Members of an Indiana church who felt compelled to act in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting are asking gun owners to give up their weapons in exchange for gift cards.
Members of the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Crawfordsville, Ind., in conjunction with the Crawfordsville Police Department, plan to accept guns and accessories later this month.
Crawfordsville, about 49 miles northwest of Indianapolis, has about 16,001 residents according to the Census Bureau.
Church members David and Sheridan Hadley said they are looking to collect semi-automatic rifles, bump stocks or large-capacity clips. All materials should be turned into the Crawfordsville Police Department on April 28 during the scheduled hours, and donated items will be melted down at Nucor Steel in Montgomery County, Ind., for safe disposal.
In return, Hadley said gun owners will receive a $100 gift card from Kroger or County Market for guns, and a $25 gift card for accessories.
“We grieved and we were shocked once again by the mass killing in Parkland, and that was only the most recent. Go back to Sandy Hook and Colorado … seeing the kids running out of the school and away from the school was heartbreaking,” said David Hadley said. “My wife and I were both career-long educators and have been dealing with children and young people all of our working lives, and we thought, what can we do to make our children and our grandchildren and our community safer?
“We thought the likelihood that we here in Crawfordsville, Indiana, would be able to make any kind of significant change in public policy at the state or national level was very small. At least in the short term. So what can we do?”
The Hadleys expressed their concerns to fellow church members and started brainstorming.
They then remembered the church doing general gun buy-back programs several times in the early 2000s, so they felt going back to that model might be a place to start.
“If we can get two or three or five or 10 of these things out of circulation here, that is a start,” David Hadley said.
“We know that there are gun enthusiasts and there are hunters and gun collectors in our community. We hope that they will see this an opportunity to get rid of weapons that … have no useful purpose other than killing people,” David Hadley said. “We are not knocking on their doors and trying to take them away. But we want to give people who are concerned about the safety of their children and their community an opportunity to get rid of something that maybe they’ve come to see in a different way.”
Source: Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star
Photo Credit: Smithsonian Magazine
Photo Credit: Courrier Australien