Continuation of thread started 5/20/13 (below)

The following is in response to the comment to the referenced blog entry:

It will, without doubt, reduce the cost of the buy-back program-hopefully to zero, since the new model is the diametrical opposite of the old.

The bottom line of the gun market in America is that what drives it, in virtually every way, is the proliferation of guns.  The only motivation for most people to own a gun is the fact that almost anyone who might be inclined, even incidentally, to hurt you is very apt to have a gun with which to do it.

The only reason anyone presently participates in a buy-back program is to have the gun destroyed, unless the gun is already below the value of even the governmentally sponsored buy-back price.  In that case the tax payer gets to subsidize the gun trade by becoming the market of last resort, guaranteeing a floor on the value of even marginal- or in-operative guns.  This is a downside of either the new or the old concept of a buy-back.

In the new system, however, those guns which are reparable will be bought for almost nothing by a licensed dealer, repaired, and returned to the streets at great profit.  Under the old system, the gun was destroyed.

Under the new scheme such a gun will obviously be another lethal addition to the problem gun buy-backs were intended to relieve.  Those that are not repairable would become a cost to the government for storage, I guess, as they can’t destroy them.

For those who would normally participate in good faith as a seller to a police sponsored buy-back there is virtually no incentive for participating in the new form of buy-back, as selling it independently would reap a larger profit.

They would do better, as a means of fully achieving their goal, to pay someone to melt the weapon down.

More likely, they’ll just fight any urge to disarm the American war zone one gun at a time and risk a mistaken death by firearm or an impetuous suicide.

Keeping a gun around does have the advantage of making a suicide effort much more likely to be successful, although the survivors are very apt to dispute the benefit of such an “advantage.”

Of course, if someone who would legitimately take advantage of a buy-back program does go to a licensed gun seller, the price they would ask, being motivated by a desire to see the gun gone, will be a pressure downward on the wholesale price, lowering the expense to a dealer of purchase and increasing the profit of resale, but it would be counter to the intended purpose/goal of most such sellers.

Keeping guns in circulation, as opposed to seeing them destroyed for any reason, guarantees the continuation of the market.  More than any other factor, continuation of the market is the cash cow.

The purchasers of new guns are, however, in a completely different market from the people who would be influenced by this new form of buy-back plan.

Standard buy-backs only remove used guns from the market.  In most cases they are dormant quantities anyway, as they’re not going to be resold until the owner dies, which, ironically, is more likely to happen to him/her with possession of the gun than without.

But, in the case of a standard buy-back, the effect is to keep the price of used guns higher, since the temporary dormancy is rendered permanent and such a gun may never compete with other weapons at all.  That may be why buy-backs have been tolerated for as long as they have been.  This pressure, however, is slight.

Under the new version of buy-back, should it ever gain purchase, the gun sellers would have a supply of dead cheap weapons to sell to those whose only barriers to owning are price and an unwillingness to burgle houses.

I suppose one could argue that the new buy-back model fights crime by making the price of used guns lower and, therefore, the temptation to break in less appealing.  One can, of course, argue the other side by pointing out the fact that more evil doers would be armed.

But the new version will never take hold anyway.  It is designed for one thing only: to keep guns on the market forever by making it very difficult to remove them.  Its purpose, in short, is to kill the concept of “buy-back” altogether.

In my opinion, anyone who wants to continue the proliferation of guns in this country is a nut case.  That includes the majority of Arizona’s legislative and its executive branch.  Since there is no indication the people of Arizona will throw them all out, I’d say the categorization of Arizonians as nut cases is pretty fair.

In fact, America as a whole seems pliable to the NRA’s propaganda and money.  The gun culture is absolutely one of the worst aspects of being American, and is matched only in war zones.

I think there is virtually, if not literally, no validity to the one pro-“everybody has a right to carry a gun” argument that has any validity at all: namely the prevention of tyranny.

Unfortunately the advances in weaponry and the already accepted restrictions on what the citizens are allowed to possess (due mainly to the rise of gangsters under prohibition) have rendered this original intent moot.  As shown clearly in Syria, handguns are no defense against tyranny.

As for sport, there is nothing in allowing government regulation that threatens the sportsman at all.  No hunter needs a clip bigger than five shots, nor has a special need for a concealable weapon on the subway, in church, or in a school, nor needs to own hollow point or armor piercing ammunition.  Anyone who thinks sportsmen should be allowed to buy such weapons of massive destruction should move to Arizona and join the other nut cases.

If they were then inclined to secede, I’d support them in that effort.  At least that way America would be on an equal playing field if and when they got obstreperous as a group and the rest of us had to go to war with them.

Until then, there is little remedy for sane people to do anything other than arm themselves against these nut cases.  No one wants to bring  a knife to a gun fight.

It’s a loose-loose situation for everyone except the NRA’s supporters, where it becomes win-win.

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2 Responses to Continuation of thread started 5/20/13 (below)

  1. Fred Drake says:

    I question that the only reason to participate in the gun buy back is to have the gun destroyed. I would argue that a more likely reason is that you can sell a weapon which in most cases has no real value on the street to the tax payer with no questions ask. Which probably means most will have no resale value and defeat the whole purpose trying to reduce the cost of the program.

    • George says:

      Well, I actually have to admit I have no data on that, although it is surely easily available.. I do believe some of the guns so traded would be in that category (I think my response implied that), but I suspect most sellers come on account of the expectation that the gun won’t show up again on the street. I’m almost positive the law enforcement support comes from the knowledge they won’t. I also doubt the NRA gives a damn what law enforcement thinks about it.

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