This weekend in Los Angeles, Sheriff Deputies concluded two weeks of Gifts for Guns–a community safety program that allows residents to anonymously turn in their guns in exchange for gifts cards. The strong response–965 firearms, including a Soviet-era semiautomatic carbine, plus two hand grenades–surprised even veteran deputies who believed participation was driven by the economic difficulties faced by families. One man who was recently laid off from his job told deputies that he needed to exchange his five guns to be able to get groceries for his family.
The gift cards were from Ralphs (a Kroger-owned grocery chain), Target, and Best Buy. The program is paid for mostly by the County of L.A, along with donations from these retailers and the City of Compton. Similar programs have been run in San Francisco and New York.
Last month, new statistics were released that ranked Detroit with the third highest crime rate in the nation. Residents of Detroit regularly view horrendous news stories of shootings involving innocent children and by-standers.
MWRO believes the Wayne County Sheriffs Dept. and the Detroit Police Dept. should create the Gifts for Guns program in Detroit. Not only would this get many guns off our streets but it would help hungry and needy families get the necessities they need, especially at this time of the year.
(Image from YahooNews/AP)