Community Leaders Unite Against Gun Violence; Announce Launching of Anti-Gun Campaign with City-wide Billboards
Community activist Neal Dobbins fired up the airwaves last Saturday morning during “Express yourself Saturdays” on the Legendary WUFO Power 96.5 where he took the conversation to stem gun violence to another level.
Speaking on three shows back to back – CAO Living Now With Nathan Hare, Bethesda World Harvest with Bishop Badger, and Buffalo on Fire with host Kinzer Pointer – Dobbins, founder of Most Valuable Parents (MVP) provided a wealth of information. He also announced that MVP, in collaboration with other frontline community organizations and stakeholders, would hold a press conference on Thursday, July 30 at 6p.m. at the corner of Genesee St. and Jefferson Avenue. As part of their 2020 Anti-Gun Violence Community Action Plan they will unveil one of six Anti-Gun Violence billboards going up throughout the City of Buffalo.
“Our aim is to speak to the gun-violence problem we have in Buffalo by addressing the question: “Where are the Guns Coming From?” said Dobbins,
One-hundred twenty people either were injured or killed in shootings in Buffalo through June 30, according to Buffalo police statistics. In the first six months of 2019, that number was 78. The 41 people shot in June alone made it the month with the most shootings of any single month in at least six years. Police attribute the uptick in shootings due to retaliatory shootings of rival gangs and group parties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the media.
However community leaders on the frontline have had enough and want to shed light and expose what they see as the root of the problem which is the trafficking of illegal guns from the iron pipeline States like Ohio/Pennsylvania and Georgia to Buffalo. Their anti-gun campaign will focus on educating the community at large how firearms are the leading cause of death for Black children and teens, as well as push for action in congress to repeal the Tiahrt amendment which protects rogue or what is commonly called “Bad apple Gun Dealers.”
The root of such laws like the Tiahrt amendment, Dobbins told host Bishop Badger on Bethesda World Harvest show, “is to protect the gun dealer who don’t look like the brother getting shot; don’t look like the brother that’s going to jail; don’t look like the little brother that’s going to the graveyard.” The person trafficking the guns illegally he continued “will never be charged with intent to shoot somebody; he will never get 10 years for being on school grounds with a gun.”
“Once these guns hit our community they are designed to fill the prison industrial complex with Black men. It’s all by design.”
While focusing on local issues Dobbins said Thursday’s event was also designed to “galvanize our community to join a national cry” to repeal or get rid of the Tiarat Amendment…which prevents the establishment of effective policies to prevent illegal guns and thus perpetuating violence in our inner cities.
Prior to 2003 noted Dobbins, academic researchers (when they were able to get the analytical information) found that the same 5% of unscrupulous gun dealers were constantly responsible year after year for 90% of the crime guns found in the inner cities of America.
Many community stakeholders are expected to attend Thursday’s press conference as well as the frontline leaders of Buffalo Peacemakers, Buffalo SNUG, FATHERS, Stop the Violence Coalition, Community Health Workers, CAO, Urban Think Tank and more.