Of all the programs that Longboarding for Peace has been a part of, none gets the attention like the annual “Gun Buy Back.” Yesterday someone posted a comment on our Instagram account if “this was a real thing.” I am here to tell you Howweroll_wpg indeed it is!Depending on what side of the political fence you find yourself on, you either want more guns with less restriction or less guns and more restriction. This is not what our program is about. It is about getting guns out of people’s homes who don’t want them and replacing the firearm with a skateboard. It is 100% voluntary. I have also found that the gun buy back is also a great way to start a discussion about a number of touchy subjects!From rifles to .357 magnums, you would be amazed at what people have stored in their homes! This extraordinary idea was created by Neil Carver of Carver Skateboards. It was Neil that came up with the concept back in 2013. It was his response to the tragedy of Sandy Hook where Adam Lanza stormed into an elementary school and killed 28 people. Twenty of them were between 6 and 7 years old. Speaking of Sandy Hook, December 14, marked the 4th anniversary. What is astonishing to me is that there are conspiracy theories on the web that say it was a hoax. You can read about one father’s fight to take on the hoaxers here: Over 250 guns were traded in. From this unspeakable act, Neil felt compelled to do something. Working with the police department in San Pedro, California, he was able to co-ordinate a gun buy back that offered all a chance to trade in their gun for a Carver Skateboard. Over the past two years, we have conducted 4 gun buy backs. Working with Dennis Martinez (a former pro skater and current prison pastor) along with Harvey Hawks (another former pro) the program has grown to be permanent fixture each December in San Diego. I want to pause for a moment and mention the fact that Harvey Hawks might not be familiar to all readers. His is an incredible story of redemption. Harvey actually wound up going to prison for 26 years for 2nd degree murder in a road rage incident back in 1987. He thought he was firing a warning shot at a van that was trying to ram him off the road. The sad truth is that the gun had actual bullets and they pierced the metal and fatally wounded an off-duty police officer. Harvey turned his life around in prison and I find it absolutely amazing that he such a huge part of this program. San Diego’s Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman The gun buy back would not work without the tremendous support of skate companies. These include, Carver, Bustin, Loaded, Randal, Dusters, Hashtag and in previous years, Landyachtz and Rainskates. Thank you on behalf of Longboarding for Peace If you are multi-millionaire philanthropist or a skate company with a whole bunch of product you’d like to donate, email me. Exchanging guns for skateboards is not a crime.