Guns for groceries

When Americans start turning in their weapons for food yes, times are tough. AP:

The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralphs supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

Turning in assault rifles yields double that amount.

In years past, Target and Best Buy were the cards of choice, with residents wanting presents for the holidays.

This year, most asked for the supermarket cards, said sheriff’s Sgt. Byron Woods.

“People just don’t have the money to buy the food these days,” he said.

Authorities said Sunday that a record 965 firearms and two hand grenades were handed in during the two weekends the program was in operation. That’s more than in any other year and easily eclipses last year’s total of 387 guns collected over both weekends.

Compton’s violent history has been chronicled in such gangsta rap albums as N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton.” But Woods said most of the residents who turned in weapons were “family people.”

“One guy said he had just got laid off from his job,” Woods said. “He turned in five guns and said it would really help him to put food on the family’s table.”


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • graywolf

    Is the governments latest means to turn citizens into subjects by starving them until they give up their guns.

  • Free Thinker

    Because in Beverly Hills, your neighbor is less likely to break into your house in a crack fueled rage and shoot you in the face for $5.00.

  • http://www.abprosper.com/ ABProsper

    I am as pro gun as its possible for a person to be but I have no issue with these gun drives.

    The can serve as a way for a person to get rid of a broken, poorly made or unwanted weapon safely and legally while putting a few extra dollars in the wallet.

  • kh7463

    Wow. Indiana needs to do this, at least in the Gary area.

    I almost wish I had some guns to turn in. I have nothing to spend on Christmas for my 3 this year.

  • Rob

    And why does this “family person” need five guns in his house? I assume “family person” means he has children in the same home where he’s keeping (at least) five guns. Great parenting, family person!

  • Older_Wiser

    Now only cops and gangs will have weapons…are the police doing this in Beverly Hills and other white enclaves? Why not? Heh.

  • 1970cs

    After living in L.A. for a few years, if there is an organization that citizens should be wary of and arm themselves against, it’s the LAPD.

    After 8 years of the Bush tyranny I firmly believe in the right to bear arms.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Five guns? Crap. I wonder how many he’s holding on to.

  • Asterix

    Wow, just–wow.

    Times are really tough.

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