WEST OAK LANE - As Philadelphia’s homicide rate soars, getting guns off the streets is a top priority.
"If we get 100 guns off the street today, those are 100 less that we will have to worry about taking a life or injuring a Philadelphian," stated Philadelphia Councilmember Cherelle Parker.
At the Upper Room Baptist Church in West Oak Lane, community leaders hosted a gun buyback, promising anonymity and a $100 gift card to Brown’s ShopRite, as an incentive.
"We don’t have the privilege, right now, of eliminating any tool that we have available to help solve this problem. There is no silver bullet or single bullet theory about how this will be addressed," Councilmember Parker continued.
With the rising homicide rate, in Philadelphia, and the increased number of shootings with children as the victims, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says anything they can do can help.
"That gun under the pillow might have been used tonight. We don’t know, but if we do this work together, if we recognize it’s going to take all of us doing multiple things, then we can begin to turn things around," Attorney General Shapiro stated.
Already in 2021, the organizers, through buybacks, have netted over 500 weapons, which were then destroyed by the Philadelphia Police Department.
Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight, founder of Mothers in Charge, advocates getting guns off the street. She knows the pain first-hand.
"My 24-year-old son was murdered with an illegal gun that was bought by the girlfriend," Dr. Johnson-Speight said.
With 100 guns collected Saturday, the group is feeling proud and ready to host the next event.
"No matter how many guns we get, or don’t. If we get a few guns, that may be the gun that was going to take someone’s life," Dr. Johnson-Speight added.
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