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Californians honor Newtown victims by selling their guns


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Californians honor Newtown victims by selling their guns

By John Blackstone

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES - The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut touched so many people across the country. On Wednesday, Los Angeles responded by holding its gun buyback program months earlier than usual. So many people came out that two sprawling sites, including a sports arena, were needed for the number of people getting rid of their weapons.

Angela Atkins came to the Los Angeles gun buyback with two hunting rifles and thoughts of the children who died in Newtown, Connecticut.

"It was emotional," she said. "I cried. And I just felt like those were everybody's children."

Asked if she is getting rid of her only guns, Atkins said: "Yeah. I couldn't send them a sympathy card or anything, so I just said, 'Well, that's the best thing I can do.'"

It was because of Newtown that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa moved up the annual gun buyback usually held on Mothers' Day. The city offers gift certificates up to $200 dollars depending on the kind of gun.

As for whether the NRA might say Villaraigosa is taking guns out of the hands of the good guys, the mayor said: "Well, the NRA says a lot of things that doesn't pass the smell test for most of us. They said that what we need are more good guys with guns. Well, there are a lot of good guys with guns. We have more good guys with guns than any place in the world, and we also have more gun violence."

But a 2004 report by the National Academy of Science found that guns likely to be used in crimes were unlikely to be turned in at gun buybacks. Villaraigosa notes that since 2009, Los Angeles has collected 8,000 guns at buybacks, a period in which violent crime in the city has dropped by 33 percent.

"This is part of a much bigger effort," said Villaraigosa, "a comprehensive effort to address gun and gang violence. And like I said, in the city of L.A. the proof is in the pudding."

The line of cars stretched for six blocks as people waited up to three hours to turn in their guns.

"Me turning my rifles in now is my sympathy card to Connecticut," said Atkins.

So many people are bringing their guns in that LAPD officials say this is likely to be their most successful buyback ever. They expect to collect more than 2,500 guns before it's over.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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No, this is hardly a feel-good movement for the victims of the Newtown shooting. You want change? Start volunteering in a hospital, interacting with those with mental illnesses, calling on government to increase funding for mental health research/treatment. Learn why so many people have some form of mental illness (this can be anything from schizo to panic attacks that manifest into nothing), and stop putting a bandaid on a deep cut.

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"Well, the NRA says a lot of things that doesn't pass the smell test for most of us. They said that what we need are more good guys with guns. Well, there are a lot of good guys with guns. We have more good guys with guns than any place in the world, and we also have more gun violence."

Right freakin on .

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No, this is hardly a feel-good movement for the victims of the Newtown shooting. You want change? Start volunteering in a hospital, interacting with those with mental illnesses, calling on government to increase funding for mental health research/treatment. Learn why so many people have some form of mental illness (this can be anything from schizo to panic attacks that manifest into nothing), and stop putting a bandaid on a deep cut.

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The only ignorance I see is with folk who think guns are the solution. Mental illness treatment is; not only does it cover a vast majority of the shooters' problems, but it also reaches out to normal people whose lives can be improved by treating them for things like panic disorders, OCD, etc. OCD people aren't going to get a gun and go nuts in a mall, but their disorder affects their lives in a way that makes them less productive members of society.

26.2% or 58M people in the USA have some form of mental illness or another - http://www.nimh.nih....ica/index.shtml - get funding increased for them and get them treatment before you work on the tens of nutjobs who shoot up a mall or school.

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The only ignorance I see is with folk who think guns are the solution. Mental illness treatment is; not only does it cover a vast majority of the shooters' problems, but it also reaches out to normal people whose lives can be improved by treating them for things like panic disorders, OCD, etc. OCD people aren't going to get a gun and go nuts in a mall, but their disorder affects their lives in a way that makes them less productive members of society.

26.2% or 58M people in the USA have some form of mental illness or another - http://www.nimh.nih....ica/index.shtml - get funding increased for them and get them treatment before you work on the tens of nutjobs who shoot up a mall or school.

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We've been over this before. Mental illness is not exclusive to the United States. A ridiculously high rate of gun owmnership is.

As far as turning in your guns, I agree that this will have little, if any impact. However, as a symbolic gesture, I applaud the people who are doing so. As the lady in the story said, it's one way to honor the innocent victims of Newtown. Others decided the best way to do so was to rush out and buy more weapons and ammunition.

I'll leave it up to you to decide which is the more fitting tribute.

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He's going for his Ph.D. in trollology. He switched majors after miserably failing psychology.

Anyhow, given it's California, odds are high those were black market guns anyways.

I also love how in a state that has millions more in population than we do in Canada entirely, 2500 = Californians. :lol: A movement in dire need of feeling good about something.

I wonder if Villagairosa sees himself like Michelle Pfeiffer's character in Gangsta's Paradise saw herself. He totally addressed the gang problem as gang members in droves just handed over their guns to the LA messiah mayor. ;)

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Both are equally fitting as they are perfect examples of exercising rights.. one to buy guns, the other to turn them in voluntarily. Win/win.

Although, the victims from Newtown likely won't care about the symbolic gesture, since they're kinda dead. All in all, the turning in thing is just a feel-food-for-myself gesture, if not a way of possibly discarding malfunctioning objects.

Someone who actually wants to make a difference in Newtown will invest into helping pay for the funerals. Someone who wants to help make a difference on the mass shooting problem might want to help fund further studies on the Americans who think killing each other is okay, or you can personally help fund an independent study about guns' mind control powers over humans. The latter would provide the most entertainment, so I encourage that one.

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You and I have a vastly different idea of what a fitting tribute is.

I think rushing out to buy more guns and ammo in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting is a slap in the face to the victims. And I'd be willing to bet the mortgage that the families of those 26 vicitms would agree with me.

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