Another ‘It’s So Crazy, It Just Might Work” Gun Safety Proposal…

Matt Miller, in the Washington Post, suggests we “Buy back guns, boost the economy“:

… This past Mother’s Day, a buyback program in Los Angeles brought in 1,650 guns, each in exchange for a prepaid Visa or grocery-store card of up to $200, depending on the gun. Police departments in the District, New York, Detroit, Boston, Baltimore and elsewhere have organized such buybacks, often partnering with churches in communities devastated by gun violence.

Each of these buybacks has been small. But the only limit to their scale is our imagination. Australia’s experience shows what it looks like when you aim high…

The government purchased and destroyed 700,000 weapons between 1996 and 1998 – about one-fifth of Australia’s estimated stock of firearms. That would be like destroying 50 million guns in America today.

The Australian “outlaw and repurchase” option is one approach. But if Congress balks at banning certain weapons entirely, there’s an all-American answer: Make gun owners an offer they can’t refuse. Instead of a measly $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500. After all, overpaying powerful constituencies to achieve public policy goals is a time-honored American tradition; we do it every day with Medicare drug benefits and defense contractors, to name just two.

So imagine a $100 billion, one-time program aimed at buying back 200 million firearms at $500 a pop. We issue the payments in prepaid credit cards that expire in three months (good thinking, Los Angeles!) to be sure the money is spent fast.

Presto! So long as the federal money is borrowed, we get an immediate boost to demand, jobs and growth. And with long-term interest rates at all-time lows, there’s never been a better time for the feds to overpay gun owners and get these weapons out of circulation. The president can even pitch selling a gun to Uncle Sam as a patriotic act — part of a national rethinking of our gun culture in the wake of Newtown…

95 replies
  1. 1
    Lee says:

    I like it.

    Couple it with mandatory liability insurance for all firearms.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    So imagine a $100 billion, one-time program aimed at buying back 200 million firearms at $500 a pop.

    I doubt they could suffer the indescribably angelic scorn aimai has for them.

  3. 3
    RobertDSC-PowerMac 466 says:

    A couple of /k/ (read: gun nut) folks I know panned this option as $500 being too low for some of the weapons they own.

    Feh.

    Besides, if Fuckup Bloomberg wants to put his money where his mouth is, he should pony up the funds for this personally. Gratis.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    And $500? What are you doing, buying Kars or Rugers?

  5. 5
    👽 Martin says:

    Instead of a measly $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500.

    Um. I can buy a gun for less than $500. Why wouldn’t I empty WalMart and then earn a profit? That doesn’t take guns out of anyone’s hands but the retailers.

    Doing that at the tail end of a registration database makes a lot more sense as the database would serve as the deterrent/moderating factor in such a scheme.

    Or $500, but you give up gun ownership (lose your license) for 3 years. Something like that.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    Megan McArdle reports that at $50 per gun, buying back 50 million guns will only be $250,000.

  7. 7
    JasonF says:

    $500 may be high enough that a person could buy a gun at retail, trade it in, and turn a profit. So you’d probably want to put some sort of limit on that.

  8. 8
    Aimai says:

    It’s like being followed around by a nervous teenage boy with a crush. I’m flattered, corner stone. But I’m happily married.

  9. 9
    catperson says:

    Unless this is coupled with increased restrictions on buying guns, it’s just a way to drive gun sales. We have too many guns in homes/on the streets for something like this to be effective without massive (and unlikely)gun bans. And given the gun fetishism/paranoia in this country, even with a ban, fewer people would be willing to sell back their guns.

  10. 10
    jeff says:

    $500?? So taxpayers will give me 5 times the value of my gun and let me go buy a Mossberg or something? That’s so stupid that the NRA might like it.

  11. 11
    amorphous says:

    @JasonF: @👽 Martin: You could first start a national registration program wherein the buy back only applies to already “existing” guns.

  12. 12

    Yeah, it’s a good idea. But make it ongoing, so the benefits can be continued. Kids can make a couple of bucks on Grampa’s old guns!

