We can file this one under “No sh*t, Sherlock.”
Progressives in major cities recently learned that gun buybacks are about as effective at decreasing gun crime as using a pocketknife to cut down an oak tree. A CNN report explained that years of research revealed that these programs have no impact on the levels of gun violence occurring in these cities. So essentially, these researchers were paid to tell authorities what any of us could have told them without the hefty paycheck.
When Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago’s buyback program, she called it a “bold new initiative” and claimed it would get “guns out of the hands of dangerous people.” Cities typically offer gift cards in exchange for firearms turned in by residents.
Chicago officials annually take in hundreds of guns through buyback programs. But decades of research shows such programs don’t reduce gun violence, in large part because they don’t result in guns being taken from people who aren’t supposed to have them. One recent study found “no evidence that (gun buyback programs) reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”
These types of programs are common in cities across America, and Chicago’s goal is ambitious compared to other programs. Long Beach, California, police took in 280 guns at an event in September. More than 250 were turned in at an event last summer in Desoto, Texas. Police in Albany, Georgia, collected 40 this way last spring.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD officer, told the activist media outlet, “It’s good theater. But it’s not helping deal with gangs and drug dealers and everyone else using the guns.”
“These things are dog-and-pony shows … Look, a million dollars to do all this stuff, it’s not going to help violence in Chicago or anywhere else one iota. It’s feel-good, it’s to make it look like politicians are going to do something, but it means absolutely nothing.”
To be fair, nobody could have possibly predicted that gang members and drug dealers would not be gung-ho about turning in their firearms for some gift cards, right?
But even in light of these facts, CNN and anti-gunners still attempted to salvage some semblance of credibility for these programs.
“And when the goal is community engagement or awareness — when the goal isn’t violent crime reduction — the programs can have some benefit,” the author wrote. “Notably, taking guns out of homes where the owner doesn’t want them and giving people an incentive to take them out of circulation.”
Glen Brooks, director of the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Community Policing, said the program “is a way for people to have a solid connection to the city” and that it is “showing love for their city.”
Yeah sure, Glen.
Researchers last year examined the National Incident Based Reporting System and the National Vital Statistics System to find any proof showing buyback programs decrease crime. They found “no evidence” that they reduce suicides or homicides committed using firearms. Their findings “suggest that (gun buyback programs) have been an inefficient use of taxpayers’ dollars.” They speculated that “alternative firearm-related policies, such as safe storage laws or stricter background checks, would be more effective at deterring gun violence.”
The fact of the matter is that gun buyback programs are just like other strict gun control laws: They only work to disarm people who have no intention of committing a gun crime. Law-abiding folks are not the ones about which most people have to worry. The vast majority of gun violence is perpetrated by people who obtained their weapons illegally.
It does not take a rocket scientist – or an expensive study – to figure out that none of these programs has a chance at addressing gun violence. Nevertheless, the gun control crowd insists on trying to persuade the nation to accept their empty arguments on the matter. But the rising rates of gun ownership reveal they are no longer winning this particular battle.