Guns for Guns… AND ROSES!

Chip Johnson’s column in the Chronicle today is about an Oakland gun exchange program. It’s very simple: turn in a gun and you get two tickets for Guns ‘N Roses at the Oracle Arena on December 15th.

Johnson really says everything that I could think of saying in the article, but this is a particularly choice quote:

What’s next, a free pass to Michael Richards stand-up act? There is surely a disconnect between the city’s promotional plan and the marketplace.

And this quote:

Etah Allah, 31, who grew up in West Oakland, summed it up nicely.

“I wouldn’t give them a sling shot,” he said. “In fact, given some of the things that (Axl) Rose has said about black folks, I think I should get a gun for just going to the concert,” he said, bringing a laugh from his friends.

So, is Oakland desperate? Well… yes.

“I recognize that Guns N’ Roses isn’t a band that a lot of Oakland kids listen to, but there are so many stolen guns used in crimes in this city we’ll take any guns we can get,” he [Joe DevVries of Oakland’s violence-prevention program] said.

It’s not even really Guns ‘N Roses anymore, it’s just Axl with a bunch of new guys. No Slash, no GNR. But most of the people targeted by this program don’t really care anyway, nor should they care, considering some of the garbage that has come out of Axl’s mouth. At least someone is thinking about new solutions to Oakland’s problems and it was great of Axl and company to donate the tickets. Unfortunately, this just falls short.

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