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Gun Buybacks | Do They Really Work?

February 17, 20244 min read


I have a love hate relationship with gun buybacks.

I love them because it gives gun owners an opportunity to get rid of guns they don’t want or don’t work and get a couple of bucks for them.

But I hate buybacks because as taxpayers, we’re the ones paying for this utterly useless marketing ploy politicians use at our expense to appease the fools that believe it’s actually helping when these same politicians know very well, they don’t.

Or do they?

You must have heard that none other than Shaquille O’Neal himself sponsored a gun buyback in his hometown of Dallas, Texas.

face of shaquille o’neill smiling surrounded by name brands of businesses he owns

Shaq is one of the smartest athletes and businessmen of our time, whether he believes gun buybacks work or not, I don’t know. I speculate that he knows they don’t have any impact on violent crime or gun violence, but I suspect that for any celebrity, being perceived as doing something good for the community is great publicity regardless.

Now it’s one thing to have an opinion on whether gun buybacks work or not. It’s another to prove it.

So, I looked at some independent research and here’s what I found.

The US has 46% of the world’s guns in the hands of civilians. There are about 122 guns per 100 civilians.

Yemen, a terrorist enclave and puppet of Iran of all places is number two with 53 per 100 civilians. Mexico and Canada are a very distant third and fourth.

Why is that important?

ranking countries by civilian gun ownership per 100 people.

Because in the US, you have to have a voluntary gun buyback program in order to get citizens to give up their guns. Law abiding civilians cannot be forced to give up their guns. So gimmicky programs have to be implemented to show that something is being done to appease the anti-gun lobby. The other countries mentioned can just flip a switch and ban and confiscate at their discretion. Citizens can push back, but they won’t have an inalienable right, like the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights to fall back on.

Research in the 1990s showed gun buybacks to be ineffective.

More recent research states that although in and of themselves buybacks are ineffective in reducing violent crime or gun crime, they can be in the context of a more comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence. An initiative that includes safe storage laws and stricter background checks. In other words, they’re still ineffective.

I find it comical that researchers think that by phrasing it differently, it paints gun buybacks in a more positive light. They’ll never give up their nonsense, and we must never let them fool us with it.

How would a gun buyback stop any of the so-called mass shootings or gun crimes?

The violent criminal, the mentally ill, the disgruntled, and anyone else hell bent on causing harm are not turning in their guns. Not in a buyback and not for any other reason until they are caught, shot by police, or a law-abiding defender, or shoot themselves after the deed is done.

Look, I’m not against truly common-sense gun legislation. In fact, some of the laws already in place are pretty good but are inadequately enforced.

Violent criminals won’t walk into a gun store to buy guns. They want to stay anonymous for a reason. They buy their guns on the black market where most guns are stolen, trafficked, or made by them. When they want to get rid of them, the local gun buybacks swarming with police officers and the media is not where they’ll do it.

The hardest pill for me to swallow is that the cost of these buybacks can range into the billions of dollars per buyback. Is our government brilliant at wasting money, or what?

Let’s face it, gun buybacks are a desperate PR campaign in an attempt to be seen as proactive in combating gun violence. The media will spin it as if it is for the greater good. Anti-gun politicians will spin it as an initiative to keep our community safe.

The gullible anti-gun public will applaud it. Celebrities will use it to gain favor and PR, and gun owners, with guns that no one wants, can free up some storage space and get a couple of bucks out of it.

The billions wasted on this useless initiative will be better served on securing schools, doing away with most gun free zones, gun safety education for children and providing better health initiatives for the mentally ill who end up committing many of these crimes.

We’ve been screaming about this from the rooftop for years. Is anybody listening?

gun buybacksshaquille oneillgun controlgun legislationcommon sense gun lawsgunsfirearms
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Joe Yagar

Joe Yagar is a NRA Certified Instructor in the Bradenton-Sarasota area.

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