2/00 Atlanta Gun Buy-Back

Atlanta Buy-Back Scheme Public Relations Only
— Will Do Nothing To Reduce Crime
Larry Pratt

Many so-called “gun control” efforts are nothing more than feel-good, public relations schemes for which there isn’t the slightest evidence that they work, which is to say that they do not reduce crimes committed with guns.

Take, for example, a recent “buy back” program in Atlanta, Georgia, where the city, using private funds, would buy guns ($50 each, no limit on the number of guns bought) from anybody, no questions asked. In this particular program, which lasted four hours, 520 guns were purchased for a total cost of $26,000.

Now, the first thing wrong, and stupid, about such a program as this is that, obviously– since no questions are asked– this is a financial incentive for people to steal guns, sell them and make some quick cash. And, perhaps, a lot of cash with no limit on the number of guns the city would buy.

Was this possibility considered in Atlanta? Well, no it was not, according to Bonni Ware, Community Affairs Manager in the office of Mayor Bill Campbell who supervised this program. In an interview, when asked if buying guns with no questions asked might not be an incentive to steal guns?, she says this possibility never occurred to her: “It did not. I guess any program you have could have some sort of improprieties.”

At this point, Ware was asked why those who turned in firearms were not required to prove that they were, in fact, the real owners, as this would greatly reduce the likelihood that stolen weapons would be purchased. The idea of government officials running background checks on its citizens is certainly an idea that is repugnant to the Constitution. But as long as officials like Ms. Ware are conducting a buy-back program for guns– an idea that is also contrary to sound constitutional doctrine– why should they draw the line at a solution that might keep criminals from stealing guns and then cashing them in?

So, why wasn’t such proof of ownership required before any gun was paid for? Ware says: “Because we don’t want people to fear coming to City Hall to turn in their weapons and fear that they may be incarcerated for coming down.”

Now, this is a truly amazing statement. Because what Ware is saying, in so many words, is that they wanted to protect any possible criminals who were turning in guns! She’s saying that any such background check might have discovered that some turning weapons in were criminals who should be jailed. So, no such check was made.

It is, of course, highly doubtful that any criminals would be voluntarily giving up their guns, right? Right. And even Ware seems to agree. She says: “Maybe not. That’s why they’re criminals, because they don’t obey the law.” Exactly.

Still, Ware insists her program was an “overwhelming success.” How so? Because, she says, there are 520 less guns on the streets of Atlanta “and this makes it less likely that people will be killed from dangerous weapons.” But, more guns doesn’t, necessarily, mean more crime. Besides, as Ware has said, they have no idea who, exactly, was selling them guns, much less whether these guns had been “on the street,” in homes or where they had been.

When asked about the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the right of people to bear arms, and defend themselves– particularly poor people in the inner city where the crime rate is high– Ware says: “Well, you know, we’re hoping we can appeal to peoples’ sense of trying to find other ways of solving their differences rather than using guns.”

Great. But, what about this Constitutional right to have guns? Is she against people using guns in self-defense? She’s already admitted that the crooks aren’t turning in their guns. “I’m not in favor of guns, period,” she replies. “I’m not an advocate of guns, period.”

So, here we have it, at last. This is the real agenda of the gun-grabbers. They are against guns– all guns– periods. And they couldn’t care less about what our Constitution allows.