Niagara Gazette — Weeks before the Falls planned gun buy back, the local chapter of MAD DADS is looking to help spread the word.
MAD DADS member Ron Cunningham said the group is looking to poster and help advertise the Falls police program, scheduled for Feb. 23, in an effort to end violence on the streets.
"We want a safe community," he said. "We don't want people to have to worry about being shot or killed."
Cunningham and the MAD DADS group are particularly looking to reach out to young men to make responsible decisions with any guns they may own but may have purchased by less-than-legal means.
The organization's name is short for "Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder. There are 16 chapters in the U.S.
He said gang violence is one of the many reasons for some of the violence on the Falls streets, but the issue of too many illegal guns is what the group wants to see addressed through the program.
The buy-back program comes on the heels of the passage of the NY SAFE Act, which imposes new controls on firearms in the state. The act bans the sale of assault weapons and limits the size of ammunition magazines among other provisions.
Cunningham said he'd like to see people sell back their semi-automatic weapons, which he said shouldn't be on the city's streets.
"In my opinion, the only people who should have semi-automatic weapons are people in the military or officers in the police department," he said. "Why do people have them on the street? Just because you can afford it doesn't mean you need to have it. I think everyone has the right to bear arms, but do we really need semi-automatics?"
Niagara Falls isn't the only place with a gun problem, though, he said. He said the entire country's love-affair with firearms has brought a lot of violence onto the country's streets, whether through legal or illegal means.