Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley issued the following statement on LIPSTICK:
We have a successful group here in Boston called Operation LIPSTICK – it stands for Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings. It’s a grassroots movement that grew out of research showing that women, particularly young women, were being recruited into making straw purchases of guns that were later used in crimes. So a group of women, including the mothers of two children killed by gun violence, applied that knowledge to their daily lives. They began visiting urban beauty parlors, nail salons, and other venues where women came together and they laid out the fact that some of their peers were playing an indirect role in the violence that was hurting their community. I loved the idea and sent prosecutors with them to bolster their efforts.
The result was a reversal of a rising trend of female defendants charged with weapons offenses. And while it’s true that the overall number of gun crimes decreased, too, the number of female gun defendants and their percentage of total defendants dropped at an even greater rate. Now, you have to bear in mind that LIPSTICK is a grassroots campaign, run on a shoestring budget by everyday people on the power of their convictions and not much else. So consider what we might gain from the combined effect of sensible legislation, properly-funded medical and statistical research, and a national public awareness campaign like the one we ran here in Boston.