Niagara Gazette

Opinion

June 6, 2014

HAMILTON: The starfish and the gun buy-back program

Niagara Gazette — A lot is said about crime-ridden cities’ gun buy-back programs, and all of it is right. But is it all effective?

From the accusations that gun buy-backs are often merely political ploys, through criminals not likely turning in their weapons, through widows no longer feeling safe with their dead spouses’ weapons, and on to the mothers who search their teens’ rooms and finding pistols, it is a case where I have to side with my liberal friends, but while still supporting the Second Amendment.

Forget about the beaming political faces that hog the cameras and choke on microphones, they have their places somewhere.

Forget about my liberal friends, bouncing like bunnies in a line to gleefully comply and joyfully be seen throwing their unusable weapons upon the pile at the police station — reminiscent of the scene from the movie “The Book Thief,” whereas some German citizenry threw their non-compliant reading materials onto the bonfires of Hitler’s book burning rallies.

Instead, focus on the faces of the widows who go into those buy-back lines with the deep furrows of time plowed worry etched into their foreheads and the dark valances of dread draped beneath their eyelids. Watch them emerge from that same line with a bright and airy sense of relief that is as wind-whipped as the summery lace sheers of an open window. They believe that they have reduced the chances of someone crawling through their windows in the wee hours of the morning and stealing that weapon and whatever else they may want — or worse.

Focus on the caring mothers who free their homes and their children’s hands of the dangerous silvery tools that would ensure that their children’s next bedroom will have a door of clanging bars, and their next wrist-draping jewelry being the corrections officers’ silvery bracelets.

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