    The LA buy-back also netted a couple of rocket launchers. Inoperative, to be sure, but still….

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Aimai: Feel sorry for that poor bastard. When you ask where the grocery money went do you consider maybe a Leprechaun snuck in and stole it? Has about as much factual basis as all your other assertions lately.

  14. 14
  15. 15

    These buy backs have been done before by cities. Do they do any good, or is it just PR?

  16. 16
    gnomedad says:

    News item: spike in sales of $400 guns.

  17. 17

    @catperson:

    You kind of ignore that this actually WORKED in LA.

    Also, I would think the 500 bones would be an average. 200 or 300 for handguns, more for rifles and shotguns, more for semi-auto rifles. It’s not that hard to figure out.

  18. 18
    redshirt says:

    Hi! I’m EDDY, founder of CRAZY EDDIES! Do you have guns for sale?! I’LL BUY THEM! $100’s of dollars GUARANTEED in YOUR POCKET! Just call 1-900-354-8730 for more information. $20 per minute by the way. :)

  19. 19
    whidby says:

    This is a WONDERFUL idea. I’ve sold several firearms during gun buy-backs.

  20. 20
    whidby says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: I believe that the “rocket launchers” were basically empty aluminium tubes used to launch TOWs. They’re disposable, IIRC. Once you shoot the missile, you just toss the tube. I could be wrong about that.

    They sure mades lots of headlines, though.

    If anyone wants to get an idea of the potential results of a national gun buy back program, go on gunbroker.com and search for guns and then sort by price low to high.

  21. 21
    catperson says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: You may be right; I’m unfamiliar with the LA buyback. By what measure was it effective? Greater reduction in gun-related crime relative to the general decline observed nationwide? Or just that they bought back a lot of guns?

  22. 22
    Gravenstone says:

    These threads bring out the most interesting Google ads. Top banner is for body armor, while one of the side ads appears to be for a combination flashlight/laser designator. Funky…

  23. 23
    Anne Laurie says:

    @RobertDSC-PowerMac 466:

    A couple of /k/ (read: gun nut) folks I know panned this option as $500 being too low for some of the weapons they own.

    It wouldn’t be enough for the “serious collector” (paranoid) people. But like the LA buyback, we could clear up a lot of “grampa’s gun” weapons that people hang onto because they feel they should be worth something, or they’re not sure how to dispose of them safely. (Raise hands, all readers who’ve been tasked with cleaning out the parents’ / older kinfolks’ / siblings’ living spaces when they go into nursing homes or die.) And I have the feeling these “incidental” guns are the ones responsible for most of the suicides, domestic arguments, and children-accidentally-killing-themselves-or-their-peers tragedies. Five hundred dollars, you can get an iPad or a pretty good game system, instead of hanging onto that WWII souvenir or hunting rifle nobody’s used in the last decade…

  24. 24
    scav says:

    Well, people that have adequate cash and/or fanaticism can sell their old guns and buy new ones, while people with fewer resources and less abject devotion buy groceries etc. with the money. Seems like a side effect is getting new guns sold to the “right” kind of owners and fewer in the hands of what they’d consider the “wrong” a..k.a. poorer ones. Have they suggested that being escorted around stores by a dedicated safety escort with a gun pointed at your head is a job creater that also brings us closer to that universally armed polite society nirvana? Snipers in school grounds (outsourced from the company formerly known as a lot of things by now?) instead of teachers is also a job-creator and avoids the whole armed union problem. Let’s all be crazy together.

  25. 25
    JoyceH says:

    I honestly don’t see much point of buying guns as long as they’re still being manufactured and sold. It’s like bailing a boat without fixing the leak. You have to keep bailing forever and you can’t keep up with the leak.

    Why don’t we just pay the manufacturers not to make the guns in the first place? Like paying farmers not to grow crops, which sounds stupid, but we do it.

