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December 10, 2008

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Chad Love: Guns for Gift Cards?

Of all the various gun control schemes that have been rolled out in the past few years, perhaps none is as farcical as the "gun buyback" program, in which citizens are allowed to turn in firearms - no questions asked - in return for cash or gift cards. While I'm sure these programs do indeed make the world safe from the scourge of flintlock musketry, single-shot .22 rifles and non-functioning relics, the programs do absolutely nothing to reduce gun violence.

To me, it always made a lot more sense for those private citizens to hang on to those guns and use them protect themselves from the criminals. After all, if a bad guy wants a plasma TV and blu-ray player he's not going to turn in his gun for a Best Buy gift card, he's going to use it to come take yours.

I guess that's why I don't work for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

From the story:

LOS ANGELES -- A program to exchange guns for gifts brought in a record number of weapons this year as residents hit hard by the economy look under the bed and in closets to find items to trade for groceries. The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

...One man brought in a Soviet-era semiautomatic carbine.

"If that got into the wrong hands of gangbangers, they could kill several people within minutes," (Sheriff's Sgt. Byron) Woods said. "Our biggest fear is a house getting burglarized and these guns getting taken."

I don't know about you guys, but the thought of a gun so terrifying it can actually "kill several people within minutes" makes me glad it's finally off the streets.



While I agree that these programs don't reduce violence, it does help clean out closets of junk guns that you otherwise would have a hard time getting rid of and on top of it, you make a few bucks.

A great example of another governmental program that rewards doing nothing.


Tyler (NC)

im a big supporter of these programs. keep in mind the neighborhood that they live in, those guns can easily be stolen and then sold. Or if the family is in such need for money they could sell them to any gang banger walking down the street. These people (criminals) arent like us, they dont care what condition the gun is in as long as it will get two shots off and then can be tossed into the local drainage pond.


Plain stupid feel-good nonsense in reality


Gun Buyback's are a "feels good action" by a community that has lackluster law enforcement.

The Politico's love them since it gives the image of doing something about a problem.

It's froth for the peasants.

Chad Love

Actually Jstreet, you've got a point there.

I have one of those unspeakably junky little Jennings .22s that will fire when you take if off safe, fire when you release the slide while loading it and pretty much fire if you look at wrong.

The only good thing about it is it does have the built-in safety feature of jamming after each shot so you can only kill or wound one innocent bystander at a time.

I would gladly turn this gun into the LA County Sheriff's Department in return for a gift card. I'll even offer to take the chop saw to it myself.


Chad I am with you on the Jennings 22. Though my master sceme was to plug the barrel and fill it with Red Dot and run a blank thru it. From a safe distance of course.
My only concern with these programs is guns being stolen and turned for a gift card, reward, and even toys I saw one year. Atleast run a registration check on the gun. I might change my opinion of gun registration from being a soviet practice to only a liberal hippie practice if a stolen gun where returned to me.


Not that I condone this sort of activity but I believe the Romans used to say: "a man with a sword is a man who will never starve". I take this to mean in todays lingo that in the inner city a criminal with a gun is a criminal with money in his pocket. So, it doesn't make much sense if you're a criminal to sell a gun for food when you just used said gun for a hold-up. I do concede that fewer guns in inner city homes means less chance of guns being stolen and ending up in said criminals hands.

John C.

I am going to chime in with my proverbial two cents worth, and yes, I fully expect to be called a commie, pinko, and various other pejoratives.

Nonetheless, I have a friend who is a deputy sheriff in a metropolitan county on the east coast and he tells me that if guns owners really wanted to do something to reduce gun violence they would buy a high quality safe and lock up their guns when they are away from home.

He tells me that in his county they can track about six out ten guns used in a crime back to two sources: 1) daylight burglaries of suburban homes, and 2) straw purchases.

While he thinks a person has a right to store their guns in any manner they choose, he says that in almost every case where a homeowner reports the theft of guns they were either in a cheap safe, in the corner of a closet, or under the matress.

And no he is not anti-gun. He hunts and shoots in a league with some of his fellow officers. In addition, please note that he does not say that anyone should have their guns locked up at all times, rather just when they are not home.

Mike Diehl

You know, Chad, this could inspire a new form of charity donation program. Someone could start a charity to receive p.o.s. firearms and distribute them in poor communities so that down n outers could hand them in for food cards. Finally -- a worthy use for all those Jennings/Bryco handguns!


I was in a local gunshop when the patron in front of me turned around very sad-faced and slowly walked out of the store. Never saw a man so sad. I asked the guys at the counter what was wrong. He came home to a blown out hole in the side of his house. As near as the police could tell some thieves hooked a tow truck to his very large gun safe and hauled it out through the side of his house. Guns probably weren't insured for more than the typical $1,000 total in insurance policies.

Not sure it would have helped but might make sense to bolt safes to the floor and walls, or keep them in the basement with a dehumidifier. Or biting the bullet and taking out some cheap insurance. Or, if you are really paranoid, I wonder if a Lojack can be fitted inside one. I got a gun safe because a very young girl and her mother moved into the house. I was on the road a lot so wanted to ensure they and the guns were safe as possible. Was always glad I did.

Jim in Mo

We have a gun buy-back program going on right now. The chief of police was asked this morning how it was going and he said that although many guns were turned in none of them had been used in the commission of a crime, which is what they hoped to stumble upon.
Guess the crooks aren't getting rid of their guns so easily.

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