Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NM: Sante Fe Destroys Hundreds of Valuable Guns

Some of the Firearms Destroyed in Santa Fe, NM

One of the oddest parts of the political desire to disarm Americans is the push to destroy valuable property for propaganda purposes.   In Santa Fe, New Mexico, tens of thousands of dollars of valuable property was destroyed purely for propaganda.  Even in the old Soviet Union, which was no slouch when it came to disarming its people, the guns that were collected were not wantonly destroyed.   They were cared for, refurbished, sold to renew state resources, or used to defend the state from its enemies.  No doubt many were redistributed to reliable Party members and officials.

The Soviets understood that weapons were valuable, and they had no desire to destroy valuable assets for no reason.  Even obsolete revolvers manufactured for the Czar before World War I were reconditioned in state armories for potential future use.  I own one of them that was sold as surplus in the 1990's. The lack of weapons in time of need was burned into the Soviet brain from their experiences during World War I, the revolution, and World War II.

But in the United States, those who wish to disarm the people insist on destroying valuable property, as if the property itself contained some kind of evil spirit.   It is a sort of weird animism.  From  krqe.com:
SANTA FE (KRQE) - They were trying to help the city by taking unwanted guns off the streets, but police quickly realized getting rid of two tons of guns safely, isn’t so easy. It took one New Mexico city a year to figure out how to do it and they took an interesting approach.
 When police sell confiscated firearms, they usually bring about $100 each at auction to federally licensed dealers, where they are re-sold through the current commercial system, complete with background checks.  Santa Fe destroyed over 600 firearms, about $60,000 dollars worth of property.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but that’s not in the case for about 600 unwanted guns in Santa Fe. They met their demise when a bulldozer rolled over them Wednesday morning at a landfill.

“We had a challenge in disposing of these guns, we wanted to make sure that they were thoroughly destructed so that you couldn’t put any pieces together, couldn’t be reconstructed in any way,” explained Celina Espinoza, spokesperson for the Santa Fe Police Department.
Anyone who understands basic economics knows that when you reduce supply from one source, it increases demand on remaining sources.  As confiscated guns would be sold to those who can legally buy new guns, the destruction of old guns only increases the demand for new guns, benefiting gun manufacturers.

The police were not entirely idiotic in this policy: They cherry picked the firearms and found about 15 percent to go to museums and the State Crime Lab.
Fifty antique guns from the buyback were donated to the New Mexico Military Museum. Another 50 unique guns went to the State Crime Lab to help in any ballistic investigations.
Academics have found these sorts of programs to be ineffective in reducing crime.   Several states have outlawed the practice of police destruction of guns as a waste of valuable resources.

Here is a detailed image of some of the pistols that were collected:

There are some obviously valuable firearms in the picture.   The Colt and Smith & Wesson revolvers in the center bottom are worth hundreds of dollars each.  The Ruger pistol, lower center right, is worth $400-$500.

Of particular interest is a pistol in the image below.  At first glance it appears to be a semi-automatic.  Closer examination reveals that it is likely a homemade pistol.

In this shot it is center right, wood grips, multipart trigger guard with what appears to be a aluminum "grip safety" in the back.  The "grip safety" is probably just a filler for the grip.   I suspect that the pistol was made on the "sandwich" system, where the frame is constructed of several layers, usually at least three, that are then bolted together.  It is one of many methods whereby firearms are easily made at home with simple tools.  It will likely be supplanted by 3-D printers as the technology becomes more available.    Homemade guns become more common when factory guns are harder to come by.  At one point it was estimated that 20 percent of the guns confiscated in Washington, D.C., were homemade.

The comments on the krqe.com article show significant skepticism that the valuable guns were all destroyed.  Commenter Sharon Ostberg writes:
Yes, those were just the ones that were not wanted by Santa Fe' cops for their very own, or deemed fit for use as throw-downs by the NM Law Enforcement Favor Bank, lol.
Another commenter makes the obvious observation about resource conservation.  Old_Military_Guy writes:
This could have been a good plan if properly done. Sell the usable guns, sell the rest as scrap, use the money for something good.
 A supporter of the program explains some of the motivation for the destruction.  From  Tony C:
This makes the NRA lemmingaide drinkers sad - which makes ME happy.
   Private buyers often compete with those who organize these gun turn in events.  In the case of Santa Fe, the police used intimidation to prevent legal private sales:

“They essentially cut off gun collectors from being able to save these neat old guns,” said one Santa Fean who declined to give his name. “To see them get cut up makes me sick to my stomach.”
 In some places the guns are sold to raise money for charities.

 ©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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