Just when you think you don't ever want to hear another crime statistic - when you've read enough about the murder rate in Cleveland - when you're having nightmares about sending your children to school because they might be victims in a random school shooting - there's a little good news!
In my October 11th post I questioned why so many teenagers have access to guns. Today's Plain Dealer reported that more than 350 people showed up at the Convention Center to exchange their handguns for $100 gift cards to BP or Dave's Supermarket. The police collected 421 weapons. I call that good news. It just should have been on the front page, not back on B3.
Think about that for a minute. All of those people, at some point, decided it was necessary to own a gun. All of those people probably coughed up more than $100 to get the gun. But, given the opportunity and incentive, they changed their minds! Officials said they weren't surprised that 300 of the gift cards were gone in the first 90 minutes because they hadn't had a buyback in ten years. That begs the question - WHY NOT???
I loved the part of the article that described a man who "grinned from ear to ear when officers handed his wife a $100 gift card. 'I am moving from the 'hood to the Heights and not taking my gun.' " Let's see - spend $100 feeding your family and being able to drive to the grocery store - OR - own a gun that could kill one of them? Good choice.
If there were no stray bullets flying from a handgun as they flew through Slavic Village in September, Cookie Thomas and many other innocent children would still be here enjoying those groceries.