Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let's exchange your gun with 100 dollars!

On 18th, the civic police of Cleveland, Ohio, collected no less than 421 guns in 5 hours from their citizens- the police held the one-day event where citizens could exchange their guns with 100 dollars' worth of a ticket with which they can purchase gasoline.

They turned the jump in oil prices into advantages of preventing gun-related crimes.

When I heard of this news, I simply thought that those who did not know what to do with their unnecessary guns decided to trade them with the tickets. The deeper I think about this news, however, I started wondering those people might be too poor to buy expensive petrol and the police was seeking a way to prevent crimes comes from poverty.

Though it was not mentioned where the resources had come from and I guess it was tax, if 100 dollars could save one person's life, it is incredibly cheap and I'm so curious how many guns would be collected if this kind of event was take place throughout the US.


Lisa P said...

I love the innovative thinking of this program that finds a way to turn a violent problem into a financial solution for people, but I do worry that the program is too limited in applying only to gasoline and that it has the potential for systemic abuse. I understand this is local officials way to disincentivize gun possession in light of raising gas prices, but I believe there are significantly larger concerns in the communities where guns are

Throwing money at people is not the solution, especially when the system could be taken advantage of if people could acquire guns for less than $100 and turn it around into a for-profit business of sorts.

I must say, I am surprised at the number of guns Cleveland police were able to collect in such a short time, hopefully that have a system in place to prevent abuse and would be willing to expand the program to include grocery credit or school books, or whatever is needed in a community.

It would also be interesting to learn where the money is coming from to pay citizens for their guns, and how would it work in a place like DC? Would people be immune from prosecution if they turned in a gun within district bounds? Just food for thought!

Maren said...

This is a really interesting initiative. Fumi, I think you make a very good point that this is a way to directly prevent crime from arising out of poverty and desperation. I think this is probably precisely the intent of this program.

Just wanted to add one more interesting fact: Representative Kucinich is from Cleveland. Coincidence?

cmr said...

What an innovative idea! I wonder what they are doing with the collected guns?

While this may not be the best solution to the high number of guns in urban areas, certainly it has the potential for people to consider their priorities and recognize along with city officials that the abundance of handguns is a real problem for the city.

I am curious to see if similar programs occur in other cities.

Laura said...

I think this is a really great idea. I know that Cleveland has been having some recent issues with crime, so it definitely does not hurt to have some of the weapons that were out there int he city to be put away. Obviously, people who are most likely to use the guns are probably not going to give in their gun for $100 but this at least takes away the guns that might have been used more randomly. Also, I do think that it is an easy way to bring attention to the idea of getting rid of unused and unnecessary guns rather than just keeping them away somewhere.