  26. 26
    catperson says:

    @Anne Laurie: I don’t have stats but anecdote leads me to believe that most legacy guns are rifles/shotguns (and apparently the occasional rocket launcher!) while most crimes are done with handguns. (At least in California http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/fi.....ort_10.pdf )

    I think a mandatory gun buyback combined with real limitations on gun purchases can be effective (like in Australia) but the sheer numbers in the US combined with cultural gun fetishism means that these buybacks are just cost-ineffective shows.

  27. 27
    whidby says:

    @Anne Laurie: This is true. When I went to one gun buyback I stood in line behind a very nice old lady who was there to get rid of her deceased husband’s Weatherby rifles. I would have given her a lot more than $100 for those …

    Most police departments will also accept any guns you want to surrender to them. I did this once with a rifle where I botched the trigger job so it really wasn’t safe to shoot so I couldn’t sell it to anyone.

  28. 28
    catperson says:

    @JoyceH:

    Why don’t we just pay the manufacturers not to make the guns in the first place? Like paying farmers not to grow crops, which sounds stupid, but we do it.

    That’s kind of genius. It makes me angry, but it’s the one thing that might kind of work.

  29. 29
    nathaniel says:

    Besides people buying cheaper guns and getting the 500 bucks (much less dealers who have significant inventory of cheap guns), you still wouldn’t get any number of guns that cost more then that. How many people would use that 500 dollars to buy a new gun?

    I support buy backs, but I don’t think a nation wide one works unless you have a ban on guns.

  30. 30
    scav says:

    On its own, I just worry it only nibbles at the edges of the problem and might work as an empty calorie substitute for real, necessarily more contentious, efforts.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    or hunting rifle nobody’s used in the last decade…

    I would love to have a chance to see these.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @whidby:

    I stood in line behind a very nice old lady who was there to get rid of her deceased husband’s Weatherby rifles.

    [Homer making donut noises]
    You couldn’t make her an offer?

  33. 33
    whidby says:

    @Corner Stone: I would have if I had the chance. I didn’t see what they were until she put them on the table. I felt sorry for her – she was so scared of them that she didn’t even want to uncase them so she had the officers do that.

    And shame on her husband for not telling her how much they were worth so she could have sold them at a decent price.

    Leupold scopes on both of them, too.

  34. 34
    El Cid says:

    Right, and, then, right after that, the UN black helicopters start landing and forcing us all to have gay abortions under Shari’a law.

  35. 35

    @whidby:

    Glad you have less arsenal, actually.

  36. 36

    @catperson:

    I think it is irrefutable that there were less guns floating around.

  37. 37
  38. 38

    @JoyceH:

    QFT.

    But we need to push several angles on this. and while registration and closing of guns how/private sales loopholes is good to stopgap the free flow of murderous metal, the buy backs are also a good way to reduce the numbers of murder tools out in the natural world.

  39. 39
    MikeJ says:

    At one time the very best liberal solution to slavery was to buy them all.

    We ultimately came up with a different way to fix the problem.

  40. 40

    @JoyceH:

    But that’s like saying you don’t see the point in anti-drunk driving laws as long as alcohol is still being produced.

  41. 41

    I would have given her a lot more than $100 for those …

    Looks like the Free Market was not performing to spec, eh?

  42. 42
    catperson says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: No, it’s not if manufacture and sale increase as a response. But regardless, the point of this policy is to decrease crime, right? So to show it’s an effective policy, one needs to demonstrate a policy response.

    If it worked, I’d support it. But just saying they bought a lot of guns is not the same as it working.

  43. 43

    @scav:

    nibbling at the edges of the problem is better that what we’ve been doing for 50 years.

  44. 44
    shecky says:

    No… this is kind of a stupid idea.

    I’m quite familiar with L.A. gun buybacks we’ve had over the years. They’re successful at getting folks to trade various guns they have no use for. If that’s the measure of success, may as well have buybacks of old toothbrushes

    What’s not clear, and doesn’t seem likely, is that buybacks have any effect on crime. Which, it seems necessary to point out, is the goal here.

  45. 45

    @catperson:
    No, it’s not if manufacture and sale increase as a response.

