Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, February 27, 2013
The New York City Police Department is currently contemplating a proposal by hip-hop mogul Michael “Blue” Williams that would give city residents free concert tickets to an upcoming Beyoncé show if they surrender their personal firearms to the police.
Williams, who has worked in the past with Cee-Lo Green and OutKast, told the New York Daily News that he is now waiting on approval from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to initiate the “Guns for Greatness” program.
“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,” Williams wrote in a letter to Kelly last week.
He is somewhat optimistic that the proposal will go through, as Kelly appears to be open to it.
“We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it,” Kelly told the Daily News, before adding that the proposal needs to be further studied. The city already has a similar buyback program in place, giving residents $250 in cash for surrendering their guns to the police.
Williams is hoping that the city will approve the “Guns for Greatness” program in time for a March 23 kickoff at a Brooklyn church. He has already raised $75,000 for the project and hopes to raise another $25,000 in the near future.
If successful, Williams hopes that Beyoncé would be the first of many headliners performing in the Big Apple to take part in the program. He notes that her husband, rapper Jay-Z, is performing at Yankee Stadium with Justin Timberlake in July and would love to collaborate with them as well.
Last December, Beyoncé and several other celebrities participated in a public service announcement calling on Congress to develop a plan to pass new gun control regulations in the United States on behalf of the non-profit organization Demand A Plan.