BOYNTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Four pastors in Boynton Beach went door-to-door Monday night in hopes of petitioning the police department for a gun buy-back program.
Statistics show the number of people killed in Boynton Beach has not gone up significantly over the last few years, but the pastors say gun violence affects too many lives. "It's not enough to do it in the pulpits," said E.J. Maddox of the Christian Bible Fellowship Church.
Maddox says a gun buy back program - for which a price has not been discussed yet - is a way to get members of the community involved. "It gives the people an incentive to do something that is right and to help the community. The police can't see everything."
Maddox's friend was killed this year. "It creates a ripple effect," said Maddox. "It makes you afraid to go down the street, afraid to go to the corner store. It makes you afraid to do the things that should come natural to you."
"It's not that there are shootings everyday in Boynton Beach. In fact, far from it.
But you visit enough houses, as we did Monday night, and almost everybody had a personal story about how violence has affected their family. "I watched him shoot my nephew," said Bernard Wright. His nephew, Adrian Wright, was killed March 29 in a shooting in front of a convenience store. "I watched him fall. It's still a bitter pill to swallow."
And this man told us this after he signed.
As the night wrapped up, and the pastors had a dozen new signatures, the preachers made one last point. "We are not saying that guns are bad," said Maddox. "What we are saying is guns in the hands of wrong people is bad."
The preachers say the gun buy back on Saturday in Ft. Pierce, which has had a number of recent shootings, was inspiration enough for them.
One hundred twenty-one guns were taken off the street at $50 each.
They're presenting the petition to the police department during a September 11 town hall meeting.