    But that is only true if the gun sellers go out and replace the guns immediately after, and there’s no evidence that that happens; and if the buyback is set at below market rates for new weapons, it is silly to think someone is going to sell a gun and buy a new one at a loss. And if they were going to buy a new gun anyway, then it still gets a gun out of circulation; but moreover, it takes a gun out of the third party/ gun show circulation, where it disappears from registration. Which is where criminal guns come from.

  46. 46
    scav says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: the govt buying all the alcohol in your house if you own a car (especially on a one-time basis) isn’t exactly going to curb drunken motoring all on its lonesome.

    and @zombie rotten mcdonald, at this point in time, if it gets in the way of real change, it’s a net loss. Or do you really think it’s good enough to stop running after ten yards, no matter where the opposing team members are?

  47. 47

    @shecky:

    I agree that there isn’t a demonstrated effect; however, I will continue to maintain that even removing guns that someone has ‘no use for’ has beneficial aspects. Not only does it remove aged weapons from housholds where accidental use might be dangerous, but it helps pull them out of the non-registered gun stream, where a lot of criminal weapons come from. Not to mention helping to reduce a source of weapons used for suicides.

    What HAS been demonstrated, in a way that most folks outside of gun fetishists, is that more guns = more deaths. It’s a simple equation and if there are fewer guns, there will be fewer deaths.

  48. 48
    catperson says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: You seem to be missing my point–the point of these policies is to decrease gun crime so using the # of guns bought instead of the # of gun crimes to measure response is not an accurate (or honest) measure of the policy.

    Show me that gun buybacks reduce gun crime and I’ll be on board. Otherwise it seems like an expensive boondoggle and at worst a way for people to subsidize their purchase of large volume magazines by turning in obsolete guns.

  49. 49
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @RobertDSC-PowerMac 466:

    A couple of /k/ (read: gun nut) folks I know panned this option as $500 being too low for some of the weapons they own.

    Tough fucking shit.

    @shecky:

    They’re successful at getting folks to trade various guns they have no use for.

    Well, good. A gun that you have no use for is a gun that is better off not in your home.

  50. 50
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    Coming at it from the “Tax the ammo!” direction: Chris Rock’s $5000 a round is obviously unworkable, but how about a deposit of $50 a round, and have people bring in their spent cartridges—with their hammer-marks on them—when they buy new ammo at the regular price; otherwise, $50 a round tax. Hell $10 would probably make a difference.

    And you wouldn’t even have to keep records of the hammer-marks—the nuts would think you were anyway!

  51. 51

    @scav:

    the govt buying all the alcohol in your house if you own a car

    Not even close to equivalent. because, to be perfectly plain, nobody is trying to propose the total elimination of guns in a house or over the country.

    at this point in time, if it gets in the way of real change, it’s a net loss.

    Classic ‘perfect is the enemy of the good’, or “lesser evilism” arguments. So if we CAN achieve something that advances our goals, but it is not the final goal, then we shouldn’t even try? Is Jill Stein your goddess?

  52. 52
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    In this thread, all the NRA defenders answer the signal from the gun-shaped silhouette from the searchlight (to the Well-Armed Militiamobile!) and denounce any attempt to solve a serious problem in the U.S.

  53. 53
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @catperson:

    the point of these policies is to decrease gun crime

    Small, localised ones might have that intent. Broader buybacks encompass the role of guns in suicides and accidents, the “just sitting around, don’t know what to do with them” guns.

    @whidby: stop fapping in public.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: i don’t know who the hell she is, but I’ve a fair guess You’re rooting for the least possible mileage on this down.

  55. 55
    scav says:

    in short, as usually, we’ve probably reached the blah blah blah stage of gun thread saturation.

  56. 56
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Lee:

    Couple it with mandatory liability insurance for all firearms.

    That’s just what I was going to write. If drivers must carry insurance against injuries arising from auto ownership, why shouldn’t gun owners be required to carry insurance against injuries arising from gun ownership? Also too, let the free market decide whether guns increase safety. Right, Republicans?

