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The latest on Gun "Buy-Backs"

Kurt Amesbury, J.D.

The Clinton/Gore legacy of lawlessness continues.

According to a recent New York Times article, the Clinton/Gore administration continues to break the law by spending money on gun "buy-back" programs without congressional approval. HUD reportedly has no legal authority to spend money on gun "buy-backs", yet continues to shell out $50 per gun, no questions asked. HUD, as you may recall, used to be in the business of supplying affordable housing to the less fortunate among us. Having made quality, low-cost housing universally available to everyone who needs it, HUD Secretary Cuomo now apparently feels free to spend $3.5 million to buy guns instead. (Anyone without a place to live, please contact Secretary Cuomo to tell him that you surely don't need $3.5 million.)

Despite HUD's claim to be saving lives and fighting crime by buying up guns, one angle that has never been explored (and probably should be investigated) is the extent to which HUD's program promotes crime, specifically, theft of firearms. How many criminals are motivated to steal guns for the $50 no-questions-asked money paid by HUD?

Perhaps most interesting is not the Clinton/Gore criminal behavior, which is so commonplace it raises nary an eyebrow, nor the utter contempt for the law, as practiced by Clinton/Gore minions like HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo. The fascinating questions is why it cost $3.5 million to buy 17,300 firearms. If the amount paid for each gun turned in is $50, then the cost to "buy back" 17,300 guns is only $865,000. Where did the other $2,635,000 of your tax money go? (If you don't feel like waiting until the Republicans take office to check on this, feel free to contact Mike Phelps - HUD's contact for Fraud, waste, and abuse and Office of the Inspector General.)

In a related story, a gun buy-back program in Brooklyn was a little too successful to suit the taste of the local district attorney. Reportedly, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hyne wasn't getting the overwhelming response to his gun buyback program hat he had hoped for. He managed to collect just 200 guns in an entire month, despite an offer of $100 per gun, no questions asked. So Hyne upped the payment per gun from $100 to $250. At that price, the program had a surge of about 100 guns surrendered in a single evening. You would think Hyne would be happy, but the attorney general was apparently most unhappy when he discovered that all of the guns were .38 caliber police service revolvers! That's right, the cops turned in their old guns and collected a cool $250 each! (One smart cop turned in 6 of his old guns for a cool $1500!) Hyne's spokesman reportedly said they will be "contacting" the cops to "ask for our money back."

Fat chance.

If it weren't for the fact that the entire embarrassment was funded with taxpayer money, this would be prime sitcom material. Heaping on the irony, noted liar Charles Schumer of New York recently released a study which purports to show that most of the guns used to commit crimes in New York originate in Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Georgia. This shouldn't be surprising, considering that his Brooklyn partner-in-stupidity (Mr. Hyne - how do you pronounce that anyway?) has been offering to pay criminals more for old, worn out guns in Brooklyn than gun dealers charge for some new guns in the South. If I were a gun dealer, I'd be headed north with a tractor-trailer load of .25 caliber Ravens for some of that "no-questions-asked" gravy.

With some people, the lights just never come on.