The Miami Police Department held the first of three scheduled Gun Buyback Operations in Liberty City yesterday.
A police press release said the buyback was an effort "to reduce gun violence and unnecessary injuries to our citizens."
So, was it a success? That depends on where you look for answers.
The Miami Herald sent an eager young intern to cover the event.
Here's the lead sentence of her report:
Miamians flocked to Liberty City to trade their guns for supermarket gift cards and Miami Heat tickets on Saturday.Wow! They "flocked" to Liberty City! How many "flocked?" How many guns were "traded in?"
The Herald quotes Miami Police Sgt. Freddy Cruz as saying that "50 to 60 people returned 129 guns" on Saturday.
One of those "flocking" to the event was 82 year-old Myrtle Boyd who turned in a "22 caliber handgun she’s had for more than 45 years."
However, the Herald's cheery story fails to mention that gun violence in Liberty City doesn't exist because 82 year-old grandmothers are packing heat. It exists because there are hundreds of young thugs who terrorize their neighbors on a daily basis with AK-47s, Uzis, and whatever else they can get their hands on.
The Rev. Jerome Starling attempted to address that issue, telling Local 10, "You have a chance today ... to bring in a gun, to bring in an AK-47, to bring in an Uzi or to bring a handgun that may be laying around the house."
The Herald story doesn't mention whether or not any Uzis or AKs or other military-style weapons were turned in.
One man did tell NBC6 that he turned in his brother's Mini-Mac.
By now you're probably wondering what else the Herald left out of its story.
For that answer, we turn to WSVN:
Gun enthusiasts lined up by the hundreds for a gun and knife show in Southwest Miami-Dade. The show drew record crowds on Saturday as thousands lined up for hours, before the doors opened.CBS4's Jim DeFede attended the gun show and tweeted this picture of a line of people waiting to get in at about 2pm. DeFede told me by phone that organizers of the event told him that about 800-1,000 people an hour passed through the doors on Saturday.
WSVN's reporter termed the Liberty City buyback crowd "decent," but added, "it didn't compare to the crowds that came out to buy all kinds of weapons [at the show.]"
So, to sum up: In one part of Miami on Saturday, Miami cops bought 129 rusty, useless guns. In another part of town people turned out by the thousands to snap up new guns and ammunition.
Is Miami a safer place? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is certain: you won't find the answer to that question in the Herald.
The Daily Beast: Gun Buybacks Mostly a Waste of Time and Money, Experts Say