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Thread: Virginia Pilot Opinion article on Chesapeake Gun Buy Back

  1. #1
    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Newport News, Virginia, USA

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    Drying up an explosive pool
    Posted to
    : Opinion Roger Chesley

    [/u]Roger Chesley
    Virginian-Pilot op-ed columnist

    The Virginian-Pilot
    © November 29, 2008
    Chesapeake police officials hope to get a sizable haul when they offer their first-ever gun buyback program at two precincts on Saturday, Dec. 6. People can turn in their firearms, no questions asked.

    Only individuals dropping off functioning handguns, however, will get $100 gift cards. The money comes from Target stores and police asset forfeiture funds, Officer Dorienne Boykin told me Friday. The department has 300 gift cards to hand out, at a total value of $30,000.

    "The program is designed to reduce violent crime in the city," said Boykin, a police spokeswoman. Some firearms stolen in burglaries from homes later are used in crimes, and this is one way of minimizing that inventory. Police will accept all types of guns.

    Newport News police also will be holding a buyback Dec. 6, as they have in past years.

    Is this a publicity stunt, as some critics contend? No. Obviously, with the hundreds of millions of handguns, rifles, shotguns and other long guns on America's streets, buybacks such as the ones next Saturday can take relatively few off the streets. And it's doubtful any criminals will be turning over their weapons at the Second Precinct in South Norfolk or Fourth Precinct in Western Branch.

    Still, as part of a multifaceted approach at decreasing crime, gun buybacks have their place. Chesapeake city and community leaders have been mapping out such a strategy since two young men were killed July 1 within miles of each other in unrelated shootings. One of the victims was Lonnie Andrews, 18, a football star who had recently graduated from Oscar Smith High School and was bound for college.

    The Chesapeake plan also includes mentoring programs for young people; fighting the "no snitching" mentality when witnessing crime; and aiding released felons in re-entry programs in society.

    Some academics and researchers question the value of gun buybacks, however. One notable critic is Alex Tabarrok, associate professor of economics at George Mason University and research director at the Independent Institute, a think tank in Oakland.

    "Economists and criminologists have a pretty strong consensus on this," he told me in a phone interview Friday. "The theory is not very good. Everyone who's studied this question said these gun buybacks don't work."

    He cited, for example, a 2004 study by the National Research Council that criticized the value of buybacks. "There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States," Tabarrok added. "If Chesapeake police buy a few, it's not going to [substantially] reduce the number of guns in the region."

    Tabarrok says it would be more beneficial to put more officers on the street. But $30,000 - the cost of the Chesapeake buyback - won't even pay for one cop's training, benefits and salary for one year in most local cities.

    Many police chiefs, including Chesapeake Chief Kelvin Wright, support buybacks. They are not perfect, but Chesapeake is taking a shot at making its streets safer. That's a welcome start.

    Roger Chesley is associate editor of The Pilot's editorial page. Reach him at (757) 446-2329 or at

    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

  2. #2
    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Richmond, VA

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    I think it would be an incredible slap in the face for a pro-gun group to attend in peaceful protest. Wearing stickers, handing out fliers....that would be crucial.

  3. #3
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    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

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    Absolutely terrible, Richard.

    You know what would be worse? A bunch of those low-down pro-gunners showing up with wads of cash and receipt books to make private purchases.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

  4. #4
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    May 2006
    N. Chesterfield, Va.

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    Thundar wrote:
    Drying up an explosive pool
    Posted to
    : Opinion Roger Chesley
    Totally lacking in any redeeming qualities - a continuum of a misinformation.

    The only thing "explosive" about it is the gasoline that this op/ed throws on the embers.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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