Hat Tip: David Codrea
I wonder how much it cost to implement that. I mean, putting the proceeds from scrap back into the state economy sounds like a good idea, but what are the potential returns?
Now, I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert, but doing a very cursory look over current scrap steel prices lists an average of $97.50 per ton of scrap steel.
That amounts to five cents a pound. My Desert Eagle, a four-pound gun, would probably yield the State of New York 20 cents. And I would consider it to be on the heavier end of the handgun scale. Average handgun probably weighs more on the order of 2 to 3 pounds unloaded--and doesn't take into account polymer frames which are becoming more popular in the semi-auto market.
It would take 500 DEs to make a ton. Does Suffolk County have that big of a gun problem? A related article here gives some more information on the matter. Its first mission destroyed 364 seized guns. Now, averaging 2.5 pounds per gun, and valued at $97.50 per ton, the county chest got back a whopping forty-four dollars and thirty-six cents.
The machine cost the county $18,000. That doesn't include operating costs: power, maintenance, etc., which the article lists as $8,000 per year. That means, in order for the system to be cost-effective, they would have to destroy more than the number of weapons New York City seized in the years 1994 to 1997: 56,081--and even this number would only yield them barely $7,000. We won't even talk about recovering the cost of the machine.
They could come closer to breaking even by selling the guns they seized, but in a fit of noblesse oblige, the property section commander said, "We don't want them back on the streets even if it will make us money."
Huh. Good thing he isn't responsible for balancing the county budget. Getting a few hundred dollars for property the county didn't have to pay for makes a lot more sense than getting less than a half-dollar for it.
But what the hell--since when did the powers that be really care for economic sense anyway? If you have a cashflow problem, simply bleed the peasantry some more.
That's right, Suffolk County...you're getting stiffed at the tune of thousands a year for a publicity stunt with anti-gun overtones. Hope you like what you're paying for.