• Cheyenne Saturday - Richard Jessup
  • The Bloody Medallion - Richard Jessup writing as Richard Telfair
  • Chuka - Richard Jessup
  • The Cincinnati Kid - Richard Jessup
  • The Branch Will Not Break - James Wright
  • Roadmap Through Bullying: Effective Bully Prevention for Educators - Julie Nicolai
  • The Definitive Brother Juniper - Father Justin 'Fred' McCarthy
  • Portrait of an Artist with 26 Horses: Empty-Grave Vanilla Edition - William Eastlake
  • The Tales of Yot - Adam Nicolai
  • The Shaggy Man of Oz - Jack Snow
  • The Magical Mimics in Oz - Jack Snow
  • The Silver Princess in Oz - Ruth Plumly Thompson
  • Armchair Locomotion - Jen May
  • Grin and Bear It - George Lichty
  • The Strange World of Mr. Mum - Irving Phillips
  • Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Brother Juniper at Work and Play - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Brother Juniper Strikes Again - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Battle Cry - Jen May
  • Inside Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • More Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • Well Done, Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • The Whimsical World of Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy
  • The Ecumenical Brother Juniper - Fr Justin McCarthy

Let’s Complicate the Killing Spree—Buy the Killers’ Guns

by Nicolai on December 18, 2012

What will happen to the Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle that was used to murder twenty kindergartners in Newtown, Connecticut? How about the 10mm Glock the shooter used to absolve himself of responsibility? I imagine they will be locked away in an evidence locker—stored until storage space is at such a premium they wind up going through some industrial shredder. Regardless, those guns have fired their last bullets. And there is no Bushmaster understudy waiting in the wings to take the lead’s place. Deprived of its Glock, the cold, dead hand is not going to reach into a magic Glock-box and pull a replacement from an infinite supply. Friday morning there were X number of guns in the world. Friday night there were X minus three.

The United States is a mind-boggling cornucopia of guns and ammunition, which is not surprising when gun ownership is directly equated to freedom. This has led to heated debate as the advocates for gun control seem to directly equate freedom with not being shot. Political leanings aside though, just about everyone will agree that blood and crayons simply do not mix—and there is nothing we can do to guarantee with 100% certainty a Newtown or Columbine will never happen again. But doing something to chip away at a huge problem is still better than doing nothing.

I’m proposing an Anonymous Gun and Ammunition Buy and Destroy Amnesty Program. AGAABADAP may not have a catchy acronym but it is politics-free and will unquestionably decrease incidents of gun-related violence. It’ll go a little something like this:

Years ago, Bob bought a Glock of questionable origin from his buddy and put it in a shoebox under the bed. Bob got married. Bob had kids. Now Bob’s kids want a Wii-U that doesn’t quite fit in the family budget. Bob hears about AGAABADAP on the news. Bob wraps his Glock in pretty orange plastic-wrap and carries it to the local AGAABADAP office. Bob meets Jim, a federal government employee.

Jim says, “What have you got there?”

“A Glock,” Bob replies.

Jim unwraps the gun then runs his finger down a price-list. “$350,” Jim says.

Bob is ecstatic. “Sweet! Let’s start the paperwork.”

“No paperwork,” Jim says. “Would you like cash, money-order, or direct deposit?”

“Money order I guess,” Bob says, squinting his eyes suspiciously. “Don’t I have to sign anything?”


“Aren’t you going to run a background check, verify the serial number, dust for fingerprints, look at bullet striations under a microscope or anything?” Bob asks. “I could have stolen that gun or committed a crime with it.”

“You certainly could have.” Jim hands Bob the money-order then tosses the gun into a shredder, which grinds and clunks a minute before spitting a handful of metal shavings out the other end. “Have a nice day.” Jim says. “Next!”

Bob drives to the nearest Gamestop.

Incentive. If we want to eliminate guns without trouncing our constitutional freedoms then we have to give people a compelling reason to get rid of guns on their own. And what better incentive than no-strings-attached cash coupled with anonymity?

So let’s just buy the guns. Heck, let’s buy the bullets too. We can use a sliding scale of potential death and destruction for the pricing. Grandad’s rusty old .22 rifle could only bring $50 but the woman secretly selling her creepy ex-husband’s modified AR-15 and a box of grenades may walk away with thousands. What would happen if instead of using his pistol to mug someone for $30 the junky destroys it for $300? How about if the kid that’s had just about enough sells all his mom’s guns and takes off cross-country instead of using them to go out in a blaze of highly-publicized and glorified carnage?

In my plan cash is important but anonymity is the key. When a ten-year-old walks in with a bazooka my primary concern is smashing that bazooka. Of course I’ll be curious where he got it but if the cost to destroy a bazooka is $3000 counted out into the hands of a nameless middle-schooler from who-knows-where I’ll gladly pay.

Buy and Destroy will carve out a huge chunk of the existing stockpile but we also must take into account that new guns are being manufactured every day. Since the main point of my plan is to not infringe on anyone’s freedom, the brunt of the responsibility and accountability regarding new gun purchases falls on the manufacturer and supply chain. An illegal transaction must occur before a new gun falls into the hands of a criminal or becomes “untraceable.” At some point a box of new guns has to “fall off the truck,” or the owner of a gun-shop has to sell one under the table. A requirement for better tracking of a product’s trip from manufacturer to final owner will help determine which trucking companies are losing packages and which retailers are missing guns the computer says they should have.

The Buy and Destroy program will also have positive trickle-down effects. The decrease in existing supply will result in an increase in prices. Current gun-owners will see the value of their collections increase. Manufacturers will enjoy an increase in unit sales as well as an increase in gross profit as they are able to charge more for their products. Irresponsible gun owners will be more likely to liquidate their assets to fund other irresponsible endeavors. And the plotting psychos will have to make due with fewer guns and bullets because plotting psychos are often on a pretty tight budget as it is. Imagine if the Columbine shooters had to save up their allowances an extra few months—a few months can work wonders on the pubescent mind.

So who’s going to pay? We all are. We already were. We’re just going to have to convert our currency from blood to USD. As a country we need to suck it up and accept the fact that progress is inherently hindered by beliefs and politics and math at the bottom line. But I would rather justify a seemingly insurmountable red number to my six-year-old son than try to explain how the world now has X minus twenty kids just like him.

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