Friday, February 27, 2015
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Maimonides
The Boilermakers Union Local 154 in Pittsburg PA has joined with the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office and local police officers to begin a new program. Rather than the tradition guns for cash program, they have created a guns for training program. Most gun turn in programs reward the person with cash or various gift cards that bring in guns but do little to reduce the amount of gun related crimes. They tend to bring in a lot of small caliber handguns, non working guns and long guns and very few of the types of guns used by criminals or gangs.
The Boilermakers began offering their new program on Feb 24 2015 and it is different than most. The first round of guns for training was held in Braddock and there were people lined up before it even began. Everyone who handed in a gun was given an application and a time for a drug screening and if they passed, they were going to be given the opportunity to receive a six month training course with the union for welding. Jobs in welding typically pay between $20-$24 dollars an hour. The union added that they will also offer drug and alcohol treatment if needed.
This program may not get a lot of guns used for crime off of the street but it will offer an opportunity rather than just cash. Statistics have shown that most of the guns for cash programs may look good on the news and make some people feel safer but in reality, they do little to lower crime rates. This program does offer a chance to make a better life for people by teaching them a trade. It seems to be a much better idea for Americans who are looking to get ahead in life but may not have the means to afford that chance. Even if it only manages to train a few dozen people for new, good paying jobs....... isn't that better than nothing?
The next guns for training trade will likely be held in Homewood. Would it not be a good thing for more trade unions to step up to the plate and start a program such as this?