There's a new gun buyback program that's attracting a fair bit of attention. Hip hop mogul Michael (Blue) Williams is proposing "Guns for Greatness," a private-sector effort -- the first in New York City -- that would allow people to trade in firearms for tickets to an upcoming Beyoncé concert and mentorships.
According to the New York Daily News, Williams, who heads Family Tree Entertainment and has managed the careers of Cee-Lo Green, Outkast and other music artists, has already raised $75,000 and is attracting the attention of entertainment industry professionals who believe that his effort is an excellent idea for staving off gun crime.
The end goal is for Williams to raise $100,000. His plan is to offer as many gun exchanges for Beyoncé concert tickets as possible. With her concert coming to the Barclays Center in August, he still has plenty of time to build up financial resources and to drum up interest.
Jay-Z and Beyonce look up at the video screen during the 2013 NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center on February 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Credit: Getty Images
"Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support," Williams told the Daily News earlier this week. "I think we should all work together to help get guns off the streets."
Through the program, the businessman also plans to connect young gun owners with mentors who can help them succeed. It's a plan that encourages youngsters to turn in their weapons in an effort to secure a viable future.
Williams hopes to launch the buyback on March 23 at a Brooklyn church and is currently waiting for permission from New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Singer Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the 2013 NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center on February 17, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Credit: Getty Images
"This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing," Willams wrote in a letter to the commissioner.
While the initiative is private and not offered by the local government, having police involved is a necessity, as they have the experience and knowledge to effectively manage these events.
Many pastors, community leaders and celebrities have already come out in support of the initiative. So far, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have not yet committed to officially participating.
(H/T: New York Daily News)