By Dean Weingarten
Police Chief Ed Flynn engaged in a bit of hyperbole when he claimed that every gun was connected to a body. Milwaukee has had 1,515 murders from 1999 to present, over the last 14 years. As guns are used in about two thirds of murders, Chief Flynn would have to be hoarding all guns connected to murder in the entire State since Wisconsin entered the Union in 1848 for each one to be “attached to a body”.
It is possible that Milwaukee police violate families’ property rights when a suicide occurs, and confiscate those guns as well. Milwaukee has about the same number of suicides as it does homicides in a year, so that would chop the number of years required by half, back to only the beginning of the depression. Flynn used the photo-op to push for one of his favorite old failed policies, gun control. However, he was unable to connect any one of the confiscated guns to a murder involving someone with a concealed carry permit, because there haven’t been any since the permit system was established in 2011. This is not surprising, as Minnesota has only had three in the nine years that they have records for their permit system. After two years, Wisconsin has over 200,000 permits, which beats Minnesota’s 150,000.
Milwaukee, with a population of about 600,000, accounts for 60 percent of Wisconsin murders. Wisconsin has population of 5,726,000. So where did all the 11,000 confiscated guns come from? A good number likely came from widows who turned in their former husband’s deer rifle to the police, not knowing it is now an antique and worth a thousand bucks. Many likely came from traffic stops where police bullied someone into giving them up their firearm under fear of prosecution, from divorced men or women whose partner filed a restraining order against them as part of divorce lawyer tactics, and from people who were arrested for possessing marijuana. The Milwaukee PD has a reputation for being hostile to armed citizens.
Milwaukee pastors have been hunting for money to do a gun turn in initiative, but Milwaukee is short of money. There is a simple solution to please nearly everyone.
Sell the confiscated guns to dealers.
That would get them “off the streets” and into responsible hands. I am sure that there are avid hunters who would love to have the scoped Ruger Super Redhawk (worth about $800) that Chief Flynn handled, or the the Smith & Wesson magnum, well suited for deer hunting, worth about $600, that he showed. The guns would all go through the background check system. The sale would bring in a couple of million dollars.
If you think the turn in events do any good, put the money into a revolving fund to fund the turn in (erroneously called buy back) event in Milwaukee’s crime ridden neighborhoods. Collect another group of guns in these events. Sell them to dealers, just like you did the first group, and use the money to replenish the revolving fund. Have turn in events every six months, if you like. In effect, you will be taking guns out of the city, where the crime is, and putting them into the suburbs and country, where they are not a problem. Everybody wins.
To be fair to Chief Flynn, he is just another police politician imported from Massachusetts to be liberal enough for the Milwaukee City Council. All his life he has been fed false “facts” about guns and gun control. A person does not change the world view that they grew up with easily. State law covers the disposition of confiscated firearms, which have to be turned over to one of the two State Crime Labs. The one in Milwaukee is probably where the 11,000 guns are stored. If the State wants to use these assets wisely, they could pass a common sense law like Arizona did.
The truth is that gun “buybacks” have no measurable effect on crime, so the couple of million bucks for the guns could go just about anywhere. But spending money to maintain a storage facility for 11,000 guns, when putting them on the market would reduce record high demand for new guns, and put money into the public treasury, is just common sense.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.