Los Angeles officials recently lauded their gun buyback program on Wednesday that bribed gun owners with a Ralph’s gift card worth either $100 or $200, depending on the type of gun they turned in. On Wednesday, the LAPD collected 2,037 guns including handguns, rifles, “assault” weapons and one rocket launcher. In total, these buybacks have pulled in about 10,000 California guns since the program began in 2009.
While officials are celebrating these programs and saying that these events will make California streets safer, gun sales there have shot up significantly in the past 10 years. In 2002, 350,000 guns were sold in California, but last year, over 600,000 were sold. So a couple thousand guns were turned in last week, but that’s nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands bought last year alone. What’s also telling is the overall drop in crime that corresponded to the increase in gun sales:
“Gun deaths and injuries have dropped sharply in California, even as the number of guns sold in the state has risen, according to new state data…. During that same period, the number of California hospitalizations due to gun injuries declined from about 4,000 annually to 2,800, a roughly 25 percent drop, according to hospital records collected by the California Department of Public Health. Firearm-related deaths fell from about 3,200 annually to about 2,800, an 11 percent drop, state health figures show. Most of the drop in firearm-related injuries and deaths can be explained by a well-documented, nationwide drop in violent crime. The number of California injuries and deaths attributed to accidental discharge of firearms also has fallen. The number of suicide deaths involving firearms has remained roughly constant.”
Expect the gun control advocates to attribute any drop in violent crime in California to these silly gun buyback programs. But what they don’t tell us is how many people are turning in their guns because they’re old and defunct. Maybe some of their guns aren’t even worth $25, so the prospect of getting $100 in groceries sounds like a great deal.
What they also don’t tell us is how many criminals are turning in guns that they used to commit crimes. Since there are “no questions asked,” the police are taking the evidence and destroying it for the criminal.
And as for the rest of the gun owners who turned in their weapons, they’re only making themselves more vulnerable to the criminals who wouldn’t dare turn in their guns.
These programs will have little to no effect on violent crime rates. However, what is already having an effect is the proliferation of guns to law-abiding citizens in California who understand that when seconds count, the police are minutes away.