  57. 57
    Gex says:

    A fan of Cathy Ladman’s responded to a Facebook post saying how gun laws are “emasculating.” He owns no guns. He also didn’t disagree with background checks, mental health checks, or closing the gun show loophole.

    So long as your average American male thinks about his dick and his insecurities when we talk about guns and not about public policy regarding a product safety issue, we’re fucked. The cult of machismo that swoons for Commander Codpiece will never go for this.

  58. 58

    @catperson:
    You seem to be missing my point–the point of these policies is to decrease gun crime so using the # of guns bought instead of the # of gun crimes to measure response is not an accurate (or honest) measure of the policy.

    No I understood your point.

    My POV is that the correlation is that more guns=more deaths. I don’t give a shit about waiting to see if there is some kind of statistical bullshit we can base it on. Because, dude, last month 20 KIDS DIED IN A FUCKING GUN SLAUGHTER. It is WAY past time to do something about it, and to me, I think being all wibbley wobbley about the various edges of the issue is nothing more than abetting the gun manufacturing lobby.

    Yeah, it’s knee jerk. Yah, it’s throwing unproven solutions out there.

    20 SMALL CHILDREN DIED.

    and since that date, over 400 people have died in firearm deaths.

    RIGHT THE HELL now, I think the best policy is to reduce the numbers of firearms in our country. Buybacks.

    And then things like background checks and limitation of gun show sales and third party sales.

    The data indicates that in general, fewer guns= fewer deaths. Lets start from there. And if we do it quickly enough, perhaps there will be fewer parents mourning the deaths of their children this year.

  59. 59

    @scav:
    i don’t know who the hell she is,

    Gosh, if only you had access to a database, and a search algorithm that you could use to figure it our.

  60. 60
    kathy a. says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: yes. getting some guns out of the stream is to the good.

    the gun buy-backs i have heard about have not paid so much. i think in LA, it was a sliding scale up to a certain limit, but it got unwanted guns out of circulation — without being enough of an incentive that people bought new just to trade them in.

    someone who ends up with guns and doesn’t want them — it’s not so easy figuring out how to unload the damned things. getting a little cash in the pocket, plus not having to worry about them anymore — that might sound just about right to a lot of people, as it did in LA.

  61. 61
    kathy a. says:

    @kathy a.: by “unload,” i meant “get rid of.” but the other meaning might apply, too.

  62. 62
    whidby says:

    @zombie rotten mcdonald: Oh yes, why don’t people realize that children are the future?

  63. 63
    Ash Can says:

    @whidby: You couldn’t make a better argument for the outright banning of firearms if you tried. If it’s at all possible for a gun-ownership advocate to present an argument without coming off as a narcissistic sociopath, I sure as hell haven’t seen any indication of it here. And you wonder why we treat you like a pariah and have no respect for your little hobby. You make it clear that you believe your own enjoyment and convenienceIs far more important to you than loss of innocent life nationwide of epidemic proportions. That’s indefensible, and profoundly fucked up.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @MikeJ:

    At one time the very best liberal solution to slavery was to buy them all.
    We ultimately came up with a different way to fix the problem.

    I think most people would agree the solution we arrived at was worse in almost every way than compensated emancipation would have been. I’ll take spending a bunch of money over a massive war any day.

  65. 65
    Tom Harvey says:

    Effective gun insurance that will protect everyone and be a minimal burden on gun owners is possible. The problems are real but solutions exist that will cover lost, stolen and diverted firearms. The costs can be kept to normal insurance margins over the risks that are really there. It will require designing a system with care but the insurance industry has done that many times. About $57 a gun on the average would be enough to pay for no-fault insurance covering all guns even stolen ones with a $200,000 death benefit. Calculations are on my blog. http://www.guninsuranceblog.com @guninsurblog

  66. 66
    karen marie says:

    @Lee: Screw buybacks. Mandatory licensing and insuring, as with automobiles is the only effective way, IMO. To drive a car I have to prove through licensing that I’m capable of safely driving and I have to insure against any accidents I might have. The safest driver in the world is not immune against accident. Guns are no different.

