The recent failure of Congress to pass meaningful and sensible gun regulations in no way stops the efforts to prevent gun violence. Criminal background checks, limitations on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, support for mental health initiatives, and making gun trafficking a federal crime mustall be pursued and passed.
In the meantime, communities around the country continue to periodically offer gun “buy back” programs as evidenced by the recent efforts throughout Essex County. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr., has proposed HR 868, the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buy Back Act of 2013, a grant program for state and local governments. A feature of this program would be the recycling of the guns, which would be turned into products such as street signs and refrigerators.
While we continue to promote more comprehensive legislation to prevent gun violence, gun buy-back programs can help to reduce gun violence while, at the same time, stimulate the local economies. Rep. Payne’s effort is worthy of support.
Phoebe M. Pollinger
National Council of Jewish Women
Essex County Section board member