The following editorial appeared in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Nov. 04:
A national gun buyback program would be worth considering, says Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, extolling Australia’s and the United Kingdom’s firearm restriction and registration laws. But she comes up short in detailing their effectiveness.
John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, fills in the blanks.
After the U.K. handgun ban in January 1997, its homicide rate rose by 50 percent over the next eight years; the firearms homicide rate almost doubled. Today, the rate is about where it was before the ban — after an 18 percent increase in the police force, Mr. Lott says.
Australia began a buyback program in 1996. The government banned automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. It also adopted a registration list.
“I do not know enough details to tell you how we would do it, or how it would work, but certainly the Australian example is worth looking at,” Mrs. Clinton said. Never mind that the number of privately owned guns steadily increased and, by 2010, returned to 1996 levels.
That corresponds with a 2004 National Academy of Sciences study, which found the theory behind gun buybacks “is badly flawed.”
This and other confiscatory initiatives only benefit the thugs who don’t relinquish their weapons.
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