Who’s footing the bill?

Are you on the city government payroll? You must be to write such a flowery piece (“Gun Turn in reaps a healthy harvest,” May 3, Austin Weekly News) in support of the gun trade-in program. In your liberal zeal to prop up the program, you neglected to point out an arithmetic discrepancy. The article states that Chase Bank issued the gift cards through a $10,000 donation from Jewel Osco, yet 3000 guns were supposedly turned in (i.e. traded to the government in exchange for the $100 gift card). That adds up $30,000. Who funded the extra $20,000 and who’s funding the bureaucratic overhead costs in managing and running the trade-in program? Let me guess. The taxpayer?

While you did make some effort in finding a potential criticism of the program (it wasn’t racial friendly enough), you neglected to investigate other more obvious criticisms. For example, the program does not include a follow-up evaluation to measure its effectiveness in reducing gun-related crime in those areas where the turn-ins occurred. If you were a credible journalist instead of a political tout, your article should have pointed out the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of previous turn-in programs or at least you would have pointed out the lack of any accountability of the program to prove itself.

Does the program actually reduce the number of guns or is the government paying people with gift cards (easily convertible to cash) to upgrade their weapons by trading in old, defective, or cheap guns?

Are the guns turned in the types that are typically used in gun crimes? I’m sure the facts don’t matter to you as long as you agree with the ideology.

Mark Freedman