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Families, Mayor Daley urge residents to turn in guns

ABC | July 22, 2007
Adam Thomas

Family members who have lost loved ones to gun violence made an emotional plea for help in stopping the violence. They joined Mayor Daley Thursday to call on people to get rid of their guns during a special gun turn-in program this weekend.

This has been done before. Turn in a gun, you get a financial reward and no questions asked. Last year, the police were bowled over because people were actually lining up to turn in guns. This Saturday it will be done again, and it comes at a time of high emotion and deep pain over the loss of so many young people to gun violence.

These people share a bond that none of them ever wanted and few could imagine. They have all lost children to gun violence.

"I cannot convey what it's like to eat dinner with your son one minute and the next minute identify his body in the morgue," said Tom Bosley, victim's father.

There is Tommie Bosley whose son Terrell was shot to death last year. And Ron and Annette Nance Holt whose son Blair died from gunshot wounds two months ago. They came to City Hall Thursday to help call attention to this Saturday's city-wide gun turn-in. The same event last year prompted a response that stunned police. They knew guns would be turned in, but they were amazed to receive over 3,000.

The plan this year is the same. Turn in a gun. No questions asked. In return, the reward is a $100 pre-paid MasterCard.

Twenty-three churches in Chicago neighborhoods will serve as the turn-in locations on Saturday.

"Something more has to be done. I believe this is a step in the right direction," said Ald. Billy Ocasio.

"It is possible to put guns beyond the reach of children," said Ald. Ed Burke.

One after another, aldermen Thursday deplored the loss of so many young lives to gun violence, and the mayor, angry that further gun control initiatives are stalled, ripped those who see gun deaths as a problem unique to certain Chicago neighborhoods.

"They're not marching to Washington DC because they're wealthy, and they have money and guards and homes and everything else, because it doesn't affect them. It's a simple as that," said Mayor Richard Daley.

Many of the guns turned in the past were old, beat up, forgotten, never used in crimes, and quite possibly never would be, but Chicago police officer Ron Holt, who lost his son, argues that any gun turn in is meaningful.

"It'll definitely make a difference. We don't care. No questions asked," said Ron Holt, victim's father.

Blair Holt's dad and mom and the other parents who came to City Hall Thursday were praised by aldermen and the mayor for their strength and for channeling their grief and anger into activism.

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