Put down guns, pick up gloves: Events aim to curb gun violence among youth

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A gun buyback event held Saturday at Brown Chapel AME is aimed at getting community guns off the streets.

"Guns that are unwanted in the community or guns that criminals are using and have hidden around the community," said Charles Tassell, the founder of Street Rescue. "This is an opportunity for people to bring them in, no questions asked?"

Tassell says in the past, some guns turned in during the buyback were found near playgrounds and in mailboxes. He says it's a big problem.

"Churches have found that this is a good thing to help out in the community," Tassell said. "It's not about criminals turning in guns, it's about citizens who know where the guns are at and bring those in."

Turning in those guns can keep them out of the hands of young people or keep young people from falling victim to gun violence.

At Dohn Fitness Academy, an Anti-Violence Campaign encourages youth to "Put Down the Guns and Pick Up the Gloves." Young boxers are using the ring as an outlet instead of using guns.

"This is where the young people can come and be disciplined about what they do as far as getting out aggression," event organizer Tim Sullivan said. "We teach them alternative methods to conflict resolution."

Fifteen-year-old boxer Michael Willis agrees.

"You can take your anger out, if you have any anger build up inside, take your anger out in the ring," Willis said.

Thirteen-year-old Alexis Neblett is a young boxer who lost her father to gun violence. He too used to box.

"In life, you just want to do everything you can to be successful and if you know it's going to get you out of trouble and let you stay out of trouble and it's just something to do," Neblett said.

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