With another mass shooting just this week, guns are once again in the headlines, But, these types of events tend to overshadow some statistics that are far more likely to impact the average person. For example, according to The New England Journal of Medicine, living in a home where there are guns increases the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and increases the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%. And, a report filed by the Washington State Department of Social Health Services found that, “a child or teen is killed once every seven and a half hours with a gun, either by accident or by suicide. In 72 percent of these cases, the firearm used was housed in the victim’s own residence.” The statistics locally are equally harrowing:
The first goal of the buyback is to reduce the number of guns available for criminal use. Last year, Allegheny County experienced its highest rate of homicides in five years, with a total of 92 county-wide. Forty of these homicides were committed in Pittsburgh, and 43 percent of those happened in Zone 5, which covers the East End. Garfield was the site of seven shootings between October 2012 and March 2013, which is sparked this initiative.
If you have unwanted guns in your home that you want to be rid of with no questions asked, there will be a Gun Buyback this Saturday, September 21st at the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation’s Activity Center at 113 N. Pacific Avenue in Pittsburgh. You’ll be able to turn in unwanted guns safely, anonymously and legally. You can exchange these weapons for Visa Gift cards (while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis). There will be police officers onsite to safely collect and store the guns until they can be taken to the proper facility to be melted down.
$100 worth of Visa Gift Cards will be give in exchange for handguns, shotguns, and rifles and $250 worth of Visa Gift Cards for assault-style guns.
More information is available on the event poster here and at the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation’s website. If you still have questions about the gun buyback program, you may contact Aggie Brose at the BGC 412-441-6950, ext. 15. Please take advantage of this opportunity and share the information with your family and community.