While other US cities are buying back guns, a New England town not far from the December 14 mass shooting of 20 first-grade pupils is urging the public to turn in violent video games.
Local businesses in Southington, Connecticut are offering gift certificates in return for every violent video game, compact disc and DVD surrendered at the local drive-in theater on January 12.
In a statement, community group SouthingtonSOS said there was "ample evidence" that violent video games and other media are contributing to "increasing aggressiveness, fear (and) anxiety."
It stressed, however, that the initiative is not intended to imply that the killing of 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut resulted from violent video games.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, also killed his mother—owner of the semi-automatic rifle he used in the massacre—before assaulting the school then taking his own life in one of the worst mass shootings in US history.
Several US communities have organized cash-for-guns buybacks in the wake of the Newton shooting—but at the same time, gun dealers report a rush to buy firearms and ammunition by those who fear tougher gun laws are on the horizon.
SouthingtonSOS, an ad hoc local citizens' group founded in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, said "violent games turned in will be destroyed and placed in the town dumpster for appropriate permanent disposal."
Southington is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Newtown.
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