McNamara misfires on Bell and gun buy-backs - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

McNamara misfires on Bell and gun buy-backs

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Toledo mayoral candidate Joe McNamara (D) took aim at crime by urging the city get involved in another gun buy-back program.  McNamara wants to reduce gun violence and believes buying back guns will do the job.

His target is crime; but in a political year, McNamara is taking aim at Mayor Mike Bell (I-Toledo) but McNamara misfired.

Mayoral candidate Joe McNamara (D) urges Mayor Mike Bell (I) to create a gun buy-back program, but the mayor is already organizing an event.

He is emphatic:  getting guns off the street, McNamara insists, will save lives.

At a press conference, held in front of the Public Safety Building, McNamara urged Mayor Bell to conduct a gun buy-back event saying, "If this program would just get one gun off the street that is used in a murder than it is well, well worth it."

Toledo last held a gun buy back 10-years ago but gun violence continues on city streets.

Freddie Lloyd lives in the LaGrange Village area and he is concerned for his family.  He told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann,  "It's getting real, real, rough out here.  It's bad"

Since the Sandy Hook school shooting back in December,  60-towns have bought back more than 28,000 weapons.  But there are 300-million firearms in the United States, so the question becomes: are these gun buy-back programs really significant?  Do gun buy-backs actually reduce crime?

Many of the people who sell back their guns at these events are not the criminals using guns.

Public Safety Director Shirley Green believes its law abiding citizens who are enticed to exchange their guns for cash.  She also says, "Gun buy backs haven't been very good at pulling in the types of guns we're looking for."

And researchers have found no link between buy-back programs and less crime.

Even one of McNamara's supporters attending his press conference acknowledges that.

Mike Dearth was the city-wide leader of the Block Watch program for 10 years.  He admitted there may not be a link between the buy-backs and lower crime rates saying, "I don't think we have empirical evidence (that buy backs reduce crime), but I still think it's a step in the right direction."

Which brings us to the point of the press conference:  McNamara tried getting in front of the mayor on the buy-back program
not knowing Mayor Bell already has an event in the works, until reporter Bill Hormann told him of the June event.

McNamara: "I did not.  That's great.  That's wonderful."

Hormann:  "Then why are we having this press conference?  Why wouldn't  you just ask him?  You're encouraging him to do this.  He was doing it before you held this press conference."

McNamara:  "You know, that's wonderful.  If the mayor is doing a gun buy-back program, I'm fully supportive and that's great."

But despite that misfire by McNamara, there is real concern about guns controlling city streets.  Just ask resident Freddie Lloyd, who says, "Young folks out here, thugs, gangs they don't need them," he says.

Gun violence,  gun control and gun buy backs can get political.

Mayor Bell's Coalition for Hope is targeting June 8th as a gun buy back day offering $50-75 for guns.

But the question remains:  Do gun buy backs reduce crime?

People who support buy backs insist they get us talking about guns and that's important itself.

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