L.A. moves up gun buyback after Connecticut shooting
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday that the city's gun buyback day would be moved to Dec. 26 to give Angelenos "concrete action" after Friday's deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, the mayor said the buyback program — which offers residents a chance to turn in weapons for grocery gift cards with "no questions asked" — would be held next week instead of May as originally scheduled.
"Too often we wake up with another headline that reminds us we are too late," the mayor said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
"In Los Angeles, we believe we should stand together" to prevent similar incidents, he added.
Villaraigosa was joined by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, L.A. Unified School District Supt. John Deasy and Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman to discuss increased security measures at local schools following Friday's massacre at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.
Both Beck and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced they will increase daily patrols at area schools. Beck said police would make daily visits to LAUSD's elementary and middle schools, and would extend the offer to charter and private schools as well.
"A barrier has been broken in our culture," Beck said. "It's our job ... all of our jobs, to make sure that we resurrect that barrier and make our children safe."
Deasy said district officials and police are reviewing policies already in place to see if there were "any lessons learned" from the Newtown incident. A contingent of district officials has traveled to Connecticut, he said, to gather more information for those reviews.
Zipperman said increased security efforts would not be limited to schools within LAPD jurisdiction. Other municipalities have already pledged support, he said, and all LAUSD schools would see changes once classes resume.
"We will do whatever possible to ensure that this is the safest school district in the United States," he said.
— Kate Mather