Me, Myself & I

The World the way I see it

New Computers For Old Guns

Posted by Luminus on January 23, 2006

Mexicans are being invited to exchange their weapons for computers under a quirky new idea to curb rampant crime in Mexico City.Authorities in one of the city’s 16 districts are offering a new computer, out of 150 donated by a charitable foundation, for each gun handed in.

“People often have a gun at home, which could perhaps be for self-defense, but sadly it becomes a family tragedy when it is not used properly ” Guadalupe Lopez, local government head for the central district of Alvaro Obregon, told Reuters.

Shootings are a daily occurrence in Mexico City, a sprawling megalopolis of 18 million people where muggings, carjackings and kidnappings are common.

The computers-for-guns program, which echoes past schemes in other city districts that offered groceries for guns, will target some of the district’s most crime-hit areas, although collectors’ items are also turning up.

“This used to be my father’s. He died and left it to us, but we don’t have any use for it,” said Emilia Reyes, arriving with her young son to drop off an old-fashioned wooden dueling pistol. “It’s better for him to have a computer in the house than a gun.”

Maybe if we try this sort of thing in the Niger-Delta, we can get Asari Dokubo and his peeps to lay down their arms, though we may just make them take up another form of terrorism – Yahoo! Yahoo!, for those that know what I mean.

OK, that was a joke, but I think it’s a laudable idea on the Mexican front, firstly because it’s actually working as people are coming forward to trade and secondly because it’ll help significantly reduce the killing sprees that have become a societal norm for them.

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