More News From Oakland: Gun Buyback Misfires

More News From Oakland: Gun Buyback Misfires

This is a discussion on More News From Oakland: Gun Buyback Misfires within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am going to bold the one point that put me in stitches. Gun buybacks a noble idea that always misfires Alex Tabarrok Article Created: ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Talking More News From Oakland: Gun Buyback Misfires

    I am going to bold the one point that put me in stitches.

    Gun buybacks a noble idea that always misfires
    Alex Tabarrok
    Article Created: 02/23/2008 02:44:15 AM PST

    On Feb. 9, Oakland police, led by state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, offered to buy handguns and assault weapons for $250 each, "no questions asked, no ID required." The "One Less Gun" buyback program attracted so many eager sellers that the money quickly ran out, but instead of closing up shop, the police handed out IOUs good for a future buyback. The Oakland police are now stuck with a bill for $170,000.

    The buyback has been criticized as a poorly organized fiasco, but even the critics say it was "the right idea" and "a step in the right direction."

    On the contrary, the buyback was a bad idea from the beginning. Gun buybacks have been tried before, in cities from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and they simply don't work.

    In an authoritative study, the National Academy of Sciences reported that "the theory underlying gun buy-back programs is badly flawed and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs."

    It doesn't take much insight to understand why gun buybacks don't work. Gun buybacks attract low-quality guns from people who aren't likely to use them to commit crimes. The Oakland police, for example, bought a dozen guns from seniors living in an assisted-living facility. Are you relieved to know that Don Perata has disarmed these dangerous senior citizens?

    The Oakland buyback was especially absurd because of the high price offered: $250.

    Did no one running the program think to look at the price of a new gun? In fact, the first two people in line at one of the three buyback locations were gun dealers with 60 firearms packed in the trunk of their car.

    One wonders why the police even bothered to buy the guns from Oakland residents. Why not buy directly from gun manufacturers?

    Of course, buying guns from gun manufacturers is so obviously an absurd way to reduce the supply of guns that it has never been proposed.

    Nevertheless, the idea is no less absurd when Oakland residents serve as the middlemen between the manufacturers and the police.

    Buying a few thousand guns in Oakland is not going to make it more difficult for criminals in Oakland to get a gun.

    There are 150 to 200 million guns in the United States, so there are plenty of low-quality guns to be sold. An Oakland gun buyback is like trying to drain the Pacific every bucket of water you take out is instantly replaced. Even large gun-buyback programs are unlikely to have significant effects. Australia spent half a billion dollars buying guns, with no significant effect on homicides by firearm.

    Imagine that instead of guns, the Oakland police decided, for whatever strange reason, to buy back sneakers. The idea of a gun buyback is to reduce the supply of guns in Oakland. Do you think that a sneaker buyback program would reduce the number of people wearing sneakers in Oakland? Of course not.

    All that would happen is that people would reach into the back of their closet and sell the police a bunch of old, tired, stinky sneakers.

    Gun buybacks won't reduce the number of guns in Oakland. In fact, buybacks may increase the number of guns in Oakland.

    Imagine that gun dealers offered a guarantee with every gun: Whenever this gun gets old and wears down, the dealer will buy back the gun for $250.

    The dealer's guarantee makes guns more valuable, so people will buy more guns.

    But the story is exactly the same when it's the police offering the guarantee. If buyers know that they can sell their old guns in a buyback, they are more likely to buy new guns. Thus the more common that gun buybacks become, the more likely they are to misfire.

    Recognizing that gun buybacks don't work is neither pro- nor anti-gun. We all want to reduce gun crime in Oakland. Yet the Oakland police and concerned private citizens have spent $250,000 on a policy that doesn't work and that everyone who has studied the issue knows does not work.

    The guns bought in this buyback are destined to be melted down to create a monument.

    It's a shame that this monument will be the only lasting effect of the buyback.

    Alex Tabarrok is research director for the Independent Institute in Oakland, and associate professor of economics at George Mason University.
    Lex et Libertas Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Let's face it, anyone who comes up with one of these silly programs in the first place isn't a real deep thinker.....

    ya know......?

  3. #3
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    LOL!!
    I never thought about using these silly programs to make money!
    I should go to the store, buy a bunch of cheap surplus rifles for 80 bucks a pop then sell them to the buy back program!
    I could make a killing!
    Join the NRA!
    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    "Wanted to Buy"...
    Lorcins, Ravens, Phoenix Arms, etc...$50 cash each.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    ... then you could set up just across the street and offer a nice new Taurus for $250 OTD!

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    LOL... wonderful !
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

  7. #7
    Member Array Jeremiah's Avatar
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    I'd sell one or two for $250. Around here the buyback is usually a $50 grocery card. A local talk show host asks people to call him first, he'll pay $50 cash if it's something he wants...

  8. #8
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    I wish they would come to my town. I've got a few I would sell off for twofifty. Maybe they will do a holster buyback program too. I would surely welcome that one!
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    i think they"ve tryed that in detroit afew times. like it"s really done
    alot of good.
    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"

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  10. #10
    Member Array Longbow's Avatar
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    Man I wish they would do that up here. I lots of guns I would turn in for $250.00 each. Lets see, two $70.00 Mozin Nagants for $250.00 a piece = one very nice AK47. Hmmmmmm come on Montana get smart and get those guns of the street! Oh I have a Raven 25acp that could be used for a case and a half of ammo.
    "Planning to draw and chamber a round after TSHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stopsign..."

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array bluelineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperKnight View Post
    Maybe they will do a holster buyback program too. I would surely welcome that one!
    You'd see a lot of us with holster boxes in hand!

    If I saw a few nice guns from people in line, I'd offer $275 cash.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    ... then you could set up just across the street and offer a nice new Taurus for $250 OTD!
    Mine would be for $245, I want repeat customers...

    I love the free market system...

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    I guess it will be really interesting when that $170,000 bill comes due...

    Ah nice to hear good news.

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Hahahaha.

    Ha.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    True story

    The local PD did this a few years ago while I was working at a small gunshop. It was $100 for any "assault weapon", $50 for anything else. My job was to strip the parts out of the Ravens or Lorcins we bought for like $29 each, and the $50 SKSs (boy, those were the days) One of the regular customers went with a handful of cash and the Blue Book and made offers to some folks, while I helped carry the stripped guns inside. We bought a few guns, including a fine Officers Model Match Colt and an Ace .22 that I still own. I believe the other shops in town were doing the same thing and that event probably cost them more than they figured.

    FWIW, I don't feel like my actions, or the actions of my employer at the time had any effect on the number of guns on the street, or the number of guns in the hands of criminals.

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