Gun buybacks popular but ineffective, say experts

Gun buybacks popular but ineffective, say experts
Guns seized on Texas ranch. CBP photo

[Ed. – The ‘experts’ had us right up until ‘tougher gun laws.’ Have they failed to study the impact some of the nation’s toughest gun laws have had — or failed to have — on Chicago?]

The rifles, pistols and shotguns always look impressive when they’re displayed at news conferences celebrating the end of gun buyback campaigns.

Spread across tables or piled high into overflowing stacks, all those weapons reinforce the notion that trading cash for guns works. It gets guns off the street, organizers say, and makes the city safer.

The problem, according to years of research, is that it does neither.

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Cincinnati will join a growing list of cities this week that have embraced gun buyback programs in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. The first of Cincinnati’s three planned gun buybacks for 2013 is Tuesday.

The local campaign begins as the national debate over gun violence is intensifying, and as President Barack Obama awaits recommendations this week from his task force on gun-related crime.

Researchers who have evaluated gun control strategies say buybacks – despite their popularity – are among the least effective ways to reduce gun violence. They say targeted police patrols, intervention efforts with known criminals and, to a lesser extent, tougher gun laws all work better than buybacks.

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