the government pays more than they could otherwise get. Thus "buy-backs" increase the resale value of guns. This makes owning guns more lucrative, and so provides an incentive to purchase them. Thus gun "buy-backs" actually encourage gun ownership!

The real purpose of gun "buy-backs" is to attempt to delegitimize gun ownership, to imply that guns are contraband and that only the government should have them. Thus the deceptive name.

Of course, gun "buy-backs" are a huge waste of taxpayer money. Attempting to stigmatize gun ownership makes them all the more repugnant.

Perhaps the government should "buy-back" the Gazette and save people from this nonsense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If there's a gun buyback for $100 a pop, then you can make a profit by buying a piece of crap and turning it in for more money.