Yep, here in New Orleans today, there was a gun buy. They like to call them "gun buy backs" but how can you buy something back that you never owned?
Apparently the Mayor's office got hold of some money courtesy of a New York-based outfit (Can you say "Bloomberg"?) and announced that they would pay residents of Orleans Parish for any working gun brought in, no questions asked and no ID required aside from proof of residency. (Yeah, that had a lot of folks scratching their heads.)
The offering price: $500.
You read right. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!
So I quickly decided to part with an old single-shot 12 gauge with a frozen ejector and glued-on handguard. I mean, for $500? Hell yes. I even went the extra distance and snagged a Heritage Arms Rough Rider .22 from a local pawn shop, and since they were only paying one payment to each resident, I recruited one of the charming young ladies I know from the bar to come stand in line and turn it in, with the understanding that we'd split that payment minus what I paid for the revolver. And off I went this morning with two junk guns and a hung-over showgirl to collect a quick thousand bucks.
(Sorry folks...she made me promise no pictures of her.)
We got to the drop-off point an hour early and the line was already almost two blocks long. Damn!
Gun buy-back hits capacity in only one hour.
Seriously? How do you not offer five hundred dollars cash for literally any gun and not expect a turnout? Only Mayor Latoya Cantrell's people could screw something up this badly. I guarantee you over a thousand people were in that line.
And let's talk about those people, because I was observing.
A fair number were what you'd expect in this neighborhood, a couple blocks off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd ad south of Claiborne Ave. They were older black people, men and women, who were bringing in unremarkable old junk. But the majority of the crowd was young, male and white, and several of them still had their guns in the factory boxes, suggesting that they'd done what I did and quickly gone out and bought a cheap gun and rushed down here to sell it for more. And as we all talked, many people openly admitted doing this. Hell, who said capitalism was dead? I think that had they just offered a hundred bucks a gun, many of the locals would have sold their junk and walked away, but since the offering was so high, the money ran out quick and almost every one of those people took their guns back home again. (Note: if anyone on the Mayor's staff is reading this, you need to keep offering $500. I still have two guns to sell you, you jackasses.)
And yes, I did surf the line a bit as we were all dissipating to see what collectibles I could snag, but I came up dry. Well not entirely. Anyone wanna buy a Rough Rider?
I also had to buy my accomplice lunch, and it's a true fact that respectable strippers don't settle for McDonalds after you make them stand in the rain for two hours, so that wasn't cheap either. Thanks Mayor Cantrell. Only a special kind of incompetent politician could screw up a plan to give away money.
Oh--and for the "guns cause crime" argument...a thousand people stood in the rain with guns today and no one got robbed or shot, even after the bulk of them got hosed by their government officials. Maybe more guns don't cause more crime, eh?