NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 25: Shamarr Allen performs during the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 25, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Mandatory Good News: New Orleans Musician Trades Kids Trumpets For Guns

We all want to get guns out of kids’ hands, but how? If we’re going to take something away, we have to replace it with something better. New Orleans trumpeter Shamarr Allen came up with a novel idea and it’s music to our ears.

Allen created Trumpet Is My Weapon, a gun-for-trumpet exchange program. He was moved to start the program after the shooting death of 9-year-old Devante Bryant in the 7th Ward. “I have a nine-year-old son, so for me it just hit me different,” Allen told NPR. “I had some trumpets lying around, and I know for me, the trumpet saved me.”

He connected with the city’s mayor and chief of police to request that the authorities take the guns back without interrogating the owners. Then he took to social media and told all the youth in New Orleans: “Bring me a gun and I’ll give you a trumpet no questions asked.”

While he’s only swapped four firearms for musical instruments so far, it’s a good start. Others are lending a hand, too, by donating instruments. An online fundraiser also raised more than $26,000 for music supplies. We think Allen deserves a standing ovation for keeping kids safe and making a more harmonious community.

Cover Photo: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor (Getty Images)

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