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Monday, December 3, 2007

You Can Take Our Guns, But You'll Never Take Our Gift Cards!

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2007 at 9:00 AM


On Saturday San Francisco police collected guns from people eager to hand them over in exchange for gift cards -- it is the holiday season after all -- in the city's second "Gifts for Guns" program. Amid the current talk of an SF crime-wave and rising murder rate, the program is not only getting guns off the street (100 to be precise) it's also great PR for the SFPD. As the AP report reveals with some carefully-crafted word placement, if you can't really make people safe, you can at least make them feel safe:

"The idea is to make the streets seem a little safer when the city's murder rate has risen in recent years — San Francisco has had at least 89 homicides so far this year."

Gifts for Guns is a no-questions asked operation, with a three-tiered gifting scale designed to sweeten the pot for handing over the gnarliest firearms: $100 for rifles and shotguns; $150 for revolvers and semiautomatic pistols; $200 for assault weapons -- all compliments of Visa. But no system is completely protected from exploitation, not to mention the withering cynicism of elderly gun nuts, as 70-year-old Peter Buxtun illustrates:

"You can buy junk guns for $10 and then use the gift cards to buy new guns," he said. "I saw a half-dozen uniformed SF police officers taken off the street to sit for hours in a City Hall photo-op, instead of patrolling certain drug-ridden and gang-infested neighborhoods."

-- Brian Bernbaum

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