25 February 2008

When A Gun Buy-back Goes . . . Poorly

A gun "buy-back" -- usually poorly thought-out events -- in Oakland, Calif. went especially badly.

The initiative attracted so many eager sellers that the money quickly ran out, but instead of closing up shop, the police handed out IOUs good for a future buyback. The Oakland police are now stuck with a bill for $170,000

The news column author, in his blog, wrote the following: "Fortunately the buyback did manage to get some guns off the street, too bad they were turned in by a bunch of senior citizens from an assisted living facility. Whew, the streets are safe at last."

Buy-backs are feel-good programs that draw lots of media attention and do nothing. Most street cops will tell you they are a waste of time and money. I wonder what Oakland could do with that $170,000 tab it committed for the future?


Anonymous said...

I have a bunch of near-worthless guns. I'd love it if Columbus had a buyback event! I'd sell about 6 crappy guns, and then go buy a new one!

Brent Greer said...

Thanks for the note. A good idea, but a buyback in Columbus is unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future. To their credit, thus far, the leadership at the Columbus Police has generally deflected suggestions or requests for such an event here. They understand that buybacks don't do much of anything except give politicians grip-and-grin photo ops with the local media.