Thursday, November 1, 2007

Yet another gun buyback - what a waste!

Gun buybacks are purported by their sponsors to reduce crime, yet all studies on past gun buybacks have indicated that there was ZERO effect on crime. Zip, zilch, nada. So you'd think that politicians would learn their lesson & would stop wasting taxpayer money on such a ridiculous effort.

No such luck for the unfortunate citizens of Springfield, IL, which city is now on the hook for $52,600 from the $100 debit cards they owe or already gave out for the guns that they took in during their latest gun buyback event (526 guns taken in). That does not even take into account all of the wasted man hours of the Police who had to waste their time coordinating the gun buyback effort rather than watching the streets for criminals. Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin admitted that he had only expected the event to take in 100 guns, so they had to issue IOU cards to most of those who turned their guns in. He plans to submit an emergency ordinance to pay for the additional debit cards that they owe using funds currently earmarked for community development along with drug forfeiture money.

It is interesting to note that since US citizens own approximately 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the 2007 Small Arms Survey by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies, the wasted time & money had a HUGE impact on the number of guns in the US: a whopping 00.0000019% reduction in guns owned in the US primarily by law abiding citizens. Of course that small "gain" for Springfield was negated in just over an hour of the end of the event since the same Small Arms Survey also showed that US Citizens are currently purchasing an average of approximately 4.5 Million newly manufactured guns each year which translates to roughly 513 newly manufactured guns per hour. I bet the citizens of Springfield IL feel very good about this wise investment of their hard earned tax dollars to support yet another failed gun buyback program (strong sarcasm oozing here folks).

Clinton had established a Federal gun buyback program that wasted millions of tax dollars on failed gun buyback experiments. The program was later terminated because of the failure to produce any effect based on study results. Here are some quotes from the above mentioned termination notice listing the reasons why gun buyback programs don't have any effect on crime:

Studies show that lawbreakers rarely surrender their weapons to buyback programs and many people who sell their guns have other firearms at home, or soon purchase new ones . . . In general, the age and type of guns turned in as a part of buyback programs are older guns. For example, in 1999, more than half the 2,912 weapons bought by the District of Columbia police for $100 apiece were 15 (or more) years old.
Gun control does not work. Gun buybacks don't work. Lets spend our tax dollars on things that do work, like building more prisons so that we have enough room to place criminals in jail for the maximum time allowed rather than the minimum (due to overcrowded prisons), followed by less early release programs which are in effect experiments to see if the known criminals are going to return to crime or not. If they do return to crime, that experiment often ends in tragedy for one or more innocent victims, yet nobody seems to be demanding changes to the early release/probation system in our Country.

Let's make some changes that actually give results in reducing crime, not more of the same wasted effort in trying to think of new laws or efforts that do not even work to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals, much less to reduce crime.
As Albert Einstein said - "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Let us NOT act like the insane.


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