Friday, May 31, 2013

How many gun buybacks does it take to 'end gun violence'?

No - the headline is not an intro to a joke, but it might as well be.

photo from Andy Hoag |
The City of Toledo is holding a gun buy-back program from 10-4 on June 8th. They'll pay $50 for each firearm you turn in, though they'll accept only two handguns per person. They'll also take your ammunition. The money will come from the Toledo Police Department’s law enforcement trust fund.

When it's over, they'll destroy all the weapons they collect.

Why? Why would they destroy any workable firearm in good condition? Couldn't they resell them in one of their forfeited property auctions and make some money - maybe even replenish the fund they're depleting?

Remember Pres. Barack Obama's 'cash for clunkers' program where they paid off people who turned in an old car and bought a new one? The old cars were destroyed and individuals who would have normally purchased a used car had less of an inventory and higher prices. It was an economic and environmental failure, accomplishing none of the things Obama claimed it would.

So is the guy buy-back the same? Will it really do anything to reduce gun violence? Is it likely that a gang member will bring in two weapons they don't like, get $100 and then go buy a more powerful gun? If you were a gang member, wouldn't you?

"Statistically speaking, guy buy-backs don't work," TPD Chief Derrick Diggs told 1370 WSPD news on April 30th.

So why are we doing it? Well, according to the Chief, they're going to do it because it doesn't hurt and their community partners "believe it works."

Clearly - appearances are everything.

Here is the city's press release on the event - note the details about what they will and will not pay for.

City, community partners to hold gun buy back, safety education event

The City of Toledo will partner with community groups from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., June 8, 2013 to offer a gun buy back program at People’s Missionary Baptist Church, 1101 Heston St.

The “no questions asked” program will offer $50 per firearm and accept up to two handguns per person. Weapons must be unloaded and money will only be exchanged for operable firearms. Officials will also accept unwanted ammunition as well as shotguns; rifles; BB guns; starter pistols; pellet guns, and visibly inoperable firearms that citizens wish to properly dispose of, however no payment will be offered for these.

The event will also feature education and prevention programs regarding gun safety. Gun locks will be available at no cost. Community partners will provide information about programs available in the city to reduce violence and provide economic and educational opportunities as an alternative to gangs and violent lifestyles.

Event participants include the Re-entry Coalition of Northwest Ohio; Toledo Police Safe-T-City; City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods, City of Toledo Youth Services Commission, City of Toledo Board of Community Relations; Toledo Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (T-CIRV); Mayor’s Coalition for Hope, and Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

Funding for the buy back will be provided from the Toledo Police Department’s law enforcement trust fund. The collected firearms will be destroyed by the Toledo Police Department.


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