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View Full Version : Nice Opinion piece in LA Times on Gun Buybacks


lioneaglegriffin
05-12-2009, 8:59 PM
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-buybacks12-2009may12,0,3217176.story

something we all know but it is nice to see confirmation by others.
From the Los Angeles Times
Editorial
Do gun buybacks work?
They're good PR, but studies show they do little to stem gun-related violence.

May 12, 2009

For political theater, few things beat gun buyback programs such as the one held Saturday in Los Angeles. The resulting stacks of shotguns, rifles, handguns and even assault weapons make great TV and give the impression that politicians and police chiefs are putting a dent in the supply of dangerous firearms. It's fodder for a slow news day and a harmless enough marketing ploy -- but really reducing gun crime requires more than feel-good exercises.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who instituted Saturday's buyback, said Monday that it took more guns off the streets of L.A. than there were shooting victims in the city last year. That's a highly misleading statement, implying a connection between gun homicides and the specific weapons handed in to police over the weekend. In truth, studies of municipal gun buyback programs have never turned up a shred of evidence that they reduce firearm violence.

It's impossible to know how many guns there are in Los Angeles, in part because many are unregistered and illegally owned. But it's estimated that there are about 258 million privately owned firearms in the United States (or nearly one gun for every American citizen), and there are about 3.8 million people in the city of L.A. So it's safe to say that there are millions of guns hereabout. The 1,700 turned in Saturday did not significantly reduce the number.

What's more, the guns that tend to be surrendered are very seldom the ones used by criminals. They are usually old, broken weapons turned in by older people who would rather have a $100 gift certificate to buy groceries (the premium offered Saturday to those who brought in guns) than a rusted revolver. 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."

And yet politicians never tire of proposing buybacks, which are universally popular -- even the most enthusiastic gun-rights proponents don't object to them because no one's guns are involuntarily seized or banned. Though the city of Los Angeles is relatively new to the game, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has been holding gun buybacks for years and has reaped a publicity windfall. Also winning favorable PR are corporate sponsors such as the Ralphs supermarket chain, which partially underwrote Saturday's buyback.

Really cutting down on the bloodshed will require meaningful legislation and tougher enforcement. That's harder to pull off than a gun buyback program: Good PR almost invariably is simpler than good policy.

dfletcher
05-12-2009, 9:05 PM
In pointing out the PR only aspect and lack of results - fine. Tougher enforcement - fine. But in calling for "meaningful legislation" - not fine.

lioneaglegriffin
05-12-2009, 9:11 PM
In pointing out the PR only aspect and lack of results - fine. Tougher enforcement - fine. But in calling for "meaningful legislation" - not fine.

well that can mean anything it can mean gun control or something like jamiels law(anti-sanctuary city law).

Ground Loop
05-12-2009, 9:36 PM
It's impossible to know how many guns there are in Los Angeles, in part because many are unregistered and illegally owned.


Again, the myth of registration. Sometimes I wonder if it's intentionally promoted in media just so when real registration is proposed, the average Joe will say "I thought we already had that. Hmm"

lioneaglegriffin
05-12-2009, 9:49 PM
Again, the myth of registration. Sometimes I wonder if it's intentionally promoted in media just so when real registration is proposed, the average Joe will say "I thought we already had that. Hmm"

well they are unregistered because there is no registration right? but i know what you mean. I saw a stat that says there are about 300 million guns but it comes out to an average of 4 guns per person.

RRangel
05-12-2009, 10:41 PM
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who instituted Saturday's buyback, said Monday that it took more guns off the streets of L.A. than there were shooting victims in the city last year.

When you pay attention to these PR claims it's like comedy.

7x57
05-13-2009, 1:06 AM
In pointing out the PR only aspect and lack of results - fine. Tougher enforcement - fine. But in calling for "meaningful legislation" - not fine.

I don't even know if "tougher enforcement" is fine. If it means not letting people plea-bargain away the weapons charge when caught knocking over a liquor store, go for it. But in California I fear this is a code word for "charging law-abiding citizens with felonies and enforcing the law in the most abusively merciless way possible no matter how inadvertent or technical the violation."

7x57

N6ATF
05-13-2009, 1:06 AM
And yet politicians never tire of proposing buybacks, which are universally popular -- even the most enthusiastic gun-rights proponents don't object to them because no one's guns are involuntarily seized or banned.

Lying SCUM. Post a comment on the article like I did if you object.

TheCilician
05-13-2009, 1:11 AM
It's impossible to know how many guns there are in Los Angeles, in part because many are unregistered and illegally owned. But it's estimated that there are about 258 million privately owned firearms in the United States (or nearly one gun for every American citizen), and there are about 3.8 million people in the city of L.A. So it's safe to say that there are millions of guns hereabout. The 1,700 turned in Saturday did not significantly reduce the number.


Makes the whole damn thing seem pretty useless.....good facts and arguments by the way.

lioneaglegriffin
05-13-2009, 8:02 AM
Lying SCUM. Post a comment on the article like I did if you object.

yea it wasn't perfect but the main parts goal is understood. Plus its Opinion not really an article per se.

lioneaglegriffin
05-13-2009, 8:07 AM
wow look at jill someone is cranky
24. 2) If you don't publish my comment previous it's just another indication that you're openly shilling/ lobbying for your NRA guy whose positions are indefensible to most officers in law enforcement and the general populace, excepting the talk radio/ Kevin James crowd. Even if you do publish this little comment it doesn't change the blatant bias of your editorial, it's just the bare minimum any paper must do. What a sad day for the formerly proud L A Times.

Submitted by: jill
2:13 AM PDT, May 12, 2009

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25. Wow, the editorial section of this paper is going ALL OUT to do anything it can to bolster its client Trutninuch, the NRA- endorsed guy for City Attorney. This editorial is just a political lobby piece based on no facts or "evidence." It thousands of people are turning in guns, including assault weapons because they need money for food more it's a win-win. Who are YOU and the NRA to dispute the LAPD's and even Cty Sheriffs' position on this?

Submitted by: jill

Bugei
05-13-2009, 10:53 AM
I don't even know if "tougher enforcement" is fine. If it means not letting people plea-bargain away the weapons charge when caught knocking over a liquor store, go for it. But in California I fear this is a code word for "charging law-abiding citizens with felonies and enforcing the law in the most abusively merciless way possible no matter how inadvertent or technical the violation."

7x57

Yeah, but only the law-abiding. The usual merry-go-round of felons will still plea-bargain their little hearts out.

nick
05-13-2009, 11:16 AM
NPR had a program on this piece yesterday, with the unbiased guests being Lee Baca and Paul Helmke. Interestingly enough, most callers were pro-gun (I'm playing it safe, for I haven't listened to the entire program, and the only callers I heard were pro-gun). Paul Helmke was unusually subdued, and only outright lied as absolutely needed, mostly he'd just sidestep the questions. The poor reporter started off trying to sound unbiased, then, as her "distinguished guests" weren't rabid enough for her taste, she began asking them more and more pointed questions. It was rather amusing to listen to.