I've made no secret of my contempt for gun "buybacks." I see them as worthless "feel good" measures, wasting money that could otherwise be used to ameliorate the root causes of crime. But, at least they provide a murderer with a chance to ditch the evidence of his crime, and make him a few bucks on the side.
It is therefore with much rolling of eyes that I read of a proposal to institute such a program on a national scale ("Norton Gun Buyback Bill Responds to National Rise in Gun Killings"--a bit less than halfway down the page).
As the District's handgun ban goes before the Supreme Court this month and gun control opponents and supporters are lining up on both sides, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a bill to launch a nationwide gun buyback program that "offers a common sense, bi-partisan attempt to find a solution to gun violence that does not conflict with most stances on the controversial issue of gun control." The Nationwide Gun Buyback Act (NGBA) would provide $50 million in federal funds for local jurisdictions to run gun buyback programs like the successful programs that have been conducted by the District of Columbia and other big cities during periods of increasing gun violence. This program would allow people who desire to remove guns, including illegal weapons, from their homes to do so voluntarily without incurring criminal penalties for possession.There are, obviously, a few problems in the above. The first being that, unless the staff of the Redding News Review has information to which the rest of us are not privy, there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will choose to become involved with DC v. Heller. Another problem lies in the "common sense" part--these "buybacks" might be common, but there's nothing sensible about them. "Bi-partisan"? I suppose--if the two parties are the Democrats and the Socialists. "Attempt to find a solution . . . "? Well, I suppose it would be a solution to the problem of how to get rid of $50 million. I particularly enjoyed seeing " . . . progams like the successful programs that have been conducted by the District of Columbia and other big cities during periods of increasing gun violence." "Successful"? I suppose that depends on how "success" is defined. Maybe further reading will turn up a clue. . . . Ah--whaddya' know? I think I've found it:
Several years ago the District conducted a pilot buyback program using funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Long lines of residents desiring to turn in their guns prompted police to expand the program citywide. The city used almost $300,000, but later ran out of money, but did not run out of guns that could have been collected.So that's what is meant by "success"--all the money being used. And people wonder how we've managed to accumulate $10 trillion in national debt.
I sincerely hope this silly legislation goes nowhere, but if it does somehow pass, I trust that some pro-rights groups will follow this example.