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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Baltimore, Disarm Yourself For A Free Laptop

A program underway in Baltimore, Md., gives residents the opportunity to turn in an unwanted firearm—and receive a Google Chromebook laptop in return. The initiative was described as “an effort to remove guns from homes while highlighting computer-related careers for Baltimore’s youth.” Of course, this seems like an inadvisable time to be removing guns from the homes of law-abiding citizens, as the city is experiencing a spike in violent crime.

One of the demonstrated problems with gun buyback programs is that they typically net firearms from people with no criminal inclinations. Another is that the guns that are turned in are often not worth whatever is offered in compensation, which is at best a waste of resources, and at worst a means of funding criminal gangs. The latter seems not to have been an issue here, though: 70 laptops were made available for trading, but in the end only 17 guns were turned in.