Gun Buyback Program Announced: Via NBC4, the AP reports that MPD will be holding a gun buyback event this Saturday, in an effort to reduce violence — or perhaps to get in as much gun-buying goodness as they can before the Supreme Court rules on the gun ban. Guns can be turned in for payouts of between $10 and $100, and will be collected at Shiloh Baptist Church, Holy Christian House of Praise or Union Temple Baptist Church. Needless to say, participants will be given amnesty for the gun possession charges they would otherwise face.I'm all for reducing the number of guns in the general population, so I will keep my fingers crossed that Saturday's turnout at Shiloh will be significant. Hopefully gun buyback events ultimately reduce the number of armed criminals out there, either directly or indirectly.
That said, I always wonder about the appropriateness of any D.C.-endorsed function taking place at Shiloh Baptist Church, given the church's less than stellar record in the neighborhood (notably the church's portfolio of vacant properties that blight the area, its years and years of empty promises regarding building a senior center/affordable senior housing, and its neighborhood-business-undermining activities (e.g., its liquor license battles with select neighborhood businesses)) and given the number of city-owned public facilities nearby (e.g., Kennedy Recreation Center). At minimum, I feel that until the church no longer holds the neighborhood hostage with its boarded up blight, the city should avoid utilizing any of the church's facilities. Using church facilities associates the city with the church and impliedly gives the appearance of the city's endorsement of or need for this church. On a related note, I certainly hope that the city does not pay any rental fees to the church for hosting events, as I don't want my tax dollars going towards the paying the church's vacant property tax bills.