There's no doubt that Californians have flocked to Austin over the last five years or so. California's once mighty economic engine has broken under the weight of the social-political philosophy of liberalism and its heavy burdens on business and enterprising individuals. Its crime and gangs are other reasons they've fled big cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, etc.
That is why it breaks my heart when I see California-ism creeping into the social fabric of Texas, which is evident with the gun buyback program touted in yesterday's Statesman.
As the lead paragraph says, "For the first time in Central Texas, a law enforcement agency will take a gun off your hands, ask no questions and give you money for groceries." Ahhhh, doesn't that feel nice, warm and fuzzy? Sort of like a California Teddy bear?
Then later in the story, the reporter, to his credit, finds some examples of how well California programs have worked:
Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Oakland., Calif., also have gun buyback programs.I see the problem. Californians like feel-good programs over anything that really works. The City of Austin is in tow.
According to Los Angeles police, a buyback program in May accumulated more than 2,000 guns.
Oakland police officer Jeff Thomason said that officials there held a successful gun buyback program a few years ago but that it was very expensive. He said many people came from outside the city and sold older guns they had in storage, defeating the purpose of getting guns off the street.
In my view the Oakland police officer who is quoted lives in liberal la-la land in terms of how he defines results. He called their gun buyback program 'successful' and then 'expensive' and then admits that the actual functioning of the program served only to get old guns out of storage, defeating the purpose of the program. That's success? Expensive programs that defeat the purpose of the program. I guess so, in Oakland, California.
Note also how either the cop or the reporter trot out the liberal cliche "guns on the street." To the liberal mind it's a big bad world out there with millions upon billions upon trillions of guns that are on the verge of going off simultaneously on their own on the street that need to be confiscated somehow, in this case through incentive programs. The problem of course is that criminals keep their guns. That's their means of being, their tools of trade, their power. Why would they give them up for $100 or $200 in food vouchers? Get real.
Of course, to the liberal, law abiding citizens should give up their guns too. But those folks are turning in worthless pieces of steel and wood for money.
It's instructive to note here also that Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is himself a California native and so I would bet that he's very knowledgeable and comfortable with the ineffective feel-good programs for which California is now famous.
Maybe that's why the Austin City Council hired him -- they love California and all the things that have steered the state and many of its cities toward bankruptcy.
Sadly, I'm sure there's more of this kind of baloney to come, which is a shame. As Austin becomes more Californian and less Texan in its attitude toward crime, guns, energy, healthcare, abortion, etc., it becomes a more dangerous place.
As I've written previously here and here, more "guns on the street" in Texas has really meant more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens and increasingly lower crime rates. Texans are increasingly qualifying for their concealed handgun licenses and crime continues to drop despite ever larger influxes of people into Texas.
Instead of ineffectual and expense gun buyback programs, Chief Acevedo and the City of Austin should be working with its law abiding citizens to give them the weapons training they need to protect themselves in a responsible manner with the guns they legally possess. An old timer around my neighbor remembers the day when his county's Sheriff office would conduct a summer time gun training for the teenagers of his town. Makes sense to me. Take the mystery out of guns for teens. Show teens how to respect the power and danger of the weapon and how to handle them responsibly. Make them responsible citizens, empowered with the 2nd amendment protections the founders intended against intrusive tyrants. Oh the good ole days of Texas!
But that would make too much sense and it flies in the face of the liberal illogic, especially that which is now coming to Austin from California.