Last Thursday’s launching of the Most Valuable Parents (MVP)-led anti-gun violence campaign was marked by the unveiling of city-wide billboards . That was just the beginning of an unprecedented, unified effort to stop illegal guns from flooding our inner city communities.
The Buffalo inititive has far reaching, national implications, given that the gun violence problem has reached epidemic proportions in inner cities across the nation. Bro. Neal Dobbins founder and president of MVP, gave a riveting introduction to the movement and outlined the framework of the organization’s “2020 Anti-Gun Violence Action Plan marked by the unification of all the front line anti-violence organizations; the formation of an Urban Think Tank; and an on going education component (i.e. the billboards). He assured the overflow crowd : “We are together and standing on … unity and solidarity with each other. “ The organization has launched a campaign to repeal The Tiahrt Amendment, passed in 2003 which prevents the collection of valuable information, and the establishment of effective policies to trace and prevent the proliferation of illegal guns especially in inner cities.
The law itself is criminal! It was also announced that Congressman Brian Higgins is on board and did in fact champion the community’s call for the repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment last week on the House floor (see page 5). Speakers at the press rally included Mayor Bryon Brown, DA John Flynn, Bishop Michael A. Badger, Bishop Frederick Gelsey, Murray Holman, Sharon Belton-Cottman, Bro. Dahveed Muhammad, Pastor Kenny Simmons and Police Commissioner Bryon Lockwood.
“The question at the forefront of this movement,” declared Dobbins, “ is where did they get the guns? We don’t have an assault rifle problem on the East side of Buffalo we have a hand gun problem…This community is flooded with handguns!…..We have to find strategies to stop these guns from coming into our community”…and everybody has to be a part of finding a solution, he said.
Pictured: Speakers: From top left Neal Dobbins, Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood, Pastor Kenny Simmons; (middle row) Bishop Michael A. Badger, Bishop Frederick Gelsey; Sharon Belton-Cottman School Board President; (last row) Minister Dahveed Muhammad, Murray Holman, Mayor Byron Brown and District Attorney John J. Flynn. ~Challenger Photos