AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

San Antonio Drops $127,000 On ‘Buyback’ That Also Bought Back Toys

We know that gun buybacks don’t work. I get the idea behind them, but it’s premised on any gun in civilian hands being a bad thing, which isn’t remotely the case.

The idea is that by removing guns from circulation, there will be fewer guns for criminals to use. That might work if you could somehow actually get the guns the bad guys use and prevent any new guns from entering circulation, either through legal or illegal means.

That’s a lost cause.

And, as noted, we know definitively that they don’t work.

Yet even if they did work, I somehow doubt spending an insane amount of money on a buyback that also buys toys is really going to accomplish that much.

San Antonio’s first-ever gun buyback program paid Texans to give up their firearms, collecting 906 guns in exchange for up to $300 of credit at H-E-B grocery store.
The event was “never intended to lower crime” but to “help people feel safe, and to reduce the number of weapons that could get into circulation that could be used for crime,” according to Councilman and mayoral candidate John Courage, News 4 San Antonio reported.
But records obtained by the TV station revealed that the police paid for three toy guns and 16 pellet guns.
Those weapons are the sort that would shoot Ralphie’s eye out in “A Christmas Story,” not the kind that police need to spend six figures to protect the public from.
Courage explained that “anything that even looks like the gun can be a danger to people in the public,” because kids could injure themselves or scare others while trying to commit a crime with a toy gun.
The program had a stated budget of $100,000, but News 4 found that it actually cost tens of thousands more than that. The 51 police officers working the event were also paid $27,333 in salary, including overtime.

Now, I’ll give Courage credit for acknowledging that the buyback wasn’t about reducing crime. However, this was apparently taxpayer money. Why are you spending taxpayer money to make people feel safer rather than using that money to actually make them safer?

After all, there are all kinds of ways that money could have been spent, such as funding something like Project Ceasefire, which has been shown to actually yield results, whereas a buyback doesn’t.

And I don’t care how much Courage claims otherwise, toy guns aren’t a danger to anyone except, potentially the idiot trying to use one to commit a crime. Making people scared isn’t the same thing as putting people in danger, after all, though I doubt Courage understands the distinction.

This was a waste of taxpayer money, no matter how you slice it. Even without buying toy guns just as if they were real ones, it would still be a waste because officials know it doesn’t make anyone safer. They just wasted the money to make themselves look good.

That’s it. That’s the entire reason.

I can forgive ignorance. I cannot forgive willfully wasting taxpayer money on something that boils down to optics and absolutely nothing else.

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