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Anti-crime 'Night Out' includes gun safety advice

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Monday was National Night Out, that annual sign of the public's hope to be safe in their homes and neighborhoods, now in it's 30th year of that quest for safety.The yearly event is intended to increase awareness about police programs and anti-crime efforts in communities. 

The scene near Glenwood and Fillmore in Buffalo outside the Community Action Organization's Masten Resource Center was fairly typical of the August tradition, with kids in a Bounce House and people getting food from a grill and a cooler full of pop. 

It's the kind of neighborhood with active parents and block clubs and a persistent violence problem. Assistant Director Patricia Elliott says the center offers a lot of assistance to kids and their families and the Night Out meets a lot of needs.

"We're celebrating all across the country. It's anti-crime. It's crime prevention, awareness, how to stay safe, things you can do and things you shouldn't do. This is why we're here tonight. And we're helping the community by having the kids something to do safe with a nice close environment and just having a good time," Elliott said.

One thing different about this observance of Night Out was the presence of the Dorie Miller Rifle & Pistol Club, named for a Navy Cross winner honored for his efforts in the Pearl Harbor attack. The group was in the resource center to talk about guns and how use them safely to protect homes and families.

Public relations administrator Cary Dixon says good people need guns because there are a lot of people in the community with illegal guns. 

"We need 'Even Steven' just for the criminals in the neighborhood because they don't follow the rules," Dixon says.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.