A letter from 40 members of Congress and directed toward House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) demanded a national gun buyback program yesterday. The letter was penned by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL). “Gun buybacks have proven successful in communities across the nation,” the open letter to House colleagues reads. “Adding $200 million to the final compromise on the fiscal cliff could remove as many as one million guns from our streets.” Such a step, said the Congressmen, would be a “simple, immediate step we can take to assure the public we are committed to taking meaningful action.”
The Democrats also argued that the gun buyback program would be a form of stimulus: “Distributing funding to the states to run buyback programs using prepaid debit cards with a three-month expiration date could provide a jolt to local economies that have stagnated in the wake of the recession and concerns over the fiscal cliff.”
These members of the House are not the first to suggest a gun buyback program. Although the letter does not suggest compulsory gun buybacks, other high-ranking politicians have. Last Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) suggested a gun buyback program on the federal level. On Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option.”
Cities across the nation are sponsoring gun buyback programs. In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has pushed forward the date of the annual gun buyback to tomorrow. The program began in 2009, and only 8,000 weapons have been garnered since then through the program – a fraction of the thousands upon thousands of weapons in Los Angeles County (the state gun ownership rate exceeds 21 percent).
Obviously, voluntary gun buyback programs do not target criminals; they target the law-abiding gun owners. They also do not target weapons used in crimes, since no sane criminal would turn in such weapons to the authorities. The real goal of many liberal politicians like Cuomo is clearly the eventual confiscation of weapons from the general public.