    Unfortunately, it means that poor people wouldn’t really have the same “Second Amendment right” as rich people, but poor people don’t have the same “right” to anything that rich people do, so unless you think the zombie apocalypse is a real, near-term threat, it’s not really an issue.

  67. 67
    Felonius Monk says:

    Bullshit on all of this. The only way there will ever be any kind of meaningful prohibition of assault weapons and high capacity magazines is to make a serious, concentrated effort to REPEAL the 2nd Amendment. Then we might make some progress.

  68. 68
    Gex says:

    @Roger Moore: Including the perpetual beef about government taking things from white men.

  69. 69
    whidby says:

    @Ash Can: It’s really not surprising that this country is as fucked up as it is when people leap at asinine solutions to serious problems.

    “But, but, but, I really *care* about dead children so any idea I squirt out my ass must be a good idea, right?”

    And anyone who dares to suggest that spending a 100 billion dollars to buy back guns might not be a good idea is obviously a psychopath, right? Or wait, what was the diagnosis, again.

    Spare me.

  70. 70
    whidby says:

    @Felonius Monk: That makes a hell of a lot more sense than some hare brained gun buyback scheme.

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @whidby:

    It always amazes me when people actually brag about defrauding the government. Let me guess, you also faked an injury to get worker’s comp money because, hey, it was the government’s fault for letting themselves be defrauded.

  72. 72
    Joey Maloney says:

    Isn’t it the case that the Los Angeles buyback program didn’t give cash, but VISA cash cards with a 3-month expiration?

    Seems you could easily set it up to pay in cards that couldn’t be used to purchase more weapons, just like you can’t buy booze with your EBT card.

    And, yes, that could of course lead to a secondary market in the cards with desparate gun-goons selling them for fifty cents on the dollar or whatever – but look, no matter what system you set up, someone’s going to game it somehow.

  73. 73
    TS says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Bullshit on all of this. The only way there will ever be any kind of meaningful prohibition of assault weapons and high capacity magazines is to make a serious, concentrated effort to REPEAL the 2nd Amendment. Then we might make some progress.

    So because this is so unlikely to happen we should sit around and talk bs on the internet – and the next time 20 children die in 3 minutes because a lunatic with a gun uses them for target practice we can cry like Boehner and say the only thing that will help is the repeal of the 2nd amendment.

  74. 74

    make gun sales, not possession, illegal
    We should go way beyond ALL gun sales having background checks; assigning liability to every gun, saddling every owner with that until the gun is terminated by being turned into authorities for destruction. So, sales become risky, as you don’t sell the liability – it sticks with you, making you responsible for letting that gun go. Improperly secured stolen guns retain responsibility.
    We should make EVERY sale of semi-auto guns illegal. This will shut down the churning market. It will immediately reduce the value of every semi-auto in existence to near zero. Since I don’t believe pasty-white young gameBOYS have good links to an underground gun market, they will not be able to find many guns.
    Ammo clips should have limited capacity. Make a free, anonymous exchange, then criminalize the large clips.
    I bet we can identify misfits through their efforts to find theses guns – since they start as misfits within a secure society and try to delve into the hastily created underground. Should be easy pickings for the ATF narks. Heck, I bet criminal gun sellers would turn in (anonymously) most of their encounters with these losers!
    Gun ownership is still legal, but their circulation is ended.

  75. 75
    whidby says:

    @Mnemosyne: Do you have that link to the post where I distilled your repeated dishonest postings?

    If so, could you link to that? I don’t have it handy.

    Thanks.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    look, no matter what system you set up, someone’s going to game it somehow

    It always amazes me how many conservatives believe that if someone, somewhere has figured out how to exploit a loophole to commit a crime, that means that the entire system should be done away with.

    I mean, if that’s the case, then credit cards should be banned and we should all return to a cash-only economy, because the fact that some people have figured out how to commit credit card fraud proves that even trying to prevent fraud or prosecuting it is completely useless.

