By Alain Stephens.
In the last year, residents of Fort Worth, Texas, have watched as shootings spiked across the city.
Month after month, new victims emerged: a woman killed in a mall parking lot, two toddlers accidentally shot outside a Chuck E. Cheese’s, seven shot in a drive-by in a residential neighborhood. The 2016 murder rate was a 15-year high.
The city’s Police Department had a plan. “In an effort to get firearms off the streets, the Fort Worth Police Department is implementing a gun buyback program,” the departmentannounced May 18.
On a hot summer day six weeks later, nearly a dozen officers set up shop in an Aldi parking lot, offering a $50 gift card to anyone who turned in a gun. It was the third buyback the department conducted since the program’s announcement.
However, the police had competition. Skirting the edges of the parking lot, a group of men stood with homemade cardboard signs outbidding the police.
One man accompanied his daughter, who held a sign reading, “Sell my daddy your gun!” She stood next to another buyer, wearing a shirt reading, “Fuck your gun free zone.” Another man clad in neon green waved dollar bills at passersby. The deals took place in less than a minute.