Evanston police will hold a gun buyback program on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Christ Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 1711 Simpson St.

Guns brought to the buyback must be unloaded, in operational condition and participants must have proof of Evanston residency. Examples of proof of residency include a piece of mail, Evanston Public Library card, student ID or a government-issued ID.

This is an amnesty-based buyback program and officials say no police enforcement action will be taken as a result of someone turning in a firearm.

The program was announced earlier this fall in the wake of the shooting death of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman.

Cash for Guns flier

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. The folly of the gun buyback program

    A 19 year old Evanston resident was shot and killed today in the 1800 block of Brown.

    If the shooter were smart, he would give the gun to a trusted Evanston resident and sell it in Evanston's gun buyback program. That way the murder weapon would be disposed of since these guns are melted after purchase. Remember, "no police enforcement action will be taken as a result of someone turning in a firearm."

    How ironic. The city pays to destroy a murder weapon.

    I can only hope sitting in the peanut gallery that Evanston police give ballistic tests for all of these guns the city buys and uses a nationwide database to check if any of these weapons were used in a crime. But that's a lot of work, time and effort.

    A  criminal can easily alter the barrel before turning in the gun. The gun buyback program is a Band-Aid approach to the problem of gang violence.

    Mayor Tisdahl told the Tribune that "the number of shots fired is really a better indicator" of gun violence in Evanston. But she "hasn't asked for a statistical study because "there are just too many of them."

    Come on. Really?

  2. Comment by Council member on gun buy back – troubling!

    Ann Rainey on her 8th ward quick topic site stated the following:

    ( post 26926 on 12/9/2012 )

    Let us think this through, if possible.

    As we know, Mayor Tisdahl is hosting a gun buy back program.
    We have a suggestion from an antique dealer that proposes considering the "responsible" sale of the valuable guns. This expert reports some of the guns will be worth from $200 to $1000++.

    My recollection is that years ago, the buy back I proposed collected over 200 guns.

    The buy back program is to get weapons off the street. I figure fewer guns = fewer deadly weapons. Is the opportunity for revenue worth considering

    ( Its not enough that we over tax residents, lets buy their guns back and if we get a valuable one, sell it for a profit?  Totally disgusting!  Lets cheat an little old lady who turns in her grandfather's antique gun worth $10,000. More money for another Wine and Cheese Bar?)


    1. Nothing troubling — it’s called reaching out to constituents

      As Ald. Rainey's first posting on the issue stated, she started the discussion because an antique dealer had approached the city with the idea.  She presented the idea to her constituents and, as she requested, she got feedback from several of them.

      But Ponzi, why no mention of what followed on that web board?  Don't you think that there should have been, in the interest of full disclosure?  Full disclosure is a good thing, right?

      Not one person wrote that it sounded like a great idea.  Rather, several  questioned the wisdom of the idea presented to the city.  After one of several posters stated that the idea was not a good one, Ald. Rainey wrote, "I agree, just trying to get opinions on a proposal the city received. Mayor says – police say melt them down."  Worth noting — Ald. Rainey's response was posted to her web board more than 9 hours before Ponzi's posting here.

      It's called taking an idea to constituents and getting feedback from those who elected you.  Ponzi, don't you agree that it should happen more often — politicians listening to the voters?

      Thanks to Ponzi for highlighting Ald. Rainey's outreach to her constituents.  Perhaps he could point us to other alderman's web boards so we can likewise monitor the exchange of ideas with their constituents?  Looking forward to that update from Ponzi.

      1. Lets sugar coat selling guns in the buy back program statement

        Given Ann is a council member she should have knowledge of the fact,about those involved in the recent shootings.

        Ann statement about selling guns the city collects, is not about a discussion, with her 8th ward quciktopic friends, but about her thought process. 

        It about her ethical behavior,is it in good taste as a public official to discussion things that run counter to public policy? 

        The Mayor is no leader, her vision of this buy back program is a joke, now that the facts are coming out about these shooting.  It is very unlikely any guns that would be involved in crimes here will be turned in.

        1. Where’s the sugar coating? Just constituent input

          Proposal made to the City.  Alderman discusses proposal with constituents then she gives her view on the proposal.  Absolutely nothing wrong there.  In fact, it's a public servant doing her job.  Ann Rainey's only stated opinion on the proposal — she does not favor it.

          Did you know that that proposal was made to the City before you saw Ann Rainey getting input on the idea?  My guess is no.  My guess is that your alderman didn't ask for your input.  But you found out anyway and that's good, right? 

          What if that proposal had come to the public's attention some way other than from an alderman?  You would write that the Mayor and/or the City Council were covering up something.  Covering up a money-making something. 

          Ponzi, darned if she does and darned if she doesn't, right? 

          By the way, where are those other alderman's web sites for constituent outreach?  Maybe you don't respond to that question because there aren't any and you read Ann Rainey's web board because she actually does what a public servant is supposed to do — raise issues and listen to her constituents.

