Make commerce, not war

I don’t like guns. At all. I am one of those people that secretly wish they were never invented. But trying to get guns off the street with gift cards? I dunno. It’s one of those things that looks kind of progressive and interesting on first glance, but just seems sillier the more I think about it. On one hand, I can imagine someone turning in their gun if they were hard up for cash, but there are so many ramifications. What if people start stealing guns from other people to turn in? What if teenagers grab their parent’s gun to turn in for a quick buck? They say “no questions asked”.

I’m not sure. I can see both sides. What do you think?

(Thanks for the tip, Katie!)

5 Comments so far

  1. Katie (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

    No problem, Lauren. I thought this would be a good place to have this discussion. I know you have a large readership and I think it’s an interesting proposition. It seems that this initiative is mostly aimed at people with illegal guns (hence the don’t ask, don’t tell policy) and even more so at gang members. Now, I ask you: if you were a gang member would you trade in your gun for $100 or participate in other illegal activities to obtain that $100 that required you having your gun? It makes the whole thing sort of sound farcical when you realize the goals. However, I have never owned a gun and so have no idea what I would do with a gun that I no longer wanted. Can you sell them back? Is this a reasonable situation for law abiding citizens who no longer want their guns? Is this supposed to be like a lost and found incentive? Did it work the last time they did it? Who decided that this was a way to combat random gang violence anyhow?

    Sorry, the question queen has gotten out of control. Maybe someone will be able to answer some of my questions.

  2. nikkos (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

    I think this program is well-intentioned but wil be rather uneffective. However, since the money in question (that was used to purchase the gift cards) came from Jewel-Osco and not taxpayers, there’s not really much of a downside. Jewel gets some good PR, a few guns are taken off the streets, but no real lasting effects will be seen, in my opinion.

    Just wanted to also point out that the possession of any handgun is illegal in Chicago. You don’t have to be a gang member to own an illegal weapon, although I’m sure many of them do.
    Katie, you can sell guns you no longer want- just like any other used tool. The laws vary from state to state, and vary whether the seller is a gun store or an individual. For example, when one of my buddies bought an assault rifle in Kentucky, he bought from a guy he worked with, in the parking lot of their office, right out of the trunk of his car.

    As for law-abiding citizens, I doubt they’re the ones shooting other people or killing kids with stray bullets, so I doubt they’ll get many takers. And, if I was a criminal and in possession of a gun illegally, I doubt I’d show up for the trade in. And if you were the legal owner of a gun, $100 is pretty measly, unless your gun is really a piece of shit in the first place.

  3. Katie (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

    Nikkos, I’d hoped you might chime in, as I thought (from your recent post on guns) that you might be able to answer that question about re-selling guns. Thanks.

  4. nikkos (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    Yes Katie, act now and I can get you 12 months, 0% financing on a brand new assault rifle of your very own!

  5. nikkos (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    P.S.: When do I NOT chime in? :)

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