This past Saturday, May 18th, 2013, approximately 50 gun rights activists attended a “Guns for Groceries” event to stage a demonstration of their own against the Wayne County (MI) government.
The Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano and the Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon teamed up with a local church (The New St. Paul Tabernacle Church of God in Christ), the Meijer’s grocery store chain, and the Goodman-Acker law firm to entice citizens to turn in their guns on a “no questions asked” basis.
All month long commercials were being run over the airwaves seeking to convince Detroit residents that the cause of the violence in their town was guns owned by them. Thus, if they wanted to reduce the amount of violent crime in Detroit, the “obvious” solution floated by the local county government was for everybody to sell their firearms for a $50 gift card to buy groceries at Meijer’s.
Local Detroit gun rights activists, however, know the truth about these “guns for goods” program ran by local governments all across our country:
- They have never been proven to have any positive effect on violent crime rates.
- They encourage firearm thefts because no questions will be asked.
- They potentially lead to the destruction of evidence used in crimes.
- They lead to the destruction of personal property of the rightful owners.
- They consume public resources that could be used to fight crime.
- They exploit the poor by offering $50 for potentially valuable hardware.
- They mislead the public by creating only a “feel good” fluff story in the media.
The protest was an instant success: Cars that carried people looking for the church had to drive by the gun rights activists in the parking lot. As such, many people pulled over and were willing to part with their firearms for cash, often more than $50, instead of a gift card for groceries.
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