Another innovative, pro-Second Amendment organization has utilized some creative thinking to draw attention to the hypocrisy of so-called "gun-buyback" programs operated by some city churches and metropolitan police departments, and made a profit in the process.
In July, the Weekly Slug reported how members of the Champaign County (IL) Rifle Association transported about 60 pistols, rifles and shotguns—all of them inoperable junk—to a city-sponsored "buyback" event in Chicago, where they raised $6,240 in gift cards and cash to fund the NRA Youth Shooting Camp in Bloomington, IL.
A few weeks ago, Detroit police—in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Detroit and the nonprofit group Crime Stoppers—staged a no-questions-asked gun "buyback" at St. Cecilia's Church. Last year, the St. Cecilia buyback netted 737 guns. This year, the total dropped significantly to 365.
That's because on Aug. 30, the program faced competition in the marketplace from Michigan Open Carry, Inc., and supporters of the "Legally Armed In Detroit" blog, who implemented a "gun rescue" rally across the street from the church, offering fair market value prices for quality firearms.
One of the event's primary organizers was Rick Ector, 44, a certified firearms instructor who provides Michigan CCW training in Detroit. Ector's message to those bringing firearms to sell for prices ranging from $10 to $100 was simple.
"Selling it at a gun buyback isn't really in your best interest, because you can sell it on the secondary market or take it to a gun shop and get at least two or three times more than what the police department is offering," said Ector.
We wonder if something similar may occur this weekend, when Memphis, TN, Mayor A.C. Wharton's office holds a "Gas for Guns" program at the Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church on Sept. 15. Participants are promised a $50 gas card in exchange for each gun, up to a maximum of three firearms.
As an added incentive, those bringing guns to the Memphis "buyback" will receive two free tickets to a Memphis Grizzlies pre-season basketball game. We think the Memphis NBA franchise would be far more successful attracting fans if it simply posted a winning season, rather than participating in a ludicrous, unproductive and totally ineffective program that does nothing to halt or reduce inner-city crime.