FoxNews.com is running a story this evening about a Guns for Cash program in an area of Los Angeles known as Compton. While they refer to it as a working class neighborhood, it is essentially known for it’s murder rate.
In this well meaning program, like so many before, people can turn in weapons in exchange for $100 gift cards to a grocery store, Target, or Best Buy, presumably so they can purchase a shoot-em-up game for their Wii. The thought is “less guns, less murders.”
I don’t think that the number of guns has much to do with the number of murders. I grew up in a gun culture. While most people only had a few, almost everyone had at least one. It would not have been unusual to find a gun in a vehicle in my high school parking lot, because after all, on the way home, you might find something that needed shooting….but never someone.
The story itself admits that most of the people turning in weapons were “family people” who were doing so to be able to buy groceries. Apparently, gangbangers with guns know that anyone with a gun can get groceries and keep their gun if they want to.
I applaud the Sherrif’s Department for trying, but I think rather than a Gun Buy-Back program, what we need is a Gun Redistribution Program. If you’re a gangbanger with a new car and no verifiable sign of income, you surrender your gun. If you can show 3 years paid tax returns, updated insurance on a motor vehicle, and a legal mailing address, you get a gun that has been taken from one of the other guys.
Understand, I’m not a gun nut. I do not belong to the NRA. I don’t hunt. I own two for sentimental reasons, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I fired either one of them….but I do know “family people” surrendering weapons to feed their families while the bad guys keep their weapons to steal the groceries (and the Wii) from the now-unarmed families is a big failure.
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