Gun Buyback Crushes It This Year

Paul Curci crushes a gun turned in at the Goods for Guns Buyback event. (Photo courtesy of the Telegram & Gazette)

December 15 was a busy day at City Welding and Sheet Fabrication in Worcester, where owner Paul Curci was crushing the guns turned in at the 17th annual Goods for Guns Buyback. Individuals turning in guns also received gift cards supplied by UMass Memorial Health Care. With additional cities participating, the total number of guns collected increased from 825 last year to 1,234 this year. Michael Hirsh, MD, surgeon-in-chief of the Children’s Medical Center and co-founder of the Goods for Guns Buyback program, said, “The gun buyback program is a union of the blue coats and white coats to make our community safer. And, we do this without challenging anyone’s right to own firearms.” See the video and Read the Telegram & Gazette article.

Dr. Hirsh Mentors Worcester Teen on Gun Violence Solutions

Dr. Hirsh

Though gun violence is spiking across the country, Worcester has seen a decline in gun-related homicides thanks in part to the Goods for Guns buyback program co-founded by Michael Hirsh, MD, chief, division of pediatric surgery, director of pediatric trauma, and surgeon-in-chief at our Children’s Medical Center. After learning of local student Rohan Krishnan’s passion and research to prevent future gun violence, Dr. Hirsh began mentoring the Worcester Academy sophomore and believes that Rohan’s work has the potential to spare many people from experiencing the personal tragedy of gun violence. Read the MassLive story.

Goods for Guns Event Added Following Florida High School Shooting

In response to last week’s horrific shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 people, Michael Hirsh, MD, chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery at the Children’s Medical Center, announced that another Goods for Guns buyback event is being scheduled for June 2018. In a Worcester News Tonight segment, below, he stresses the importance of turning in any assault rifles, and notes that that this type of rifle is not ideal for personal protection. Since its inception, the program has collected more than 2,400 firearms in exchange for gift cards.

While Gun Buyback Event Is Successful, Legislation Brings Concern

Dr. Hirsh

More than 200 guns were collected in Worcester at the recent Goods for Guns buyback event with nearly 700 guns collected at events held in six major cities including Worcester. This event, coordinated by local law enforcement agencies in partnership with Michael Hirsh, MD, director of the Pediatric Trauma Center at the Children’s Medical Center, comes amidst pending Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 legislation, which would allow licensed gun owners from other states to carry a concealed weapon into Massachusetts without having to meet Massachusetts’ rigid restrictions. Read the Telegram & Gazette op-ed on the bill, featuring information from Dr. Hirsh.

Goods for Guns Buyback Program Is Saturday at WPD

The 16th annual Goods for Guns Buyback event is Saturday, December 16, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Worcester Police Department. Participants will receive grocery store gift cards in exchange for their guns: $25/rifle, $50/pistol, $75/automatic or semi-automatic gun. Free gun locks will also be given away to all attendees, even if they’re not trading in a gun! This is an anonymous event; no names are asked. Gun registration is not required. All guns brought to the police station must be unloaded and wrapped or contained in a bag. Visit our event page for more information. Learn more about the program from co-founder Michael Hirsh, MD, chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, who was recently interviewed by the Telegram & Gazette.

Dr. Hirsh Interviewed on Powerful History of Goods for Guns Program

Dr. Hirsh

“When you hold your friend’s heart in your hand, it changes you in a way that makes you understand the terrible consequences of when guns are in the wrong hands,” said Michael Hirsh, MD, chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery, in a recent Sunday Sitdown with the Telegram & Gazette. In the eye-opening article, Dr. Hirsh shares a heart-wrenching account of how losing a friend and colleague to gun violence solidified his passion to improve public safety by getting as many guns as possible off the streets, which ultimately led to his co-founding of the Goods for Guns program in Worcester in 2002. Read the article.

Goods for Guns Program Brings in Record Numbers

Local police chiefs, state officials and medical staff come together in preparation for the Goods for Guns program.

Local police chiefs, state officials and medical staff come together in preparation for the Goods for Guns program.

Our Injury Prevention Program worked with the District Attorney’s office and 17 local police departments to collect unwanted guns through the Goods for Guns program. Michael Hirsh, MD, pediatric trauma surgeon, was at the Worcester Police station supporting the recent event. “You can’t always stop the causes of violence,” he said, “But one thing that will help is if the access to lethal means is reduced.” This year’s buyback program resulted in record numbers, collecting 260 weapons in one day and involving the largest number of local police stations since it began in 2001. Read Telegram & Gazette story.

Dr. Hirsh Talks about Gun Safety and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Dr. Hirsh

Dr. Hirsh

Michael Hirsh, MD, chief of pediatric surgery and pediatric trauma, and medical director of Worcester’s Division of Public Health, was interviewed by the Telegram & Gazette about the importance of the doctor-patient relationship, in light of legislation in several states that penalizes physicians for asking patients if they have guns in their home. Hirsh, an advocate for childhood safety and injury prevention, founded the annual Goods for Guns buyback program with area law enforcement agencies to give residents a way to dispose of unwanted guns and keep them safely out of the reach of children. Read more.

Dr. Hirsh Reflects on Gun Buyback Origin 

John Wood

John Wood

Michael Hirsh, MD, chief of pediatric surgery and pediatric trauma, spoke with the Telegram & Gazette about his experience seeing John Wood, MD, a good friend and fellow pediatric surgery resident at New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, killed in an act of random gun violence in the early 1980s. Dr. Hirsh’s lifelong commitment to preventing gun-related injuries led him eventually to establish the Goods for Guns buyback program in 2002. Read more.

2014 Goods for Guns Buyback a Success 

Goods for Guns-colorThe Goods for Guns buyback program, which gives area residents a chance to turn in unwanted guns to get them out of homes where children may be present, collected 147 guns, including 41 rifles, 62 pistols and 46 semiautomatic guns. “The preponderance of semiautomatic weapons and handguns in the returns was very encouraging, as these are the chief means of interpersonal violence,” said Michael Hirsh, MD, chief of pediatric surgery and trauma and founder of the buyback program. The December 13 event included 13 area towns and was managed by the UMass Memorial Injury Prevention Center, Worcester Police Department, Worcester District Attorney’s office, UMass Memorial Community Benefits program, and others. Learn more.