You’ve probably heard or read about those ludicrous and ill-named big-city “gun buyback” programs that some metropolitan police departments believe make their cities safer because they “remove guns from the streets.”
For starters, the term “gun buyback” is a misnomer, because the firearms collected by participating law enforcement agencies were never owned by the city or government in the first place. Secondly, it’s highly unlikely the programs that distribute cash or merchandise vouchers for firearms are truly removing them from the hands of criminals or those who would potentially provide them to bad guys.
Last month, a group of creative-minded firearms aficionados from the nation’s heartland drove a trunkload of guns into the epicenter of America’s most notorious anti-gun city—Chicago, Illinois—and pulled off a coup d’etat of historic proportions.
With its roots in downstate Illinois, the firearms group Guns Save Lives is known for the pro-Second Amendment signs it posts along Interstate 57 between Chicago and Champaign, its monthly gun-rights journal and support of youth shooting programs in the region.
On June 23, Guns Save Lives members Chris Betley, John Sutter and Steve Fuller drove straight into the anti-gun snake pit of Chi-town to participate in the city’s annual gun “buyback” event called, “Don’t Kill A Dream—Save A Life.” The city offered a $100 gift card for each firearm turned-in “no questions asked,” as well as $10 for BB-guns and replicas.
Thanks to donations from its members, the group from Champaign hauled some 60 guns to the Windy City and sold them at three different buyback locations.
“Keep in mind that for this event, we use the term ‘firearms’ loosely, as these guns were, by and large, non-functioning scrap,” said the group’s president, John Boch. “Even the guns that didn’t look like they’d spent the last 20 years at the bottom of Lake Erie were missing trigger groups or other significant parts.”
By the time the happy trio headed south and successfully escaped the core of American firearms intolerance, they had accumulated $6,240 in gift cards and cash.
But we’re saving the best for last.
The proceeds they accumulated from the Chicago’s latest gun buyback will be used to purchase ammunition and firearms for this summer’s National Rifle Association (NRA) Youth Shooting Camp in Bloomington, Illinois. The annual event is the longest-running NRA youth event in the country, and is held at Darnell’s Gun Works and Ranges.
Todd Vandermyde, NRA’s chief Illinois lobbyist, said the effort by the pro-gun group was equally resourceful and comical.
“I think it’s a very good example of the resourcefulness of the pro-gun side to take the initiative to turn something used by anti-gunners into a positive,” he told the Chicago Sun-News.