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Grandma Got Run Over By a Gun Buyback

May 15, 2011

This piece about yesterday’s gun buyback in Buffalo has me thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know). This is the fourth of these buybacks, the last of which was held in 2009, and all told over 3,000 firearms have been purchased for $10 – $100 each. Of this year’s haul of 600+ guns, a third were non-functional.

Buying back nonfunctional guns could be useful, depending on what kind of guns and how nonfunctional they are. Unless firearms are properly disposed of, they can be broken down and the parts re-used. Your average suburbanite lacks the toolsto ensure their broken guns aren’t repairable – I myself can’t find any hydraulic shears or armored fighting vehicles in my garage, and I imagine most people aren’t any better equipped. So if the alternative is that the gun goes into the trash (which… what? is that even legal, even if you remove the firing pin?), I suppose it’s worth the $50 to ensure safe storage or disposal.

Only one of these is in my garage.

But the mayor’s take on the whole thing feels a little… off, somehow:

[Mayor Byron W. Brown] noted that seldom-used guns could unintentionally get into the hands of children or grandchildren—and that some could be stolen in burglaries. He also said some young people involved in crime might have a change of heart and want to sell their weapons, and that one community activist had persuaded some young people to sell their guns.

“At some of these locations, we’ve had mothers and grandmothers turn in sawed-off shotguns and assault rifles,” Brown said. “We know they are not the owners of those weapons. We know they’re turning them in for family members who might use them in a moment of anger or in a crime.”

It sounds good, but the article also says only three assault rifles were collected, so it’s not like the grannies of Buffalo are solving gang violence once and for all here. Basically, the whole thing sounds good, with a strong emphasis on the word “sounds.” But is it actually worth the time, effort, and money expended to get these guns “off the street”? I’m just not convinced.
  1. May 25, 2011 8:37 pm

    I keep waiting for one of these in my town because I have a broken old black powder revolver that I don’t want to throw in the recycle bin. What would they say at the recycling center? They don’t know it’s non-functional. It’ll probably scare the crap out of them.

  2. john permalink
    May 28, 2011 2:14 pm

    I don’t understand why it is a good thing to sell your guns….please elucidate

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