“These things are dog and pony shows…Look, a million dollars to do all of this isn’t going to help the violence in Chicago or anywhere else one iota. It’s okay, it’s for doing it look like politicians are going to do something, but that means absolutely nothing.”
“An additive benefit should not be ignored”
And when the goal is community engagement or awareness — when the goal is not reducing violent crime — programs can have some benefits. In particular, removing weapons from homes where the owner does not want them and encouraging people to remove them from circulation.
“Could there be some type of program that we could think of? Maybe,” he told CNN. “But as implemented in the United States? I don’t think they mattered.”
One of the benefits of the programs, Brooks said, was giving residents a safe way to dispose of “one of the most durable products around.” Firearms last longer than almost all consumer goods, he said.
“It has an added benefit that shouldn’t be ignored or looked down upon because academic research indicates it won’t reduce crime by ‘x’ percentage points,” Brooks said. “But we know for a fact that guns are used in suicides, homicides and of course shootings. Those things, getting that gun out of a place where it’s unwanted and unused, giving people a responsible method to get rid of it, have an advantage.”