          1. Constituent input?

            Let me answer your question, other council members have newsletters,  I don't read them since I have plenty of sources of information. I have attend other council members ward meetings.  Ann does not have ward meeting published on the city web site that I have seen by the way, as some of the other members have.I believe Ann actual has very few ward meetings. I realize the 8th ward has crime problems beyond some of the other wards and this is Ann focus which takes up her time.  I have no issue on how Ann wants to communicate to her ward each council member chose that, that is not the issue here any way.

            Ann 8th ward quicktopic site is unique, but is it a great public service? Its interesting to say the least.

            Finally – since you are claiming the PROPSAL was presented to the city, how was it presented to the city? In a close meeting, by an e-mail to council members, or to one alderperson?  It was not presented to the public as an agenda item at a  council meeting.  By the way the gun buy back as I recall wasn't present eithier, other than the Mayors using city resources. ( any time employees are involved in a item, it cost us money, so don't use their excuse its free)

            As I said before, with the recent event out east, even proposing selling guns back to a dealer as a discussion item, once you collect them is in bad taste and shows a lack of morality we citizens have come to know from public officials here.

          2. Now discussion of a proposal “shows a lack of morality”? Wow

            Ponzi, you want to see evil and deceit everywhere in City of Evanston government.  Now you assert that even discussing a proposal brought to the City shows a lack of morality?  You do know that other cities have done exactly what was proposed. 

            I don't see how raising an proposal made by someone else shows a lack of morality by an elected official.  Will you be the morals police of what can be discussed?  It's a big job, Ponzi.  The First Amendment might present some challenges to you as well.  And I thought that you wanted transparency in government.  Why should this proposal made by someone outside City government be kept secret?

            Are you claiming that Ann Rainey lacks morals because she asked for input from her constituents when other cities have done exactly the same thing?  Wow.  You are really floundering now.

            Newsletters?  Another wow.  What a great current way to reach constituents and get their opinions.  Yawn.  Newsletters are not a great way to get timely constituent feedback.  It also lacks intereaction between constituents.  You may not know but I can tell you that the 8th Ward web board is a fabulous community resource and tremendous way for hundreds of people in this city to share information.  Based on your posts here, you check out the 8th Ward web board frequently.

            You raise questions about the sinister source of the proposal.  You know, the telephone, emails, letters, running into someone in a restaurant or at a sports event.  Just think big and consider all the ways that we can communicate ideas to our elected representatives.  Attending every City Council meeting with a stuff pig is only one way to communicate ideas to our elected representatives. 

            Ann Rainey has many, many meetings with her constituents.  Much more frequently than an annual ward meeting.  She hosts meetings in different locations around the ward — police outpost, Levy Center, St. Francis Hospital, etc.  You'll find details posted on her web board a few weeks before they are held.  I have attended some of them and they are very informative.

            And as you probably know, Ann posts about upcoming court hearings of interest and encourages ward residents to attend with her.  The court hearings on the murder of Mr. Costulas near the Howard Street el stop, allegedly committed by two Chicago residents who lived miles away from the scene, is one example.  So she likely hears ideas when she goes to the courthouse with residents.

            I defend Ann Rainey because she asks questions, she listens, she devotes a tremendous amount of time to ward and city issues, she takes action that makes a difference and she cares about the 8th Ward and this entire City.  I can't comment on the other alderman because they aren't mine but I would find it hard to believe that there is any other alderman who devotes more time to this city and invests so much effort in being an alderman.  While there are those who disagree with her on some issues (and I have), I admire how much she has done and continues to do to improve Howard Street and the adjoining neighborhood.

            And the "recent event out east", I assume that you are referring to yesterday's mass murder of children and teachers at a school in Connecticut.  Please don't draw some connection between that horrific slaughter and discussing an idea on an alderman's web board?  It only cheapens your argument.  Or did that murderer there purchased an antique gun from a collector?


          3. Proposal from who? and to whom?

            Other than Ann's quick topic were did this proposal come from?  You have alot of talk about everything tangential to the issue. Where did Ann get the idea, as I stated before I have not heard this at any council meeting.

            I did not hear the Mayor talking about selling the guns the city collected to dealers, so were did Ann come up with this idea?

            You are not answering the questioning who brought this proposal to the "city" . You seem to only know about the item from quicktopic.


            ( anyone else other than the 8th ward resident who keeps on defending Ann, know if this was ever discussed at any city meeting?)



          4. I don’t know — go ask the Mayor

            We're right.  I only know about the proposal from Ann Rainey's web board.  And that's how you know, too.

            Again, an idea can be a presented to the Mayor or anyone on the Council without the idea being discussed at a City Council meeting.  Do you think that no one talks to the Mayor or the Aldermen unless they are at a City Council meeting?  Here's news — lots of people talk to them in lots of places.

            Today's gun buy back was the Mayor's gig, Ponzi.  Ask her what dealer to collectors raised the idea.  Feel free.  We are all breathlessly waiting for the answer.

          5. Go ask Ann

            Why do you want me to ask the Mayor, go to the 8th ward quick topic and ask your alderperson! 

            I am Breathlessly waiting for you to post it on her web site!

          6. Nope — It’s your question, not mine

            Ponzi, go ask your own questions to get the information that you want.  And ask whoever you like, wherever you like.  They are not my questions so I don't need to ask.


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