Never underestimate the government’s ability to come up with new, creative ways to waste our money. The latest example of such ingenuity comes courtesy of the municipal Chicago government, which is enacting perhaps the dumbest “gun control” initiative of all time.
On Saturday, the Chicago Police Department hosted an event where locals could turn in guns, no questions asked, and receive $100 gift cards, according to Fox32 Chicago. Residents could also apparently get $10 for turning in “BB-guns, air-guns and replica guns.”
A whopping 103 guns and 19 replica guns were turned in at the event, per Fox Business. According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, that means $10,490 in rewards were given out, presumably funded by taxpayers. And this is reportedly just one of several “gun buyback” events the city has held in recent months.
Chicago police offer to pay people to surrender their guns https://t.co/yOn4tkBwbG
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 4, 2022
What, exactly, is the point of this all?
“Gun turn-ins give the people the ability to turn in a gun with no questions asked,” Chicago PD official Glen Brooks argues. “We’re not asking whether the gun was found, whether it was left, whether you inherited it, it does not matter. What matters is that you do whatever you can to make yourself and your family safer.” (Emphasis added).
This is painfully stupid, for a number of reasons.
For one, why the heck does the program include toy and replica guns? Little Timmy’s airsoft rifle is not going to be used in a mass shooting any time soon… and we’re not somehow safer with more toy guns off the streets. Even if the amount is relatively small, it’s indefensible to use taxpayer money to buy up and destroy toys. But even as applied to real guns this program is foolish.
Think about it like this. Broadly speaking, there are two categories of gun owners. There are the law-abiding, upstanding citizens who own guns and use them hundreds of thousands of times annually in lawful self-defense. And then there are the dangerous criminals or deranged potential mass shootings who own guns.
A community event like this is exclusively going to take guns out of the hands of the first group—not the second. So, it does nothing to make us any safer, because the people it disarms aren’t the ones we should be afraid of. You could even argue it makes us less safe because there will be fewer armed good guys in the area.
That’s right: Chicago police managed to waste thousands of dollars on a dumb event that arguably made the public less safe. And that’s sadly representative of most naive gun control efforts.