In a lazy-minded effort to do nothing about gang violence and violent criminals owning firearms, Mayor Martin J. Walsh is at it again with another tax-payer funded “gun buyback” program. Boston PD revived its gun buyback program early last year with a $100,000 budget. The “goal” of the program was to remove homemade and/or “illegal” guns from the streets, which they claim would, in theory, reduce the amount of “urban gun-related violence”.
$200 Visa Gift Cards were offered as incentive to turn in firearms in sealed, clear bags. The firearms were to be unloaded and participants were also protected from prosecution for the ownership of illegally owned guns, unless they were “directly connected to a crime”. A move that simply defies all common sense that one could use to fight crime.
Last year, using this strategy, the Police Department brought in over 400 firearms. Many of the guns were homemade, very old, or otherwise completely unusable. Still, the gun-grabbing officials touted the outcome as a victory, ignoring the fact that gang-bangers and thugs aren’t offing each other in record numbers using old, beat-up bolt action .22’s or rusted-to-hell .38 revolvers.
There were many, however, who were highly critical of the program, understandably so. One such person was Jim Wallace, who is the executive director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts:
“We kind of laugh at the concept of gun buyback when they didn’t sell them in the first place…If gun buybacks were supposedly effective, then why don’t we have drug buybacks?”
A question that we, here at IGOR, have asked in the past. Other critics of the program say that it is impossible to trace where these firearms came from and that the buyback’s only real purpose is to publicly vilify legal gun owners…indeed, research from numerous studies has found that buyback programs are basically worthless when it comes to reducing crime. But, giving credit where it is due, the Boston Police Department regularly seizes firearms from criminals…an action that actually serves a purpose and actually reduces crime.
The Herald reported that the Boston PD confiscated 417 firearms in total this year – including the one turned in at the buyback program. The real question remains unanswered: Of the 416 seized firearms that were possessed by violent felons, thugs, and/or gang bangers, how many decades worth of prison sentences will be handed out? My guess is “not many” and certainly “not enough” to discourage the repeat offenses that are inevitably going to continue contributing to the dangerously high recidivism rate we face in this country.