Private buyers competed with ShopRite food cards for guns at a Baltimore City gun turn in "buy back" on Saturday, the 26th of July. That may be one reason that this event only collected half as many guns as last year's event did. 231 guns were turned in this year, 460 last year. The term "buy back" is a bit of propaganda, because the people buying the guns never owned them in the first place. From baltimoresun.com:
Several men holding signs that said "$$ Cash for Guns" stood outside the event, trying to persuade people to sell their guns to them instead. They were later run off by the gun buyback organizers. One of the men, who declined to give his name, said they didn't want to see historic guns melted down. "We're trying to save a part of history," he said.It is not clear if it was the police who "ran off" the private buyers. The police have illegitimately coerced private buyers from other turn in events around the country.
One of the people turning in two guns that she had inherited from her Grandfather had no idea what the guns were or how much they were worth. She did, however believe that the "buy back" would not cut crime.
"The people who are committing the crimes aren't turning in their guns, and their guns are probably illegal," she said. "It's more people like us who have guns sitting around the house," who are turning them in.This is precisely what criminologists and economists who study these events have concluded. The people who wrote "Freakonomics" agree.
This Rossi revolver is one of the handguns turned in at the event. Private buyers were prevented from buying handguns at the event due to Maryland's severely restrictive gun laws.
It is significant that even in Maryland, with all its restrictions, private buyers have the courage to brave official disapproval and attend this event.
These private additions to the public turn-in are effective, no doubt, in getting more guns off the street, because they add to the resources that are available to those who want to get rid of guns for something of value, be it a grocery card or a number of twenty dollar bills.
Private buyers make the turn-in in more effective by standing on the curb with "Cash for Guns" signs, or at a folding table, willing to offer more than the gift card for firearms that are more valuable. If numerous private parties are available, more good guns are transferred into responsible hands.
This action serves many useful purposes. It stretches the turn-in budget so that more guns can be taken off the street. It helps keep fearful widows from being defrauded of most of the market value of the gun they are turning in. It prevents valuable assets from being destroyed by bureaucratic inflexibility. It is a win-win-win situation.
It also dispels the pernicious message that guns are bad and should be destroyed.
Those who discourage private buyers, such as what happened in Baltimore City, show that their purpose is more about perpetuating the notion that "guns are bad and should be turned in to police" than it is about "getting guns off the street".
Link to Gun Watch