Letter to the Editor: Northwestern wrong to support gun buyback programs
November 12, 2012
After reading about your donation of $10,000 of University money to the local gun buyback program in Evanston, I, as a gun-owning student, had to take a second look. While I commend your desire to help the community cut down on violence, committing to a program of which you admittedly don’t know very much about does not seem like a prudent use of the University’s money.
Buyback programs essentially allow people to sell their guns to the local authorities for far below their fair market price. Thus, the local government gets more guns off the streets, but statistics show that the guns that are bought back are usually very old or barely operable, if functional at all. Unless the advertising of this event is widespread, the only people who will actually turn these guns in are lower-income legal gun owners.
There’s no denying that what happened to Dajae Coleman was a tragedy, but short-selling legal gun owners in buybacks is not the way to cut down on these events. Well-informed and well-thought-out legislation at the state and federal level is. If you insist on supporting this buyback, at least advise the city to give the sellers a fair market price on the guns.
While what you say about the more firearms being turned in cutting down on their potential use is true, the manner in which the buyback program intends to do this is misguided at best. I love this University and all that it’s done for me, but I disagree with the use of funds that I contribute to for misguided programs that go against my beliefs. As part of a University that stresses diversity, my fellow gun owners on campus would like to have our opinions recognized when it comes to community action.
Max Baird, Communication junior