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News Release

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

Media Relations

Venice Area Gun Buy Back Day

Tuesday, March 21, 2000

."Students of Mark Twain Middle School Initiate, "GUN BUY BACK DAY" To Reduce Violence In Their Venice Community"

Venice, Ca. - On Saturday, April 1, 2000 the residents of Pacific Area will have an opportunity to turn in their firearms, receive $100.00 per gun and take a united stand against gun violence. The theme of this April Fool's Day Event, "Gun Violence is No Joke", is the brainchild of a group of students enrolled at Mark Twain Middle School. These students attend Peer Mediation classes offered by counselors from the DiDi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center as part of the collaboration with L.A Bridges agency Project Heavy West.

These students, range in the age from 11 to 14 years old, stated that the "Gun Buy Back" idea stemmed from the fact that they were "tired of watching our backs and being worried for our lives and family members". In Peer Mediation Class, they often share stories of how gun violence has directly impacted their lives. The students neared the end of a semester long course last Fall on prejudice reduction, conflict resolution, communication and negotiation skills, and peer mediation training, the students decided to present their idea of a "Gun Buy Back Event" to LAPD Chief Bernard Parks. As a result of the initiation taken by these students, the Mark Twain Middle School's Gun Buy Back will take place at the Pacific Community Police Station, located at 12312 Culver Boulevard (at Centinela Boulevard intersection) in Mar Vista, on April 1, 2000 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information, please call Sergeant Mary E. Kite in the Pacific Community Relation Office at 310-202-4524.

For Release 8:00 am PST
March 21, 2000