I Attended a Gun Buyback in Texas

Not a gun show event, a gun buyback event

Glen Hendrix


Photo by STNGR Industries on Unsplash

Had this old gun my stepdad gave me when he passed. The wife and I are moving from Houston to Waco and getting rid of stuff. The gun became an object of ambivalence.

After some internet investigation I determined the Colt .38 was actually made in Belgium from inferior steel. It could blow up if someone used magnums in it. Plus it needed a lot of cosmetic work. Ambivalence banished.

It so happened there was a buyback program in Houston coming up and I decided to turn it in. It was an operable gun so the offer was $150.

The buyback was from 8am to noon on a Saturday. I got there at 8:15am. The line was already long. There were hundreds of cars. I had no idea what I was in for, but I started writing this article about 10am sitting in a hot car that had moved a total of 30 yards in an hour and a half.

That so many people were turning in guns was a positive. There are too many guns in America. Their ubiquity offers access to almost anyone, even criminals and crazies.

Even sane, responsible gun owners can suffer. Accidents while cleaning and handling happen all the time. I know of a guy who accidentally dropped his gun. It went off when it hit the floor sending a bullet upward through his bellybutton at an angle that tore through vital organs. He did not survive.

To others in dire straights, physical and mental, it offers an easy way out in a weak moment. A friend of mine suffering the physical depredations of old age, battling a fucked up health care system and the economic impossibility of living on a $450 social security check, took their life with a hand gun.

I had made it to the front of the line. The policeman waved me on. I pulled up to a line of cops and popped my trunk. The officer picked up my gun, took it to a table, a lady scribbled some stuff on a paper, came back to the car and handed me my a receipt and an envelope with three $50 Visa debit cards inside.

It was 10:45am when I left. Two and a half hours sitting in the car. Fortunately I’d had food, water, and a book to read. Not everybody was that lucky. Now I had to hit the road to Waco.