Monday, June 6, 2011

Desperate Muskegon Police, Religious, and Community Leaders Openly Admit Folly of Their Upcoming Gun Buy-Back Scheme

An online news story today is reporting that Muskegon police, religious, and community leaders have scheduled a gun buy-back event to occur on June 25th at a local church. This scheme was hatched, reportedly, as an official response to a spate of violence in that city; there have been five shootings in that region over the past couple of weeks.

In my humble opinion, it is no surprise that a desperate city experiencing a sudden flare-up of violent crime would grasp at any available political straws to explain the phenomenon. After all, we've seen this dog-and-pony show in Detroit as recently as this past winter. Regrettably, the results in the aftermath of this con will be the same there as it has played out here - no impact.

For the gun buy-back scam to work, the city's leadership has to prey upon the ignorance of its citizens. In essence, an inanimate object - a firearm - is to be subtly blamed for the violence. Sure, the actual culprits - the criminals - will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law if they are ever apprehended. However, the 'real' blame for the violence has been projected onto the guns.

Thusly, the inevitable solution being sold as the answer to Muskegon's violence problem is to round up as many guns as possible and destroy them. After all, if guns are the source of the problem then removing as many of them as possible from circulation would make things better.

The dirty little secret about gun buy-backs that the police and the politicians don't want the public to know is that they do not work. Gun buy-backs have never worked anywhere at any point in time and will never work. They have absolutely no effect on crime. Even worse, the time and resources spent on conducting such activities is forever wasted instead of being used to tackle the real issues.

If the Muskegon-area citizens sheepishly go along for the ride, the city's leadership does not have to explain how they have failed their residents' expectation of being kept safe from danger. The real hard work of determining the root cause of the violence and what reasonable and effective steps to quell it will remain undone.

Predictably, the local police department will get their vaunted photo-op with the media cameras in tow. There will be some turned in firearms laid bare for all to see on an otherwise non-descript table. Only among the whispers of the badged arms collectors will it be told that many of the day's booty are old, rusted-out, and inoperable firearms that do not pose a menace to anyone.

The citizens of Muskegon deserve better. If that city's leadership can't come up with a real solution, they should collectively step aside and allow someone with a credible plan an opportunity to serve the public. In the story, the city's leadership was quoted as saying, "they know that the event won't stop the violence, but every little bit helps."

Why would anybody spend man-power, time, and money on a plan that he has already conceded to fail? No credible explanation comes to mind other than desperation.

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