ForexTV NewsDesk | December 26 2012 10:55 EST
ForexTV.com (New York) by Kyle Henry
The city of Los Angeles is holding its annual gun buyback program today, Wednesday, December 26th, 5 months ahead of schedule. The advance of schedule is in response to the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut which left 26 dead, including 20 children.
“Right now is the time for all of us to act. Too often in the wake of a tragedy like this we’re told it’s too soon to talk about solutions. Too often policymakers are held hostage by the status quo,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
After the mass shooting in Newtown, gun control has been a leading issue across the United States, not only at a local level but at a federal level as well. President Obama recently appointed Vice President Biden to head a committee focused on creating a set of "concrete proposals" to handle the issue of gun control. As seen in the past this is a complex issue, of which one solution will not be sufficient, and will face opposition from groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA, despite the tragedy in Newtown, remain firm on their assertion that the blame for these incidents should be on the media, and the way violence is portrayed in society, rather than guns, and gun owners.
Citizens of Los Angeles have two locations available to them for the buyback, including the LA Memorial Sports Arena located downtownat 3939 South Figueroa Street, and the Van Nuys Masonic Temple14750 Sherman Way. LAPD officials will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 4 p. m.
The program, initiated by Villaraigosa back in 2009, has collected around 8000 firearms since it begun. Last year the program experienced a four year low collecting 1,673 firearms including; 53 assault weapons, 791 handguns, 302 shotguns, and 527 rifles. Police also reportedly recovered, one anti-tank rocket launcher, a pair of pocket pistols worth an estimated $2000, and an illegal belt-buckle pistol.
The city is offering up to $100 Ralph’s gift cards for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and up to $200 gift cards for California classified assault weapons.
Since its inception, there has been a 39 percent drop in gang crimes and a 33 percent drop in shots fired calls, according to the mayor’s office.However, a 2004 report by the National Academy of Sciences found that the gun buyback programs were ineffective. Researchers found that the guns typically surrendered were those that were least likely to be used in criminal activities.
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