Philadelphia has been on a gun-control rampage this month, offering incentives to anyone who turns in a gun ranging from Playstation units to hoagies.
This week, Ricci Pagliarella, in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department, has been offering free hoagies, chips, and sodas to any and all who turn in a firearm at his hoagie shop on the 1200 block of South 21st Street. He decided to make this offer after a June 3 killing at a restaurant across the street from his establishment.
On July 17, police and community members led another Turn in Your Gun campaign on 58th Street and Chester Avenue. People who turned in a gun received gift cards, XBOX 360 and Playstation consoles, along with other prizes. This effort came after the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force announced that 23 people had been arrested and charged with gun trafficking and related offenses.
Gun buyback programs show that community members are concerned about gun safety, and everyone leading these initiatives deserves to be commended. But the city has to also look into other ways to reduce gun violence. Numerous studies have shown that gun buyback programs have not significantly affected the number of violent crimes and firearms deaths. The guns returned, and those who return them, are not the types typically involved in gun crimes. Providing firearms safety education and distributing trigger locks are other initiatives that could help save lives.