  77. 77
    Mnemosyne says:

    @whidby:

    Oh, sorry, did I put your little scheme to defraud the government of taxpayer money by buying up guns and turning them in into jeopardy by pointing out that you’re bragging to all of us about how you’re planning to defraud the government?

    But, please, go ahead and re-post your supposed fisking of me. Everyone loves it, especially since you keep saying the same things that I was supposedly lying about you saying.

  78. 78
    whidby says:

    @Richard W. Crews: So your proposal is that people who already own semi-automatics would get to keep them, absent high capacity magazines?

    That would be fine with me. I suspect there might be some problems getting that through the House, but stranger things have happened.

  79. 79
    taco bob says:

    @Roger Moore: Now now, we all know the problem with the Civil War is we didn’t hang all the civilians of the Confederate government for treason.

  80. 80
    El Cid says:

    The sorts of actions likely reduce the incidence and lethality of mass shootings are likely to be very different from the sorts of actions likely to reduce the incidence and lethality of other types of homicides.

    Some policies and actions might positively affect multiple types of homicides — depending as ever upon their real-world effectiveness.

    It could be the case that whatever effective ways could be found to reduce the availability of certain rapid-fire semi-automatic firearms and high capacity ammunition magazines may reduce the number or deadliness of the homicide-suicide events known as “mass shootings” without significantly reducing the much more common homicides of individuals (mostly male) killing women and those around them (often including children) with whom they are or have been romantically involved.

  81. 81
    Petorado says:

    What this nation needs is a change of attitude about guns and the perception that the more guns that are out there the safer we all are. Registries, tracking existing arms, liability insurance, more restrictive laws, and other devices can change how we as a nation view guns. I think the NRA rhetoric that guns solve problems, rather than being the problem, enforces how the public looks at the proliferation of weapons. When we can start looking at possessing a Bushmaster as being pretty f-ing weird, and not what Thomas Jefferson intended, we’ll be on the road to national recovery. Our understanding has to change that a 30-round magazine is insane for any old fool to possess, rather than being a Jesus-dictated right. If our mindset changes, the body politic will follow.

  82. 82
    JoyceH says:

    @Petorado:

    What this nation needs is a change of attitude about guns and the perception that the more guns that are out there the safer we all are.

    Absolutely! And this is something that doesn’t require government action, which is a plus considering the government we’ve got right now. People need to be educated that a gun might make you feel safer, but it actually makes you less safe, significantly so. That can be done in lunch room conversations, in letters to the editor. We need to nag the news media that we don’t want the gun topic to go away. If you have kids, don’t let them play in homes of gun owners. If your locality hosts gun shows, go after your local government to stop issuing permits for them.

    Look, just because we CAN own guns doesn’t mean we HAVE to own guns. And if fewer guns are purchased, fewer guns will be manufactured.

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    Dave says:

    $500 per gun is still below fair market value. How many of the weapons bought back are even functional?

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    John of Indiana says:

    Oh, boy, a $500 Walmart gift card in exchange for my $1,000 M-1 Garand…

    I don’t think so.

  85. 85
    brantl says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m just curious, have you always been a shit-sucker? It seems likely, to me.

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John of Indiana: Well, once you figure that such a program wouldn’t be aimed at removing every firearm from every owner in the US, it might make a bit more sense. Jesus.

  87. 87
    Lee says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Some people can’t help the stupid.

  88. 88
    Pococurante says:

    Until we close gun show loopholes and tighten up licensing/insurance… all gun buybacks accomplish is stimulating the gun industry.

    @zombie rotten mcdonald:

    Looks like the Free Market was not performing to spec, eh?

    Government picking winners and losers… ;-)

  89. 89
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Dave:

    How many of the weapons bought back are even functional?

    How many “non-functional” weapons unexpectedly become functional each year, making their owners (or their owners’ kids) less functional?

  90. 90
    LanceThruster says:

    I feel, to a large extent, the problem is not the weaponry itself. I have a Ruger Mini-14 with a high capacity clip that has the same firepower as the Bushmaster. I am not the problem either.

