Give up a gun, get tickets to see the Queen B. That’s one hip hop mogul’s plan.
The New York Police Department will sponsor a program that could offer Beyoncé tickets for guns.
UPDATE: The Grio and New York Daily News report that the plan to trade guns for concert tickets and mentorships has been given the green light by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. The first "Guns 4 Greatness" event will take place Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center where guns can be traded for cash.
What’s worth more: owning a gun or seeing Beyoncé Knowles live in concert at New York’s Barclay’s Center? Michael "Blue" Williams of Family Tree Entertainment is hoping that the concert proves the winner in a plan he's pitching to the New York Police Department that would allow people to bring in guns and exchange them for tickets to an upcoming Beyoncé show, in what the New York Daily News calls the "first private-sector gun buyback program."
Tickets and a mentorship
Williams, who helped launch the careers of hip hop stars like Outkast and Cee-Lo Green, calls the gun-buyback program "Guns for Greatness" and has reportedly raised $75,000 toward a $100,000 goal to help fund it. Under the plan, people who exchange their guns would get concert tickets and a kind of "mentorship" which, according to a letter written by Williams, will enable young, at-risk kids and young adults "to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing." The letter was co-signed by New York community leaders including former federal prosecutor Kenneth Thompson. The buyback program would specifically target younger people — a demographic Williams says is best reached through music like Beyoncé’s.
'We’d like to support it'
Williams is awaiting the OK from NYPD’s Commissioner Raymond Kelly before starting the progam. Kelly is quoted by the New York Daily News saying that his department is reviewing the plan and that "we’d like to support it." Beyoncé, meanwhile, has yet to sign on to the plan, though other organizations including New York City radio station Hot 97 and the International House of Pancakes have already lent support.
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