Chicago, IL

Why Chicago's Gun Buy Back Initiative Could Be a Shot in the Dark in Reducing Crime Here

Jennifer Brown Banks

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In an effort to get a "handle" on the skyrocketing crime in the Windy City, earlier this year, the Chicago Police Department sponsored their Gun Buy Back Program. In February, specifically, they held a “no questions asked” gun turn-in event at Saint Ita Catholic Church in the Edgewater neighborhood. Prepaid gift cards of $100 were provided for each gun, while $10 cards were reportedly issued for BB guns, air guns or replica guns.

LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT...

ST. SABINA FOLLOWS SUIT...

Tasked with a similar purpose, Father Pfleger of St. Sabina has established a Gun Buy Back Program this July. Though a noble effort on the fight against crime, here are a few reasons it may be just a "shot in the dark" in curbing crime.

REASONS GUN BUY BACK PROGRAM MAY NOT BE THE "SILVER BULLET" HOPED FOR:

  • CRIMINAL ACTIVITY IN CHICAGO IS NOT ENTIRELY ABOUT ACCESS. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS INCLUDE:

* MORAL DECAY

* MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES OF PERPETRATORS

* CONSEQUENCES/ PENALTIES FOR GUN CRIMES NOT SEVERE ENOUGH TO BE AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT

* INCENTIVES FOR TURNING IN GUNS ARE NOT AS PROFITABLE AS KEEPING THEM

Additionally, according to Journalistsresources.org: "Early research on gun buybacks, mostly from the 1990s, largely finds these programs ineffective at curbing gun violence. Recent research frames gun buybacks in a more favorable light. On their own, buybacks might not be effective if the goal is to use them to directly reduce violent crime. But research shows buybacks can help if they’re part of a broader effort to reduce gun violence. They can influence public perception of how authorities are dealing with gun violence and serve as opportunities to educate communities about gun violence reduction strategies, according to academic researchers."

FINAL THOUGHT

Gun Buy Back Programs may not be successful solely in significantly reducing crime stats in Chicago, but combined with other strategies, can certainly be an important start in the right direction.

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Veteran freelance writer, award-winning blogger, thought leader, herbal tea enthusiast. My mission is to entertain, engage and inform readers with articles that are interesting, enriching and diverse.

Chicago, IL
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