On December 16th, 2017, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Carver Skateboards, Longboarding for Peace, Concrete Wave, Loaded Longboards, Bustin Boards, Kebbek Skateboards, and a crowd of volunteers came together in San Diego for The 9th Annual Gun Buyback.
It was a crisp, cool morning in San Diego, with officers, volunteers, and a holiday spirit in the air. With Akins Ave shut down for the event, cars would enter the north end of the block and eventually a long line built up.
Special thanks to the San Diego Sheriffs and SWAT for handling the weaponry – the same crew of officers has been helping out with this same event for the past several years.
Young and old, men and women, the donors came in all different colors, ages, races and genders, each with a unique story to tell. Some with as simple a story as inheriting a parent’s weapon, and having no need or use for it, while others had far more heartwrenching stories. One mother donated a weapon her child used to commit suicide just a couple weeks prior.
By mid-morning cars were lined up around the block, and we rushed to keep the line moving as we gave out skateboards as fast as we could. During a rare lull an officers had a chance to ride one of the boards, tic tacking his way around the pavement. Then one of the SWAT officers set up some cones and showed us his style!
A couple of the events’ volunteers also jumped onto a skateboard, for the first time in decades since their rehabilitation.
A few of the donors were lucky enough to get their skateboards signed by two of the men responsible for this Gun Buyback program, Dennis Martinez and Harvey Hawks. Thank you both for your commitment to the cause and tremendous efforts.
Many of the weapons were handguns, some small enough to fit in your pocket. There were also numerous rifles and shot guns. Others were dangerous semi-automatic rifles and sawed-off shotguns. Removing them from unsecured homes means that they will never injure or kill anyone, making those homes safer for the residents.
Mac 10 semi-automatic rifle, an instrument of war better suited for the battlefield than the backyard.
In the end, The 9th Annual Gun Buyback removed 179 weapons from the streets, and 89 skateboards were given out to start working their magic in the neighborhoods.