The news of 27 adults and children losing their lives at the hands of a gun-carrying twenty-year old has numbed a nation…and brought it to its feet.Numerous calls for discussion regarding gun control law and policy in the United States have rung across the fifty states in the past few days, chief among them initiated by President Obama during his speech at the vigil held two days after the shooting.The discussions are vital to understand the issue of guns in the U.S.—to follow their life cycles from production, to sale, to use, to storage, to disposal.  They are important in assessing the difficulty involved in obtaining a gun and the qualifications for operating a firearm an individual must possess to actually purchase and own one.

These vital discussions may turn into important proposals for new legislation, which could result in the passage of landmark laws and policies that can inform and dictate the acquisition of guns.


What About Addressing Guns Now?

As the legislative powers begin working, one cannot help but to wonder if there is another agile, adept sector of passionate, informed individuals who can do something sooner to address access to guns.

Social innovators have tasked themselves with addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Is there a way for social entrepreneurship to incentivize gun reduction sooner?

Gun Buyback Programs

Since the devastating news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 15th 2012, a number of innovative gun buyback programs cropped up across the country.  These programs have been funded by the government or private donors and offer a modest sum in exchange for arms.

Here are a few buyback programs that have appeared across the U.S. just over the past few days:

The Truth About Gun Sales in the United States

According to just a weekend of collection, over a thousand guns were voluntarily surrendered. And as individuals look for causes to donate their hard-earned funds, they may consider creating a local buyback program of their own to incentivize gun reduction.
But, how do these numbers compare to gun sales? According to the FBI, the agency that must approve all gun purchase requests, it received over 16.8 Million applications to purchase firearms in 2012. And though a number of applications were likely rejected, the enormity of the total gives a broad idea of the demand and interest in purchasing firearms. Notably, the FBI received a record number of applications in 2012.

A Need For Social Innovation

Consider this an open call to social innovators and entrepreneurs. The legislative process is at its start, gun buyback programs are gaining steam and seeing localized results, but are there other ways to leverage the crowd and the cause to make gun ownership safer?
A social innovator’s work is never done…and this issue summons action.Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 4.59.09 PM