(NECN: Alison King) – The groups that gathered at Boston’s Ruggles MBTA station included Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner Paul Evans, but it was the women who ran the event.
“It is okay to say ‘No,’ when the man who claims he loves you asks you to carry, to hide, or to buy a gun,” said activist Tina Chery. “We are not going to do it.”
They call their coalition “LIPSTICK,” Ladies Involved in Putting A Stop To Inner City Killings.” Many of them have personally lived the violence, like Kim Odom, whose 13-year-old son Steven was murdered in 2007.
LIPSTICK is shining a light on the consequences women face by providing guns to people who can’t get them legally. It’s called a “straw buy,” where, in this case, a woman buys a gun, not for her own use, but for a man in her life – a son, a boyfriend, a husband – Who then goes on to commit a crime with it.
It’s the number one way in which guns are trafficked into urban neighborhoods.
Just last week, police arrested a 28-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman during a Boston drug investigation. The woman was carrying a large amount of crack cocaine and a loaded semi-automatic handgun. The man had $1,900 cash.
“He took all the money and she took all the risk,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley. “Based on his record and the officers’ observations, we have little doubt that the gun was his and the criminal enterprise was his, but she’s looking at prison time for possession of a high-capacity firearm.”
LIPSTICK has teamed up with Boston’s mass transit system to launch a public service ad campaign, called “His Crime, Your time.”
“This campaign is going to let women know that buying a gun or holding a gun for someone involved in a criminal activity is a terrible decision with devastating consequences,” said Walsh.
Boston’s MBTA is paying for 600 of the ads to be placed within the transit system.