One millionaire has a plan to get guns off the streets in New York and give fans expensive concert tickets for free. Michael Williams, head of Family Tree Entertainment wants to implement New York City’s “first private gun buyback program” in collaboration with Beyonce and the New York Police Department (NYPD), according to a Feb. 26 New York Daily News report.
Under the “Guns for Greatness” program if fans have a gun, they could score tickets to Beyoncé's Mrs. Carter tour and music industry mentorships. The proposal does not just end with Beyonce. The 43-year-old mongul has a direct link to hip hop’s brightest. He has managed some top careers, including OutKast and Cee-Lo Green, and according to the Daily News, “has the ear of hip-hop and rap royalty.”
But Williams first has to convince Beyonce and the other artists, NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and the rest of the NYPD. Kelly for his part is studying the plausibility of such a proposal. “We want to get as many guns off the streets, and if this works, we’d like to support it,” Kelly told the Daily News, adding that the proposal needs more study.
“The Beyoncé show is coming to Brooklyn; the Jay-Z show is coming to Yankee Stadium. Our goal is to reach out to individuals who are in my industry, in my world and who I have an association with and get their support,” Williams said. “I think we should all work together to help get guns off the streets.”
According to Shine Yahoo, Beyonce is the perfect candidate for this program because she is an avid advocate for gun control. Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings, the singer reportedly appeared on Mayor Bloomberg’s “demand a plan” campaign to ask Congress for tighter restrictions on assault weapons.
In support of the “Guns for Greatness” program, Williams has already raised $75,000 toward his $100,000 fundraising goal, according to the Daily News. “This program aims to provide young people with an opportunity to receive guidance and inspiration from committed mentors, an important option that will enable them to experience possibilities other than a life surrounded by gun violence and unnecessary shootings and killing,” Williams writes in a letter to the NYPD.
Williams was motivated to fight gun violence after his business partner, Chris Lighty, co-founder of Violator records, shot himself to death in August. He said that Lighty’s death, coupled with his own recent arrest for carrying an unregistered gun through LaGuardia Airport was an “eye-opening experience.” “It was just sort of like a pushing point,” Williams said. “It eventually convinced me that one person can make a difference if they believe in something.”
Williams’ proposal is separate from the NYPD’s ongoing gun buyback program.
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