|"Here I am with some of the dangerous response [sic] we took off |
our streets today!"- @JerryLibbin
Miami Beach is a safer place this week than it was last week. At least that's what Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin would have you believe.
The city held a gun buyback event last Saturday and ended up collecting 25 "dangerous" firearms.
On his Facebook page and on Twitter, Libbin posted a picture of some of the weapons and wrote, "Great success today taking 25 dangerous weapons off the street and making MB safer for our children!"
In another post, Libbin wrote that he sponsored the buyback initiative "over the objections of some of my fellow commissioners."
I responded to his post, asking, "Who objected to the buyback and why?"
Libbin, who's running for mayor, didn't answer me.
So I contacted Miami Beach Vice Mayor Michael Góngora in search of some answers.
Tuesday morning, Góngora - who is also running for mayor in November - told me by phone that there weren't any objections to Libbin's proposal, rather he - and other commissioners - simply wanted to know if the money spent buying back the guns could be better spent paying overtime for a cop to walk a beat or other more effective crime-fighting measures. Góngora also wanted to know if there was a way to determine that only Miami Beach residents would be turning in guns.
"I also wanted to be sure that this wasn't some kind of sound good, feel good thing," Góngora told me, adding, "would this buyback have an actual impact on preventing crime?"
Yesterday, one veteran Miami Beach cop seemed to mirror Góngora's concerns, telling me, "You have a better chance of being run down and killed by a drunk bartender leaving Nikki Beach at five in the morning than you do of being hit by a stray bullet from from a gun that's sitting in someone's closet."
But Libbin is sticking to his guns, telling a TV reporter Saturday, "Anything we can do to take a weapon off the street is one less potential disaster."
And that's probably something he'll be repeating often between now and the November election, because on Miami Beach, when it comes to political rhetoric, you can never set the bar too low.
Remember, Miami Beach is the place where Matti Bower was elected mayor, not once, not twice, but three times.