Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Gun Buy-Back Fantasies Of Detroit Police Department (DPD) Chief Ralph Godbee

The Detroit Police Department (DPD) has announced that they will be conducting yet another gun "buy-back" event this week at a local church. As such, the police will be paying people as little as $25 for any unwanted firearms - regardless of how much they are actually worth - that are turned in to them without asking any questions such as who legally owns the guns, how the person turning the guns over to police actually acquired possession of them, and whether the guns were recently used in a crime.

The police, if they follow policies done at previous "buy-backs," will not attempt to identify the firearm's lawful owner where possible, despite the fact that every registered handgun has the last legal buyer's personal information in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) Database.

Instead of returning the stolen property, the Detroit Police Department will have the firearms destroyed. Apparently, firearms upon their theft from their rightful owners become "evil" and can't be rehabilitated. So, the firearms will have their due process rights trampled upon and be sentenced to death. The demonic spirits will be summarily exorcised by sending the guns to Lansing for eventual destruction.

This "gun-grab" event has been endorsed by current DPD Chief Ralph Godbee who, at last week's Board of Police Commissioners Meeting in southwest Detroit, informed me of several unspecified studies which concluded that criminals get their guns from robberies of homes.

Thus, Godbee's strategy of disarming criminals who rob, rape, and murder in Detroit is based upon disarming the households of law-abiding Detroit citizens. If all the homes in Detroit do not have guns in them, then the criminals who operate in Detroit won't have any guns. If you follow this fantasy far enough, you will reach the ridiculous conclusion that violent crime in Detroit would plummet simply because violent predators would now be helplessly and permanently disarmed.

I have not heard of such a stunning departure from logic since his predecessor - Warren Evans - astonished citizens of Detroit with his justification for towing and impounding cars which were being driven with invalid Driver's Licenses.

Evans had looked over the results of his department's statistical crime-fighting numbers and reached the conclusion that 30% of the drive-by shootings in Detroit were done by people without a valid license. One the very first day of the program, a drive-by shooting was published in the local newspaper. Even Stevie Wonder could have seen that initiative's impending failure looming on the horizon.

Furthermore, in the same conversation Godbee incredulously proclaimed that he was pro-gun. In my humble opinion, conducting gun buy-back events is not exactly the type of thing that a pro-gun person does. A pro-gun person, in my view, trusts law-abiding citizens with firearms.

Political ideology aside, the true merit of an activity should be based on the results. I have heard the word "insanity" defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. And so it goes with these gun "buy-backs," as they have never worked anywhere, will not work in Detroit, and will never work anywhere else.

If the incredulous "buy-back" beliefs and fantasies of Godbee were true, he could prove to us how successful his last gun buy-back event was a few months ago. He won't simply because he can't. This event is merely a "dog-and-pony" show where DPD can say they are doing something, even if noted authorities such as the US Federal Government acknowledges that gun "buy-backs" don't work.

On October 28, 1999, United States House of Representatives conducted a Oversight Hearing on the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Program. In this study, the federal government itself stated "Several scientific studies have shown that gun buybacks do not work. It is a sellout to doing what works to make news, not public safety."

DPD Chief Ralph Godbee is either misinformed about the effectiveness of gun buy-backs or he's lying to us.
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