Monday, January 12, 2009
RECESSION UPDATE II : GUNS FOR CASH
I've always had a problem with gun buy back programs. They take guns out of the hands of good people and not the bad guys. But, now that the economy is sucking wind, I think even the bad guys are unloading their weapons for hard, cold cash.
So these programs may not be so bad, at least not now. People have all sorts of reasons to turn in their guns, but given the success of the NYPD's buyback program in Staten Island, I'm convinced the economy might have played a role.
Per-capita, the police department says, Staten Island residents turned in the most weapons. They included a bright pink rifle, two sawed off shotguns and an AK-47 assault rifle. The city paid out over $70,000 to those who dropped off the 352 guns at a pair of Staten Island churches. In exchange, they got $200 bank cards.
If you're not a criminal, why would you have a sawed-off shotgun? Maybe a collector had the AK-47. Not sure about that bright pink rifle, though. A majority of the guns were handguns, rifles and regular shotguns, the sort of weapons everyday citizens have in their homes. I've often said a program designed to get guns out of the hands of criminals would work better, if you exchanged something they could use like crack cocaine. Turn in a gun, get a rock of crack! But, this is a good sign. I'm encouraged that the sort of guns criminals like to tote around are now coming off the streets. That's one positive effect of the ailing economy, I suppose.