Gun buybacks are a joke.
First, they don’t take guns out of criminal hands for the most part. Most who show up are people looking to get rid of a gun who don’t know how else to sell one. Others are people looking to take advantage of the “no questions asked” policy to drop guns used in crimes and pick up a few bucks more than dumping them in a river.
Then there’s the fact that so many of them seem poorly attended when you consider a community’s size.
Saturday’s gun buy-back event yielded 38 firearms turned into police.
The event, held at the Raymond M. Sullivan Safety Complex, offered members of the public a $50 Big Y Gift Card for every turned in firearm. The Springfield Police Department partnered with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and Springfield City Councilors Melvin Edwards and Jesse Lederman to host the event.
Now, the police will look and see if any were used in criminal acts, which won’t matter because they don’t have a name to put with the gun in the first place.
But a whole 38 guns? Springfield is a city of over 150,000 people, and the best they could get was 38 guns?
Is it any wonder so many of us look at so-called buybacks and laugh?
First, buybacks don’t buy anything back. The guns were never the governments in the first place, with a few exceptions such as American-made Milsurp weapons, and those don’t usually show up at these events.
Second, look at who shows up with these. You get the soccer moms who found out their late father had a few firearms and they want to throw them out without throwing them out. After all, with a $50 grocery store gift card, you’re basically throwing the guns away.
I’m always amused that they actually think a $50 gift card will sway someone to get rid of a gun.
As it stands, this is only a way to dispose of weapons people wanted to dispose of in the first place. This doesn’t encourage anyone to get rid of a gun unless they already wanted to do so.
And when you offer more, you run into other issues. Like, say, imagine a buyback offering $300 gift cards instead for a handgun. Well, what you do is buy a couple of Hi-Points, run to the buyback and trade them in and you basically double your money.
Third, take a look at the kinds of guns that show up at these events. Most are junk. They’re not going to menace anyone on the American streets. Hell, if someone were to try to shoot someone with one of these, the damn things might just blow up, some are in such awful shape.
Again, they’re guns that someone would have thrown in the trash.
Couple that with a whopping 38 guns collected in a city of more than 150,000 people and you’ve got comedy gold. Not intentional comedy, mind you, but comedy nonetheless. Well done, Springfield. Well done indeed.