Macon NAACP To Continue Gun Buyback Effort

1:28 AM, Nov 21, 2010   |    comments
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The Macon NAACP offered their office to help continue Saturday's gun buyback effort until the end of the year, said Virgil Watkins, Macon City Councilman.

He says they received a total of about five to seven guns after Saturday's event. 

People who want to give up their guns can drop them off at the Macon NAACP office on 905 Main St., said Watkins.  Those who turn in their guns will be offered the same deal given Saturday, a free car CD player donated by Ken's Audio and Video Store and private sponsors.

No questions will be asked either, said Watkins.  We have around 80 car CD players left to give out. 

Watkins said Macon NAACP President Al Tillman wanted to give people another chance who missed Saturday's gun buyback. 

Hundreds gathered outside Pentecostal Temple on Anthony Road Saturday morning to participate in an anti-violence march organized by The Unity Fellowship of Churches.

They chanted "we care," before embarking on what some organizers called a "journey" down several Macon streets. The group of church leaders started the walk to make their presence felt in a neighborhood plagued by gangs and violence, according to spokeswoman Renita Patterson.

Judith Thomas watched the crowd pass by her mother's Anthony Road home, on it's way to Columbus Road, where the event wrapped up with a rally.

"We need to stop all this crime," Thomas said. "All over the world, not just in Bibb County."

Thomas said she was excited to see so many people participate in Saturday's march.

"It really touched my heart to see all of us come together like this," she said.

At three churches Saturday, Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Lizzie Chapel Baptist Church, and Covenant Church of Jesus Christ, people could turn in their guns with no questions asked. In return, they received a free car cd player, valued at about $100.

Organizer Bill Lucas said the buyback invites everyone to take part in reducing the number of weapons on Macon streets.

"When we got the first gun off the street, that could have saved not just one life but many lives," Lucas said. "We really believe that we're successful."

Macon City Council member Lonnie Miley called the buyback a "good gesture" Saturday, but said no matter what the incentive, it won't reduce crime.

"You're not going to have gang members say, 'Oh wow, there's a buyback program, let us go and turn our guns in,'" he said. Miley says gun buybacks are not effective and instead wants the community to address education and the economy to help prevent crime. 

Watkins told 13 WMAZ on Thursday that no police would be at the buyback locations, but Macon Police Spokeswoman Jami Gaudet said on Saturday they had one officer in plain clothes at each location, to provide security. Gaudet said organizers made the request.

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