In Tacoma, Washington, officials are considering the idea of a gun drop box where people can turn in guns for destruction without any interaction with police. The theory is that there are people in poor, crime ridden neighborhoods who want to get rid of a gun, but do not want interaction with police.
The working theory is that the box would be in a place without surveillance, and the guns dropped off would be checked out by police, then destroyed. From mynorthwest.com:
The city is investigating how to successfully operate the program. It is trying to find locations away from police intervention, to encourage people wary of law enforcement to turn the guns in. At the same time, it wants to place them in areas that won't cause a disturbance.The comments at the site are numerous and biting. The first one, by Xplanes, sums up much of the latter 167 comments:
"It's definitely something that is controlled access and one way," Cordeiro said. "You can put something in, but you can't take something out.
This has got to be the dumbest gun related idea in the history of mankind. Do these people live and think in a vacuum? Boxes of guns somewhere out of the reach of police intervention. And they are worried about me handing my best friend my gun for his camping trip without a background check. I would call them Imbeciles, but that would be an insult to stupid people.My observation is that if someone wants to have a gun destroyed without police being involved, Tacoma has many miles of shoreline on Puget Sound. Salt water immersion will destroy most guns rather rapidly, and no one has to worry about whether or not the government was lying about that "no surveillance" thing.
The idea that there are multitudes of poor youth in the hood, desperate to get rid of valuable items anonymously, that they could easily sell for cash to their local gang member or drug dealer... goes beyond Pollyannish.
In this video, a Tacoma official makes the tired old claim that if it just takes one gun "off the street" that it will all be worth it. There are so many failures in logic in that statement that it deserves more attention. It concentrates much of what is wrong with disarmist attitudes in one short sentence.
1. The false assumption is that guns are only used for evil, when in fact, they are often used for good purposes.
2. The assumption that the boxes benefits will outweigh their costs. The benefits, of necessity, will be impossible to measure. Some costs, such as creating the boxes and maintaining them will be easily measured; others, such as crimes committed because a self defense gun was not available, will be as hard to measure as the benefits.
3. The false assumption that guns have no economic value.
4. The willful ignorance of multiple other ways to dispose of firearms.
5. The placement of responsibility with inanimate objects instead of with people.
I doubt the gun disposal box idea will be implemented. It is so absurd and unrelated to reality as to verge on insanity.
When politicians are free to spend other people's money, logic, rationality and cost effectiveness are not important considerations.
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