The Trumpet is My Weapon Gun Exchange Program is raising money to purchase trumpets which are about $250 each and music books to exchange for guns from New Orleans youth.
On Monday, July 13, 2020, a group of children were shot and injured while playing outside their home, with one of the kids, a 9-year-old male, being murdered. As the father of a 9 year old son, I thought how easy it could have been for that to be my own son. Much like a lot of the gun violence happening in my city by young people, it is heartbreaking to know and see this happening to our kids. My thoughts and actions immediately went to how can I contribute to reducing the chances of the continuation of this level of gun violence amongst our youth.
So I opened Instagram and posted “To all youth in New Orleans, Bring me a gun and I’ll give you a trumpet. No questions asked!”
Once kids started reaching out with guns I realized I would be able to get a few guns off the street. A lot of people reached out to see how they can help, that’s where this fundraiser comes in. The more instruments we have the more guns we can collect. Once guns are collected they will be turned over to New Orleans Police Department and dismantled.
As a child, and adolescent who grew up in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, I have experienced and engaged in things that individuals at that age should not have to endure. What saved me and redirected my path was a trumpet, the music, and culture of the city that it connected me with. It showed me that success, connections, and differences can be managed through self-expression. When I needed money to take care of myself, I played my horn in the French Quarters for tips and eventually that grew into a full on music career traveling the world. If I became upset I expressed that through song. The trumpet became a weapon that really saved my life, so I figured it may be able to have the same impact for another young person from New Orleans.
The Trumpet Is My Weapon is a mantra that I have used over the years. I began using that mantra because the trumpet really became my weapon and tool for my success. It has opened doors and sent me places that as a kid from the Lower 9th Ward, statistics say I should have never been. The goal of The Trumpet Is My Weapon Campaign and Gun Exchange Program is to put trumpets, and eventually other instruments, in the hands of our kids so that they can use it as their weapon and tool for success while taking guns off the street at the same time.
With a communal effort we can make a difference in the lives of others. Even one life saved is a step in the right direction.
Proceeds from “Trumpet is my weapon” merchandise at TrueOrleans.com will used to offset costfor Trumpet is my Weapon programs
- Pamela Saulnier
- Iris Yuan
- Timothy Ney