Gun ‘buy backs’ and destruction

I received an email from Rob B. that articulated some half-congealed thoughts of my own:

I consider it a “sin” to destroy operable items. This goes for the weapons destroyed and the Cash for Klunkers victims.

Certainly there is the occasional firearm that needs to be removed from circulation due to poor and irreparable condition or unsafe design or modifications. Certainly there are vehicles which are much the same.

This isn’t about that.

This is about materials made by the labor of man, which cost some fraction of man’s treasure to obtain being destroyed because they are unpopular.

This is roughly equivalent to burning books.

Destroying something made by the labor of an individual (or group of them) destroys some small portion of life, for that person (or group) spent their time and energy (life) making it.

Destroying anything useful diminishes the overall value pool.

This is not good, particularly when done for light, transitory or fallacious reasons.

Simply put, this is wrong.


Sebastian has a different opinion:

My only moral problem with the programs is that it entices people to turn in items that have significant historical value, which are then destroyed and lost for history. If anti-gun groups and big city politicians want to raise the market floor on junk guns, I have no real problem. It’s their money, and I’d rather than dump it into worthless, feel good programs like this than actually use it to challenge gun rights.

Sebastian is a little ambiguous about who’s money is involved that he is okay with. If it’s anti-gun groups, then I don’t have much problem with it–other than that articulated by Rob. But if it’s tax payer money then I do have a problem with it. This would be a lot like tax money, paid by blacks, being used for schools that teach blacks are inferior and should not be allowed to hold public office or vote. Or tax money used to buy and destroy private libraries and churches. It is the government taking money from you to enforce a restriction on your specific enumerated rights.

We have long known the anti-gun people won’t win any prizes for their logic skills and destroying guns is just one more example. If there were a limited supply such as moon rocks or members of an endangered species then firearm destruction would have some significance from a reduction of supply standpoint. But guns aren’t like that. The best they can hope for is to raise the price on used guns, but $50 or $100 as a market floor just doesn’t do anything significant other than increase the likelihood that someone will get into the business of stealing guns (a “no questions asked” market for stolen goods reduces the total risk).

So one has to conclude the gun-buy backs are advocated by people that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Willing to use tax money to demonize and restrict the exercise of a specific enumerated right
  • Irrational
  • Desirous of increased theft of firearms

Did I miss any?


3 thoughts on “Gun ‘buy backs’ and destruction

  1. My oldest son works at Wheelabrator’s waste to energy plant at Airways Heights Wa. Last week the FBI delivered 1500 guns to be incinerated. His job is to monitor emissions and meet EPA guidelines. He said they burned 1 1/2 ton of pot once and that there was so much smoke that the fire was put out. They produce 200 tons of ash /day.

  2. Actually, I have an issue with the entire concept of the term “gun buy back” to describe these events. How do you buy back something you never owned and never sold? If you want to call them something, let’s be accurate and call them “gun buy ups”.

    I have another issue with the concept of governments having them at all. Can someone quote me the authority, under Federal/State constitutions or local ordinances, for these things? I can see individuals or groups having them, but then they would have to be licensed dealers. (Now there’s an idea–narc out your local event to ATF as unlicensed gun dealers.) Of course, it’s a stupid business model, but if they can get enough weak-minded people to fund it, I suppose it could work.

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