T.I. Initiative Aims to Remove Guns from Communities

Superstar T.I. and his K.I.N.G. Foundation have formed a coalition with the Political Swagger Foundation and C.H.A.N.G.E. Initiative to remove guns from urban communities. The first stop for T.I. is Houston, where on March 14 the Atlanta native will host Responsibility Is a Lifestyle: Give Back Your Gun Day.

The event commences at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Throughout the day, any person with an unregistered weapon will be able to turn in the firearm without fear of questioning, fines, or arrest.

The outreach program was enacted partly due to a recent sociological study by Northeastern University.

The results displayed that from 2002-2007, there was 31 percent increase in the murder rate for juvenile African-American males.

Of those murders, there was an increase of 41 percent in black male perpetrators.

Additionally, Northern University found that the numbers increased further when firearms were utilized.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the city of Houston has seen a reported 139 percent increase in the amount of young African-Americans suspected in gun murders.

T.I., who was convicted last year on several counts of possessing illegal firearms, referenced that his actions going forward will reflect a new spiritual consciousness.

“Instead of walking with guns, I now have to walk with God,” T.I. said in a statement.

Colleagues see that professed change in T.I., but Political Swagger Foundation co-founder Tonja Styles detailed the community must be willing to support his efforts.

“Every era of great change has had its music and the artists have always been at the forefront of that change; from John Lennon to Marvin Gaye,” Styles explained. “Today, T.I. is using his influence to affect change and we’re excited to join him. The responsibility is on us.”

Later this month, T.I. will begin serving a one year sentence per his guilty plea on federal weapons charges.

The Give Back Your Gun Day begins this Saturday (March 14) at 11am.

Missionary Baptist Church is located at 3015 North MacGregor Way in Houston.