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.
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
Desirous of increased theft of firearms
Did I miss any?