Letter From the Editor 

Gun buy-back incentives for the middle-class and affluent ...

I got an emailed press release from Mayor Wharton's office on Tuesday. It was headlined: "Gas, Groceries, or Games for Guns. No Questions Asked."

The email went on to offer details of an event being held at Hickory Ridge Mall on Saturday at 10 a.m. The deal, as spelled out in the press release, is as follows: "$50 gas or grocery card, or Grizzlies tickets, per person for each gun (limit 3 per individual)."

Something about this is a little off-putting. Especially the "no questions asked" part. Also the fact that it's obviously aimed at poor people. Fifty bucks isn't much money when you consider the price of a typical gun. I guess the supposition is that any gun being turned in for $50, no questions asked, is probably stolen or illegal and not being used for legitimate household protection. I wonder how the NRA feels about a government program that removes guns from the hands of poor people in a mostly black neighborhood. Talk about conflicted.

I did some research (coughwikipedia) into gun buy-back programs and discovered that other cities have offered much more for guns. Boston and San Francisco, for example, offered $200 apiece. (Or is that "a piece"?) It's also apparently not uncommon for private citizens to set up a buy-back facility near the official buy-back location and offer higher prices. That, I know the NRA would love.

Still, it seems unfair to target only poor people. Shouldn't we also be trying to buy back guns from middle-class and affluent Shelby Countians?

I say yes. And with that in mind, let me offer some, ahem, targeted incentives.

In Midtown, each person turning in a gun would receive their choice of the following: three dozen cupcakes from Gigi's, a one-day margarita tab at Chiwawa, a sidewalk table at Tsunami on a Friday night, VIP parking for a Levitt Shell concert, or a bike lane on your block, personally painted by Kyle Wagenschutz.

Downtown residents would get to choose from a free cornhole game set, a week's worth of "no questions asked" pooping privileges for your dog, being the Peabody Duckmaster for a day, 14 Arcade breakfasts, or an "I drank every beer" wall plate at Flying Saucer and five mentions in Paul Ryburn's blog.

In Germantown, residents could select from the following options: home gets coveted "Yard of the Month" award, "no questions asked" speeding privileges for a week, "unpoofable" commenting on the CA and Flyer websites for a month, a police-escorted trip into Midtown to eat at a real restaurant, or your very own school board.

Bruce VanWyngarden

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

    • Asking For Change

      Boy, this panhandling problem in Memphis is getting out of hand. At the corner of Sam Cooper and East Parkway last weekend, there must have been at least 20 of them! They were waving buckets, cheering and laughing, approaching cars stopped at the light. They were even wearing uniforms! Talk about aggressive ...


Hungry Memphis

Alchemy Owner Takes Over Sports Junction

News Blog

Memphis Pets of the Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 5)

Hungry Memphis

On the Scene at BreakFest

Music Blog

Reigning Sound at Bar DKDC

Tiger Blue

Three Thoughts on Memphis Tiger Football

Fly On The Wall Blog

Scent of a Woman President

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Strong Local Offerings Lead Indie Memphis Lineup

Music Blog

Inter Arma at the Hi-Tone


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Lightning Strikes

    It's deep in a November night in Memphis, and I'm awakened by rain. It's coming down hard, sounding like a million pebbles hitting the roof. The gutter I've been meaning to clean is overflowing outside the bedroom window. A flash of lightning illuminates the room, and I do what I've done since I was a boy: count the seconds 'til the thunder rolls. I get almost to 10 before I hear a distant rumble. Two miles or so. Someone else's lightning ...

    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Making Tennessee Great Again!

    I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...

    • Jan 7, 2016
  • Common Sense Pot Policy

    Unlike Bill Clinton, I've inhaled. So have 49 percent of all Americans, according to a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Marijuana (medical or otherwise) has been decriminalized or legalized in 23 states, and measures are on the ballot to legalize it in five more states this November, including Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and California (where medical pot is already legal). A recent Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans think pot should be legalized and regulated like alcohol ...
    • Aug 25, 2016
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation