Gun buybacks are an effective way to pull guns off the streets, but they have one major catch: it is impossible to perform a gun buyback without any money. That is why gun-control advocates Ian Johnstone and Eric King turned to the crowdfunding website indiegogo to get funding. The pair hopes to raise $20,000 to run a gun buyback campaign in San Francisco.
Dubbed gunbygun, the campaign launched on Tuesday and has already amassed more than $8,000 toward the $20,000 goal. With 38 days remaining, it seems fairly likely the campaign will meet its funding needs. They performed a soft launch with friends and family “because early seed money is critical to successful crowdfunding,” so the current rate of $4k-8k per day might very well slow down in the following weeks.
If this campaign proves successful, similar crowdfunded gun control campaigns could pop up across America. San Francisco is an extremely liberal city, though, so gunbygun might not meet the same success in more conservative or smaller communities.
Similarly, there is nothing saying that gun-rights advocates cannot also jump on the crowdfunding bandwagon to support gun rights. They could hand out free bullets to counteract the recent ammo shortage, provide gun training courses, or fund any number of similar pro-gun programs. These sorts of programs might prove particularly successful in conservative states like Texas or Louisiana.
Is crowdfunding the future of grassroots gun control and gun rights campaigns? Or do you think that gunbygun is simply a fluke, and that massive interest groups like the National Rifle Association and large nonprofits like Moms Demand Action will continue to dominate the national dialogue?