Prediction: The violent crime rate in Chicago is about to rise.

Sure, the above prediction is about as surprising as saying “Katie Couric’s ratings will continue to drop,” but it will probably turn out that way. Why is the Chicago violent crime rate about to go up? Because there are bureaucrats trying to make it go down. That’s right, in Chicago it’s time for another futile at best, counter-productive at worst, gun buyback program.:

City officials again will use the carrot approach to reducing the number of guns in Chicago, by offering a $100 pre-paid gift card for each weapon turned in this weekend.

Mayor Richard Daley said no questions will be asked Saturday of people who visit one of 23 locations designated as drop-off sites. The surrendered handguns, shotguns and rifles they leave behind will be destroyed by police.

“One of the best crime-fighting strategies at our disposal is very simple — getting guns off our streets … and out of the hands of people who, unfortunately, would misuse them,” Daley said during a news conference at a Near North Side church.

What are the odds that the people who turn their guns in for $100 gift cards are people who only have the guns for self defense because they’re scared to death by being surrounded by all the violent crime, but nonetheless find that $100 in groceries would really help their family? The buyback could cost somebody their life.

What are the odds that somebody will turn in, say, five guns at five different locations, get $500 in gift cards, sell the $500 in gift cards to somebody else for $400 in cash, then go buy a nice new gun somewhere else and pocket a few dollars in the process? It’s similar to what has happened before with the food stamp program.

What are the odds that a gun store in a surrounding area is about to be burglarized by somebody who will turn in a few stolen guns for the gift cards, and keep a couple for himself?

What are the odds that somebody who uses his gun to make thousands of dollars robbing people is going to turn it in for a $100 gift card?

The government is back in the debit card business? What can possibly go wrong?

And where did all these guns come from anyway? Chicago bans all handguns unless they were registered with police before 1983, but yet they’ve collected 4,300 guns with the annual turn-in program, and still the guns keep popping up in seemingly endless supply like Tribbles with triggers. This year there have been 225 homicides in Chicago, with handguns involved in 80% of those.

The problem for Mayor Daley is that most people aren’t as stupid as his City Council.

Today’s trivia question: If banning guns across-the-board causes the crime rate to drop, why doesn’t Daley order his police force and bodyguards to turn theirs in?


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