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Are gun buyback programs working?

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posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 09:07 AM
Many cities are using gun buyback programs in an effort to lower crime rates. A typical program pays about $50 to anyone who turns in a gun. You don't have to identify yourself when you turn them in.

Boston recently started up another buyback program, but gives out $200 gift certificates to Target, since they discovered that people were using the cash to buy more guns.

Do you think these programs lower crime? Or do they actually contribute to crime in some other way?

posted on Aug, 28 2006 @ 02:52 PM
Gun "buy back" programs are a sham. For one thing, the government can't buy back what they never sold. Secondly, most of the guns are junk and, thirdly, sometimes people sell valuable antique guns, the value of which they don't understand. Fourthly, criminals can destroy evidence and get paid for it.

Here are some articles about these programs.

The Bush administration listed four primary reasons for ending the gun buyback program in its Federal Register notice:

Local housing authorities had shown little interest in applying for funding

Results of federally funded gun buybacks had been minimal

Program failed to reduce ownership of guns by criminals

Guns sold back were not the types of weapons typically used in crimes (many were old or inoperative)

According the administration's Federal Register notice, "The guns of choice for young offenders are fast, firing 9 millimeter or .380 caliber semiautomatic pistols that more often show up in crime records than at sites where buyback programs take place. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, more than one-third, and it is estimated that possibly as many as one-half, of all guns seized from young adults nation-wide are new guns purchased legally within the previous 3 years."

...[I]ndependent follow-up studies of gun buy-backs in Seattle, Sacramento, St. Louis and Boston found no evidence that the programs reduced gun crime. In Seattle, researchers also checked coroner's records and hospital admissions data for the six months following a buy-back in 1992. They found no evidence of an effect on firearms-related deaths or injuries.

"The continuation of buy-back programs is a triumph of wishful thinking over all the available evidence," said Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis.

The benefits may be too subtle to detect, said Clinton administration officials, who this year plan to devote $15 million to assist local gun buy-back programs. While they concede the programs do not often directly disarm criminals or recover the types of guns that criminals prefer to use, they nonetheless press the case that eliminating any gun ultimately reduces the risk of death or injury.

For the study, data for 1,188 guns acquired in Milwaukee-area buybacks during 1995 and 1996 were provided to the researchers by the State of Wisconsin Crime Laboratory. These were compared with data for guns involved in 475 suicides and homicides during the same period. Key findings of the study include:

  • 65% of homicide handguns were pistols; only 32% of buyback handguns were pistols. (Pistol refers to a handgun that is not a revolver.)

  • 22% of fatality-related handguns and 50% of buyback handguns were small-caliber.

  • Five manufacturers accounted for 42% of fatality-related handguns but only 6% of buyback handguns.

"The typical homicide or suicide handgun is relatively new and of larger caliber," Dr. Hargarten said. "The typical buyback handgun is older and of smaller caliber, more of an antique than a weapon."

"I don't think we anticipated that pistols would be more than twice as common in homicides as in buybacks," Dr. Hargarten said. The main benefit is probably in helping to prevent unintended deaths, of which our metropolitan area sees only a handful in an average year."

The very fact that governments call these programs "buy backs" should signal to all freedom-loving Americans that governments believe all guns rightfully belong to the state. It is simply "buying them back." Get it?

Listen to the way the Washington program is being run: According to the Washington Post, "This will mark the second time in eight months that city officials have asked residents to turn in their weapons for cash, NO QUESTIONS ASKED." (Emphasis added.)

Do you get it? The government has effectively become a "fence" for stolen property and weapons used in the commission of crimes. Criminals are now being rewarded, presumably, for stealing weapons. New incentives are being invented for ripping off firearms from law-abiding citizens. The government -- in this case, the federal government -- is trafficking in stolen property!

Piles of weapons handed over to the police for a few dollars make compelling photographs, but repeated studies of politically popular gun buyback programs across the country have found no detectable effect on violent crime or n firearms deaths.

What's more, the guns and the owners that turn up for buybacks represent neither the kinds of weapons nor the types of people generally involved in gun crimes, said several researchers who have studied the programs. And some of those who participate in the buybacks are cashing in on spare weapons but keeping at least one at home--or they plan to use the proceeds to purchase another gun.

Comparing firearm-related events per month before and after the program, crimes and deaths increased, and injuries decreased, but the changes were not statistically significant. Telephone interviews revealed broad support for publicly funded gun buy-back programs even among households (61 percent) with firearms. Gun buy-back programs are a broadly supported means to decrease voluntarily the prevalence of handguns within a community, but their effect on decreasing violent crime and reducing firearm mortality is unknown.

A gun “buy back” staged this week by the Detroit, Mich. Police was so successful that it ran out of money, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) is concerned that it may have allowed some criminals to successfully get rid of their murder weapons.

“All of the guns taken in by this project will be melted down, no questions asked,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “That’s just swell. Detroit homicides are up 17 percent so far this year, and this program just might be letting some killer destroy the evidence that could put him or her behind bars. Brilliant, just brilliant!”

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press both are reporting how delighted the police are that they’re getting such a great response to the gun turn-in program,” Gottlieb observed. “If you had killed somebody and the cops were promising to take your gun, no questions asked, and turn it into a boat anchor or something, you would definitely want to put a smile on the nearest cop’s face, especially if you got between $50 and $200 in the swap.

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[edit on 2006/8/28 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:25 AM
It sounds like you've had some previous experience/thought about this, Grady. Thanks for the great info.

Up here, Boston is having a mini crime spree. Last weekend, the number of shootings in the city actually went down. But the number of stabbings was up.

To me, buyback programs are a bad idea. Very few instances involve getting rid of an active gun.

Someone once suggested to give everyone a gun, to level the field. But I don't know about that - not enough people can handle a gun.

posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 11:02 AM
I must agree with Grady the gun buy back is a bad idea, the city of Hamilton Ont, near me has or had a gun amnesty, but I seen pictures of what they got and it was mostly just junk. Stabbings on the other hand seem to be the new game machetes mostly. I can't go into detail but I was attacked by four Tamil Tigers from out of Toronto with machetes left me in bad shape. but takes more than that to keep an Irishmen down

posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:40 PM

Originally posted by Sauron
I must agree with Grady the gun buy back is a bad idea, the city of Hamilton Ont, near me has or had a gun amnesty, but I seen pictures of what they got and it was mostly just junk. Stabbings on the other hand seem to be the new game machetes mostly. I can't go into detail but I was attacked by four Tamil Tigers from out of Toronto with machetes left me in bad shape. but takes more than that to keep an Irishmen down

Whoa! Are you allowed to carry guns for self-defense up there? Because if that happened to me, I'd be packing.

posted on Aug, 29 2006 @ 10:48 PM
Tangents are fine, because they help us examine the ramifications of issues, however, this thread is about buy-back programs.

This thread seems more appropriate to the subject of an armed populace.

Why Fear an Armed Public?

[edit on 2006/8/29 by GradyPhilpott]

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