Today, Saturday, December 12, from 10 am to noon we hosted the on-air ‘Put the Guns Down & Power Up' Town Hall. We discussed the increase in gun violence in Buffalo and it's impact on our community.  If you missed it, you can listen here.

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If you missed our 2-hour discussion, you can find it below. Our hope is that your will be inspired by this to make a change. We know that one town hall won't stop the gun violence in Buffalo, but we want to help plant the seeds that will help bring this senseless violence to an end. I, Yasmin Young, and DJ Ed Nice were joined by an esteemed panel of guests from various aspects of government and the community.

Guest Speakers:

Most Valuable Parents Buffalo - Founder of MVP, Neal Dobbins
Buffalo Police Department - Deputy Commissioner, Barbara Lark
Buffalo Common Council, University District - Councilmember, Rasheed N.C. Wyatt
Buffalo Urban League - President & CEO, Thomas Beauford, Jr.
BestSelf Behavioral Health - Program Director, Cambria Daniels, MA

You can listen to each of our speakers below:

Yasmin Young & Ed Nice Intro to the 'Put the Guns Down & Power Up' Town Hall

Neal Dobbins, Founder of MVP Buffalo

Neal joined us to speak about the Tiahrt Amendment and how it affects law enforcement's ability to trace guns and how guns are making their way into our community.

"Tiahrt Amendments are provisions that have been attached to US Department of Justice appropriations bills that significantly restrict Police when investigating gun crimes and also prohibits the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency while in the middle of an investigation . Therefore it is difficult to get statistics on Gun trafficing. When you want to answer the question where are the Guns coming from? This kind of information would be helpful.
MVP is working hard to educate our community on the Tiahrt Amendment And also to fight to get it reversed."

If you would like to join MVP Buffalo's movement, you can visit their website for more details.

Barbara Lark, Deputy Commissioner - Buffalo Police Department

Deputy Commissioner Lark spoke about why there has been an increase in gun violence and what the Buffalo Police Department is doing to try to stop it. She also spoke about how the community can help solve these gun crimes. Don't be afraid to speak up! Can you call or text the BPD confidential tip line at 716-847-2255. You can visit their website for more details and resources.

Rasheed N.C. Wyatt, Buffalo Common Councilmember

Councilmember Wyatt joined the conversation to talk about how this gun violence impacts our neighborhoods and community. He spoke about how our young Black males need role models and to know they are loved. If you would like to contact Councilmember Wyatt, you can call his office at 716-851-5165 or email rwyatt@city-buffalo.com. You can visit his website for more information.

Thomas Beauford, Jr., Buffalo Urban League - President & CEO

Many people turn to a life of crime because they don't have opportunities for education, careers and things to look forward to. President Beauford joined us to talk about the socio-economic disparities that often lead to crime and gun violence. He talked about some of the opportunities the Buffalo Urban League provides. You can visit their website for more information and resources. You can also give them a call at 716-250-2400.

Cambria Daniels, Best Self Behavioral Health

People who live in areas with gun violence often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, anxiety, stress and other mental issues. We invited Cambria, a Program Director at BestSelf, to talk about the affects gun violence has on the mental health of our communities. She also spoke about how someone who is inclined to live a violent lifestyle can make a change for the better. You can call BestSelf at 716-844-0888 or the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 716-226-6264 for help with mental illness or behavioral issues. You can visit BestSelf's website for more details and resources.

The increased gun violence in Buffalo and even Niagara Falls, follows a national trend. According to the Washington Post,

On an average day, 313 people are shot in the United States, and 103 of them die, including 63 who kill themselves with guns.

According to the Buffalo News, at the end of August 2020, the number of people who were victims of gun-related crimes, where a person was injured or killed, was 217, almost double what it was in 2019;

2018 168
2019 119
2020 217

Here are some organizations you can get involved in:

8 Buffalo Organizations that Help During the Holidays