Santa Ana police officers “collected 237 guns today, between 8:45 a.m. and 2 p.m., from a steady steam of cars throughout the day,” according to the O.C. Register.
The residents who turned in their guns received gift cards to local merchants, such as Wal Mart and Northgate Markets, that varied in face value from $100 to $200 each, depending on the types of guns that were turned in. The money for the gift cards, about $80K, came from drug busts.
But did today’s Santa Ana gun buy back actually accomplish anything? An Obama appointee named Greg Ridgeway, who is the Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a subgroup within the Justice Department, doesn’t think so. He wrote an internal memo, that got leaked, that debunked just about all of the Obama administration’s gun control schemes, according to The Blaze. Here is what Ridgeway had to say about gun buyback programs:
Gun buybacks are ineffective as generally implemented. 1. The buybacks are too small to have an impact. 2. The guns turned in are at low risk of ever being used in a crime. 3. Replacement guns are easily acquired. Unless these three points are overcome, a gun buyback cannot be effective.
The 1997 Australia gun buyback and its associated regulations is an exception to this. 1. It was large, buying back 20% of the firearm stock. 2. It targeted semi-automatic weapons. 3. It coupled the buyback with a ban on certain weapons and a nationwide registration and licensing program. There is strong evidence that it reduced mass killings (before the initiative massacres occurred on average once per year and none have occurred in the 15 years since). The Australia buyback appears to have had no effect on crime otherwise.
The OC Weekly also believes gun buy back programs are a waste of time. They had this to say about these programs in an article published this week, “In the current Freakonomics podcast “How to Think About Guns,” University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt points his co-host Stephen Dubner to data that shows buybacks have generally become a way for people to cash in on disposing weapons that are broken or no longer wanted, and that these donors still hold onto working or wanted firearms. In other works, cities are buying back junk, for the most part, so the programs do little to reduce shootings by operable weapons.”
And the L.A. Times reported, back in 2009, that “A 2004 report by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that “the theory underlying gun buyback programs is badly flawed, and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.”
Gun buyback programs are a fraud but at least this one resulted in a few thousand dollars of sales at our local stores. This program won’t save even one life. But I guess that doesn’t matter to our city officials. Their goal was feel-good spin and that they did achieve.
The bottom line is that we have at least one Council Member who says she once sold drugs in our city and another whose brother was a gang banger who allegedly died in prison. And another Council Member who supposedly left his wife and kids while running for yet another office, as well as a Council Member whose family made their riches running a venue with a liquor license, that has reportedly been visited by police repeatedly for many years. I guess we’re lucky that the other two Council Members are teachers. But they all ran off our former City Manager, Paul Walters, after 42 years of public service that included running one of our County’s finest police departments. They can buy back all the guns they want, but running off Walters is going to result in higher crime in our city – and that is virtually guaranteed.
So do you feel safer in Santa Ana now? Really?