As reported, the city of St. Louis, MO has wisely decided not to run another gun buy back program, which would have cost about $57,500:
I’ve previously discussed how gun buy back programs are a waste of money because criminals wont turn in the guns that they will to commit crimes. To briefly recap: Criminals don’t tend to trust the police and are therefore unwilling to go to the police and turn in illegally owned guns, even if they are promised that no questions will be asked. Criminals make their living by committing crimes with guns, and are therefore not willing to give up the tool of their illicit trade in exchange for $50 or $100, when they could go commit one armed robbery and make that much money, while getting to keep their gun too. The result is that the guns which are turned in tend to be non-functional pieces of junk, rather than guns that would have been used in crimes. Even if criminals did turn in their guns, it defies logic to think that they would suddenly become law abiding citizens, rather than just go get another gun on the black market.
St. Louis board president Chris Goodson recognized the ineffectiveness and waste that gun buy-back programs represent, saying that he was opposed to a buy-back this year because the last one didn’t prevent an increase in the murder rate. Board member Vincent Bommarito agreed, saying that it was a waste of money. I found one particular quote from Alex Tabarrok, a research director for the Independent Institute to be entertaining and true at the same time:
“Imagine that instead of guns, police, for whatever strange reason, wanted to get shoes off the streets. Would a shoe buyback reduce the number of people with shoes? Of course not, people would sell their old, tired shoes to the police and new shoes would quickly replace sold shoes. Same thing with gun buybacks.”
It is good to see that some politicians are willing to vote against ineffective and wasteful feel-good measures like gun buy backs. Sadly, there are still plenty of politicians who use pointless gun buy back programs to advance their own agendas.
A tip of my hat to Anders for pointing out this article.