On Saturday, June 8th, the City of Toledo, along with the Mayor’s Coalition of Hope, sponsored a cash-for-firearms program at People’s Missionary Baptist Church in Toledo, OH. So, what better way for Joe and Mr. Ags to spend a sunny Saturday than to witness this event for ourselves (and maybe score a couple of good buys while we are at it). When we arrived we noticed that all four corners of the intersection of where the church was located at were already being occupied by supports of the 2nd Amendment (and capitalism). A few of the individuals that had showed up to buy guns were told they couldn’t be there by the event organizers, but Toledo Police told them they could still purchase firearms as long as they didn’t interfere with the event. Apparently more than a few people thought they could get $50 for their BB guns, only to find out that they’d take them, but for no money. We talked with these buyers about what they had seen so far and a majority of it was what I had expected, rough, well-used firearms. One gentleman did bring in two beautiful S&W 357s and walked right in to the church basement with them to get his $100. Mr. Ags wept.
The event was very peaceful, as would be expected. In my opinion, the police presence was a little overkill. I counted at least 18 officers outside and another 10 inside the church. Being curious, I ventured into the basement of the church to see what material they were handing out on gun safety and gun prevention. You are correct in assuming the NRA had not donated any material to this event. There was a table tucked off to the side with two sheets of paper on “Gun Safety While Hunting” and the “12 Golden Rules of Gun Safety” (rule #5 was my favorite: Never point the gun at anything you don’t intend to destroy). They did have free gun locks and information on Block Watch/other community events, but the rest of the literature was geared more toward anti-gun endeavors. I loved the tri-fold flyer “It’s Time to STOP the Violence, Let’s Start with Weapons.” I wasn’t aware that since I own a firearm that I am forty times more likely to “hurt or kill” one of my family members. I made sure to take a few extra copies of this to share with my extended family to discourage future prolonged vacations at my house. I also learned from this flyer that there are other ways to protect myself, such as door jams, top-grade locks, an alarm system, or self-defense classes at the YMCA. I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with my high-capacity 9mms and my 8-shot Ithaca defense 12 gauge. Any intruder dumb enough to enter my house with intent on harming my family should know that I prefer them to leave my house having a physical appearance similar to ground beef when the coroner arrives.
This event will do nothing to reduce gun crime in Toledo, OH, or anywhere else it is tried. With this logic we should do alcohol buybacks to reduce DUIs, rapes, homicides, and other related crimes that involve the abuse of alcohol. Violence and crime are a matter of the heart and soul. Feel-good events like gun buybacks will not change that.
Mr. Ags writes for Joe for America and welcomes your feedback: @blackswampradio & [email protected]