How do you score tickets to Beyoncé’s sold out New York City concert?
Michael ‘Blue’ Williams, a millionaire hip-hop mogul who’s managed several high-profile careers, hopes a savvy gun buyback program will do the trick.
Williams’ “Guns for Greatness” program is aimed directly at young African-American and Latino men, aged 16 to 36, and will offer mentorship opportunities as well as tickets to Beyoncé’s world tour concert.
It’s a twist on the city’s traditional buyback program, which offers $250 for weapons surrendered anonymously.
Mr. Williams has already met with and received the endorsement of top police officials, but is still awaiting the final approval of New York City Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly. According to the Daily News, Kelly is open to supporting the program, but added that the proposal needed more study.
Some experts have recently criticized the usefulness and value of traditional buybacks, saying that they actually do nothing get the guns out of the hands of those who are most likely to use them to commit crimes.
But Williams’ hope is that his program will entice the young hip-hop demo he engages with every day. He told the Daily News, “That’s the audience they need to reach out for, the ones who are carrying the guns and committing the crimes.”
Although Beyoncé has recently come out for gun reform legislation, it’s not yet clear whether she'll sign on to participate.
However, if “Guns for Greatness” is green-lighted, it would be the city’s first private-sector gun buyback initiative.