LaToya Cantrell‘s gun buyback turned out to be a bust. Previously unmentioned, this painfully liberal effort only had $100,000 total, so only money for 200 people. Small, important details such as this had not been shared.
The Hayride jumped on the fact Cantrell originally said $500 per gun. Then it was modified to $500 max per resident no matter if they turned in one or five guns. As to how it worked, they gave vouchers for guns. The buyback was advertised as cash although one person said he received a $500 card for Dollar General. It’s still unclear if anyone received actual cash.
As to the event itself, at the time it started, 11:00 am Saturday, the line was overlapped with the end beyond the beginning. Anywhere from 1,500-2,000 people flocked to Central City amid rain. About 80% in the line were white. No gang-bangers or apparent criminals were in attendance. The people trading in weapons for money appeared to be law-abiding citizens.
When an NOPD officer said only 80 “spots” left at 11:30, people were angry. About 75% walked away. Meaning it was more of a capitalist event than an anti-gun event. At news of depleted funds, the lines along St. Andrew and Ferret vanished and those who stayed walked Felicity until before it hit Reverend John Raphael Way.
Several people carried long guns in boxes, likely purchased just to be turned in for cash. This translates to the possibility that New Orleans may now have more guns on the street as a result of Cantrell’s program.
The $100,000 came from the Edward Wisner Foundation according to the city.
With limited funds, $200 per person would have been more reasonable and gone much further.
Perhaps in the end it’s reassuring to know New Orleans still has that many armed residents.