Saturday, October 30, 2010

A candy "buy back"

A group of dentists have set up an organization, Operation Gratitude, to "buy back" kids' Halloween candy, then send it to US servicemen deployed in harm's way. It's a good cause, getting sugar out of the mouths of American kids and giving a treat to our GIs. The GIs, in turn, typically share the candy with children in the communities where they're posted.

In a way, the project reminds me of the efforts of the "candy bomber," Gail Halvorsen, way back during the Berlin Airlift in the late '40s.

However, I take issue with the term, "buy back." How can the dentists "buy back" something that they never owned?

The "buy back" term has its roots in the gun-control movement where anti-gun zealots typically exchange small amounts of money or gift cards for heirloom guns that white-haired widows inherited from their long-gone deceased husbands. The zealots think they are doing something about crime. But, think about it, why would a career criminal trade his $500 work tools (guns) for a $20 gift card?

The "buy-back" concept comes from the aristocratic notion that everything belongs to the king (big government) and he graciously allows us peasants to use it on the condition that he can take it back anytime he wants.

I applaud Operation Gratitude and encourage everyone, especially parents and children, to participate. However, I'd like to see them use a term other than "buy back."

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