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John F. McKeon
Assemblyman John F. McKeon, of the New Jersey state legislature, has recently submitted an op-ed to every New Jersey newspaper willing to publish it, hoping to drum up support for his bill, A 2895, which would require the state's attorney general to administer nine gun "buybacks" per year, throughout the state. He explains the rationale in his op-ed in NJ.com.
McKeon laments the high rate of "gun violence" in the U.S., and then blithely explains the reason for it: "It is incontrovertible that the reason is the sheer number of guns." So "incontrovertible," in fact, that there is apparently not even a need to present any backing evidence.
Since the "problem" is "the sheer number of guns," his "solution," of course, is anything to reduce that number.
Keep in mind that although these events are called gun "buybacks," nothing is being bought back--guns are not returning to their original, rightful owners. No, the taxpayers are being forced to pay for guns nine times per year--only for those guns to be destroyed. Granted, the bill says that the program will be financed by asset forfeitures, but whatever forfeiture money goes to buying junk guns is money that won't be available for other state programs, which thus will be put on the backs of taxpayers.
The word "mandatory," in the context of gun buybacks, has more sinister overtones yet, conjuring the specter not of a mandate that the attorney general hold buybacks, but that gun owners participate in them. And actually, JPFO contributor David Codrea reports that the editorial board of at least one New Jersey newspaper has expressed a wish for precisely that.
If "buyback" is a misnomer for voluntary surrender of one's guns for cash or gift cards, it's an even more grotesque distortion of reality when the transaction is mandated. There can not be a "buy," after all, if no one is making a sale, and a "sale" which the rightful owner is required to make, forced by the (armed) power of the state, is no sale at all--it's armed robbery, even if the bandit generously gives his victim a few dollars for his trouble.
A comment left in response Mr. Codrea's article, by an individual who has given himself the charming handle of "WhiteslovetheKKK," tells us not even to count on the few dollars:
As sick as that is, it is not just some unhinged hatemonger's idle fantasy--The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly the Legal Community Against Violence) has laid out what it claims is the Constitutional justification for gun confiscation--without compensation:
Keep in mind also that the Obama administration's National Institute of Justice has concluded that the only way for bans of "assault weapons," and "high capacity magazines," to be effective is in conjunction with mandatory buybacks.
One little discussed aspect of gun buybacks is that they probably bolster "crime gun" statistics used to frighten the public into accepting more draconian gun laws. As a retired police commander told JPFO, most so-called "crime guns" have had nothing to do with crime. In fact the "crime gun" gun label is applied to every gun that enters "police custody," even momentarily. Guess who administers these "buybacks." Yep, that's hundreds, sometimes thousands of guns entering "police custody" at every "buyback"--scores of thousands per year. They then become "crime guns," and thus help justify laws that make it more difficult for decent citizens to acquire life and liberty preserving firepower.
If the government wants to "buy" your guns, tell them the price not in dollars, but in blood--and make it higher than they can afford.
A former paratrooper, Kurt Hofmann was paralyzed in a car accident in 2002. The helplessness inherent to confinement to a wheelchair prompted him to explore armed self-defense, only to discover that Illinois denies that right, inspiring him to become active in gun rights advocacy. He also writes the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner column. Kurt Hofmann Archive.