    Part of this discussion is as if (and I feel that the connection is ironic indeed) the argument is that men with big penises have raped, so therefore all big penises will be cut off for safety (except those with a special exemption). No one is taking away the military’s firepower because Sgt. Bales used his to murder civilians, including children (allegedly – I think he’s been made a scapegoat for something bigger).

    I’ve never owned a replica weapon in my life, but I state here and now I’m willing to render ALL my “offending weapons” (i.e. whatever is deemed too deadly in civilian hands) non-functional (what’s the best, most irreversible way to do that?) if my government unilaterally disables their nuclear arsenal on the chance that any use of these weapons whatsover would constitute murder far above the level of Newtown that supposedly “changes everything.”

    While they’re at it, make the goddamn Israelis admit to their nuclear weapons and ditch them too, or not another thin dime. Would any other progressive gun owners join in on this campaign? I’d add the end of indiscriminent use of drones too, but don’t want to weight it down with too many stipulations.

    And for the record I wasn’t throwing that out as an all or nothing anyway. It’s more along the lines of teaching children to kill is wrong and having capital punishment at the same time.

    It’s just upping the ante. You wanna talk safety of potential victims with the likelihood of being actually attacked? How many Newtowns equal Iraq? And that’s without nukes. They wanna talk the talk about safety from such horrific harm, they can put that on the table to show put-up or shut up. Like I asked before, what’s the most effective way to permanently disable a firearm to make it a replica/non-operating only?

    If it’s all about capacity and rapid fire that has to go, I’d love one of those survival rifles that has a single shot .22 (your choice of variation) and a single shot shotgun chamber. That would be the trade-off for universal disarmament. There’s a Henry’s survival rifle of a similar configuration (no shotgun IIRC) but it folds into the stock so I imagine that would feel like it was falling into handgun/concealed weapon territory.

    No nukes and no assault arsenals sounds pretty sweet. Part of this battle will be waged with PR. Open big and dial back from there.

    The other part, and I think this is a slightly more difficult though not unthinkable hypothetical…

    What would cause you personally to rebel against the government?

    For some in the right wing, I’m sad to say it might be as little taking god out of the pledge or off the money. For left of right wing? I really don’t know. Stolen election 2000 seemed pretty close. 9/11 mythology comes pretty close. Mass drone slaughter as 9/11 protection seems pretty close. But I don’t think it will ever happen. We’ve become the frogs of the story in slowly boiling water, too sluggish to get out.

    I pose the question again — what would be the “They’ve gone too far!” and you felt compelled to take up arms, and join forces with others doing the same? How bad would it hypothetically have to get?

    Buehler?

  91. 91
    LanceThruster says:

    @John of Indiana:

    At one time, the state of CA wanted to “give” me $125 for my $250+ SKS. Such a deal! Fortunately, it did not have the requisite 3 attributes that would have sent it into “assault weapon” category (pistol grip stock, detachable mag, flash suppressor, or folding bayonet). I had a folding bayonet and high capacity fixed mag.

    I actually had at one time a fixed 100 round drum magazine but it had an inherent problem of jamming quite regularly, and since it was fixed, made clearing the jam(s) somewhat problamatic.

  92. 92
    Tonal Crow says:

    Not only should gun owners be required to carry liability insurance, but they should also be criminally liable for carrying or operating a firearm while intoxicated, in the same manner a driver is liable for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

  93. 93
    xian says:

    @LanceThruster: in 2000 we should have been in the streets peacefully protesting… bushmasters or other semi-automatic weapons will never overthrow the US government (thank goodness).

  94. 94
    LanceThruster says:

    @xian:

    Depends on who joins the revolution. It think it might get the the point it did in the former Soviet bloc where troops sided with the protesters rather than cover for the oppressors (one can hope).

  95. 95
    LanceThruster says:

    Good article by Sam harris : FAQ on Violence

    Even before reading this, it kept occurring to me the % of guns used in the commission of crimes verses the number of firearms actually in the possession of the US population.

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