Oakland Gun $250 Buyback - Fail

Dec 8, 2004
49,309
21,212
693
Maine
#1
Gun buybacks a noble idea that always misfires x
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.
Gun buybacks attract low-quality guns from people who aren't likely to use them to commit crimes. - Well duh


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Creasy Bear

gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
Donator
Mar 10, 2006
49,252
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In a porn tree
#2
Have you ever seen the guns those buy-backs bring in? It's fucking hilarious... like those blunderbus guns with the big horn barrels like the pilgrims hunted turkeys and Indians with, old rusted shut .38 revolvers that sat in somebody's garage for thirty years, etc...

trust me... you're not going to see any fully auto Uzis or chrome-plated .45s being handed over.
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
4
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Dallas
#3
But, we just haven't tried it enough yet! I'm sure if we try buy-back programs at least 100 more times we'll prove to everyone that they do, in fact, work!

I say next time we offer $1,000 for BB guns in the projects. That'll keep us all safe.
 

TheDrip

I'm bi-winning.
Jan 9, 2006
5,051
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228
#4
Great way for the savages to upgrade to better weapons.
 

gleet

What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
22,541
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Idaho
#5
I know a guy who once took in three old broken revolvers from his junk box, got his money, went to a gun store, and bought an AR-15.
 

Chino Kapone

Yo, whats wrong wit da beer we got?
Jun 10, 2005
16,959
2,196
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#6
I love that the first two people are gun dealers and roll up with 60 guns a piece. Thats $15,000 in the pocket. Thats a helluva day in sales.
 
Jun 2, 2005
15,516
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Dallas
#7
I love that the first two people are gun dealers and roll up with 60 guns a piece. Thats $15,000 in the pocket. Thats a helluva day in sales.
I bet they barely had $2,000 invested in those guns, too.

Way to go beurocratic shit dicks!
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
46,791
6,917
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F.U.B.A.R
#8
Gun buybacks, plus gun-free zones, plus unnecessary paperwork and government permission, equals to higher crime, and less civil rights for everyone.

'An armed society is a polite society.'
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,623
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#9
Holy shit, I can't wait till that its my town. I have a single shot shotgun I haven't even taken out of the closet in 15 years. I paid $69.00 at Kmart for it back then.
 

BravoSierra

Why do people keep calling me?
Jun 27, 2005
3,463
4
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Berkeley, CA
#11
Even if Oakland was 100% gun free.... I'd still be scared. Because where there's Oakland, there's Richmond. It's as though the ghetto people moved out of Oakland to get away and settled in Richmond.... thus creating another ghetto.
 

HummerTuesdays

Another girrrrl!!!
Apr 24, 2005
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On the road to ruin
#12
Holy shit, I can't wait till that its my town. I have a single shot shotgun I haven't even taken out of the closet in 15 years. I paid $69.00 at Kmart for it back then.
I'd keep an eye out for any convenient buy back program. It might be worth an hour drive to collect $250. I have no idea about transport laws, but if you can bring it with you when you work, well, now you've got lots of possible buy-back towns. :)
 

CougarHunter

Lying causes cat piss smell.
Mar 2, 2006
10,594
2,574
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KC Metro
#14
If there were a $250 buyback here, I'd slide down to the gunshop and just start buying the hell out of those $90 Raven .25's and Jennings .22's.