Gun violence in America is a hot-button issue. With that issue comes multiple ways to tackle it. That could mean stricter background checks, better awareness of mental health in our country or restrictions on where guns can be purchased. One solution proposed by many politicians is a government gun buyback.
The goal of government buybacks is to decrease the number of guns owned by civilians by purchasing them through government entities, which would also keep civilians safe from prosecution.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke recently spoke about this issue in ABC’s presidential debate on Sept. 12th. When speaking about the issue, O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Since then, his campaign created a shirt with the quote to support O’Rourke’s presidential bid.
When politicians talk about a government gun buyback, most immediately assume it will work. If gun owners surrender theirs, they not only get their money back, but fewer guns mean safer streets.
That wasn’t the case in Baltimore, though. In 1974, Maryland’s most populous city underwent a gun buyback that seized 13,500 guns. During the two-month program, gun homicides actually increased, even though there were fewer guns in residents’ possession.
While a gun buyback program seems like a simple solution to the gun control issue, there is simply no evidence to back up that it will work in America. In a government gun buyback, the guns aren’t being made illegal, and even if they are, all it would do is take guns and self-defense away from law-abiding citizens. No criminal is going to compulsively give the government their guns, let alone voluntarily.
When we think back to when the Second Amendment was written, a government gun buyback would have the founding fathers rolling in their graves. The Second Amendment was put in place as protection and defense from the government. The fact that the government expects gun owners to turn on that principle and voluntarily give protection to the entity that they are protecting themselves from is totally backward.
Unless someone has total faith that the government will always be willing to protect its citizens and always be on their side, a government gun buyback is not the way to go.
Mikayla Rochelle is a sophomore studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What are your thoughts? Tell Mikayla by tweeting her at @mikayla_roch.