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Baltimore Group Exchanges Computers for Guns in Bid to Quell Violence

Saturday, 25 Jul 2015 10:29 PM

Seventeen firearms were traded for computers in Baltimore on Saturday at an event intended to help reduce gun violence in a city where homicides have risen since the unrest over a man's death after his arrest, an organizer said.

Police report 176 homicides and 349 shootings this year in Baltimore, compared with 115 homicides and 178 shootings at the same point last year.

Digit All Systems, a nonprofit company that aims to bridge the digital divide through tech training, offered a free laptop or tablet computer in exchange for a handgun, rifle or shotgun at an event supported by the mayor and police.

Seventeen guns were collected at the two-hour exchange, at the Greater Baltimore Urban League in West Baltimore, said Lance Lucas, chief executive of Digit All Systems.

"Some may wonder if 17 guns make a difference? Yes," Lucas said. "Every gun taken off the streets of Baltimore is a good thing."

At his organization's previous gun exchange events, more than 100 guns were turned in, he said.

"Our motto is: 'Stop shooting, Start coding,'" he said. "Computers and technology offer jobs and opportunity."

Co-sponsors of the event included OneBaltimore, a public-private group formed in May in response to protests and rioting that followed the death the previous month of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries suffered after his arrest. Six officers charged in that case are scheduled to go on trial in October.

Gun violence spiked in Baltimore after the unrest over Gray's death, police figures show.

Kevin Harris, spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, praised the guns-for-computers event. (Reporting by Donna Owens in Baltimore, Editing by Kevin Murphy, Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Orlofsky)

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Seventeen firearms were traded for computers in Baltimore on Saturday at an event intended to help reduce gun violence in a city where homicides have risen since the unrest over a man's death after his arrest, an organizer said. Police report 176 homicides and 349 shootings...
baltimore, computers, for, guns
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2015-29-25
Saturday, 25 Jul 2015 10:29 PM
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