The Liberal Gun Owners Association (LGC’s advocacy sister organization) has just published an op-ed in today’s San Francisco Chronicle:
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/open … 951235.php (note: paywalled, but the text of the op-ed appears below.)
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2) Read the op-ed by jumping from the LGC website to the Chronicle website
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San Francisco Chronicle
What Saturdays gun buyback does — nothing
By Eric Wooten
December 11, 2014
San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles are among the California cities that will conduct gun buyback programs Saturday. You might want to plug your ears, lest you be deafened by the sound of the collective backslapping of politicians congratulating themselves for doing something about gun violence.
Except that gun buybacks are not only largely meaningless, they are actually dangerous. They do absolutely nothing to address the underlying issues of violence in our society. They do, however, offer a great photo opportunity for politicians.
But after the last photo is snapped and the last tweet tweeted, the entrenched inequities and other societal problems that cause violence still will be left unaddressed.
Oakland still will have an unemployment rate twice that of San Francisco. An unwinnable and inherently biased War on Drugs still will be largely confined to communities of color. Huge disparities still will exist in the graduation rates between poor and affluent students.
But politicians will applaud the fact that a few dozen guns were sent to the smelter.
What you won’t hear from those supporting this gun buyback is that the number of guns netted is probably less than the number of guns legally bought in the greater Bay Area in just the few hours it took to hold the buyback.
There are more than 300 million guns in the hands of Americans and thousands more are sold every day.
Even if Saturday’s buyback nets a truckload of guns (which it won’t), there still will be nearly as many guns as Americans.
But take heart; society is safe even with more guns in the hands of private citizens than at any time in history.
According to records kept by the FBI, today’s homicide rate is at a 50-year low.
Let that sink in. You had a better chance of being murdered after seeing a Dean Martin concert than after a Jay Z concert.
And while homicide rates have steadily declined since the 1990s, that decline dramatically slowed around the turn of the millennium. Interestingly though, the murder rate made significant declines once the federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004. Murders are not correlated to the number of guns in the hands of law-abiding gun owners.
If we want to reduce violence, then the effort spent on Saturday’s gun buyback would be far better focused on education or other social programs aimed at improving equality of opportunity.
But if the goal is to provide San Franciscans an expeditious façade that temporarily blocks their view of real problems of discrimination, gentrification and other inequities, then this gun buyback is money well spent.
Eric Wooten is president of the Liberal Gun Owners Association (lgoa.org). He spent a decade in Sacramento fighting for reproductive freedoms, consumer safeguards, worker rights, environmental protections and other lefty causes. He would be remiss if he didn’t mention that government-sponsored gun “buyback” is a misnomer, since the government never owned those guns in the first place.
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