Bits & Bytes
PCs FOR PISTOLS: A NEW KIND OF BUY-BACK
One of the more attention-grabbing ways for getting guns off the streets has been buy-back programs in which organizations offer money in exchange for used weapons, no questions asked. To prevent the money from being spent on drugs or even more guns, sponsors have refined the concept--offering merchandise or vouchers instead of cash. But perhaps the most innovative buy-back program is one being created by the East West Education Development Foundation.
The Boston-based charitable organization plans to work with existing buy-back programs to offer refurbished personal computers for weapons. If a youngster turns in a pistol, his or her school will get a rebuilt IBM-compatible personal computer with a printer. An automatic weapon might be worth a complete desktop publishing system. The idea is not only to get guns out of the schools but also to prepare today's youths for the coming digital age using surplus corporate computer gear. The foundation is still seeking corporate sponsors for funds and computer gear to get "PCs for pistols" off the ground.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG