Experts Agree – Gun Buybacks Are Useless and Do Nothing to Prevent Crime
We reported last week that the mayor of Boston was calling for a massive gun buyback program in his city following the accidental shooting death of a nine year old boy.
However, as most of us already knew, it looks like the effectiveness of such programs is highly questionable. Some people (me) might even call those programs things like idiotic, stupid, a waste of taxpayer dollars, asinine, and other similar adjectives.
Today, the Boston Globe has published an article on the ineffectiveness of these programs. Here is are some of the highlights,
“Unfortunately, there is no compelling evidence that gun buyback programs are an effective crime-fighting tool or that they reduce the rates of crime,’’ said Jon Vernick, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research…
…Gun buyback programs have been a staple of urban crime-fighting measures across the country for more than two decades, but a growing body of research has concluded they are ineffective, at best. A 2003 study of buyback programs nationwide by Anthony Braga, a crime specialist who is now a professor at Rutgers University, found that the programs had no impact on gun crime or gun-related injuries, and that the programs do not target guns highly likely to be used in violence…
…Some specialists have criticized such efforts as little more than public relations ploys, letting law enforcement officials display a cache of weapons to give an impression of action in the face of crime.
Maybe now that some of the larger media organizations are putting the truth about these programs out there, law enforcement can actually use those buyback resources to do things that might actually lower violent crime such as reducing gang participation through community outreach and teach gun safety classes to law abiding citizens.
Despite the criticism, I’m sure we’ll see a massive gun buyback program in Boston’s future.