NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey anti-violence group sponsored its own kind of weapons buyback program aimed at children.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney In Newark

Newark-based group Stop Shootin’ Inc. held a toy gun exchange program at Mildred Helms Park on Monday.

Mayor Cory Booker said a shooting near the toy gun exchange event illustrates just how vital such initiatives are to curbing the cycle of violence.

Several dozen children clutching water pistols and cap guns were lined up to exchange their fake weapons for books and non-violent toys, including hockey sticks and pucks from the New Jersey Devils, basketballs and Barbie dolls, as word spread a shooting with a real gun had taken place just blocks away.

Booker says Monday’s gunfire was from a man accidentally shooting and injuring himself.

Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka says more children and teenagers die each year from gunfire than from cancer, the flu, HIV/AIDS or other causes combined.

Newark has seen one of its most violent summers in a decade.

On Sunday, two men were killed in separate shootings. Anthony Davis, 19, was shot around 1:40 a.m. on Fabyan Place and was pronounced dead at University Hospital two hours later.

Frederick Smith, 24, died after being shot multiple times around 2:30 a.m. on Eastern Parkway.

Stop Shootin’ says ending the cycle of violence must start with the young. Organizers say toy guns make children comfortable with real weapons.

Baraka plans to hold an anti-crime protest this Friday called “24 Hours of Peace, Unity and an End to the Violence in Our Community.”

What do you think? Sound off below…

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Comments (16)
  1. Pat McCotter says:

    Gun-Proof Kids
    by Scott McPherson, January 7, 2009

    1. JohnF Boulder, Co says:

      “But that means teaching them that guns can be safe and good and they’re not and they’re better off if the nasty evil things are never around and having a gun in the house guarantees that a kid will shot themselves or someone else…”
      Want to bet there are some who’ll agree with my sarcastic hysterical rant?

  2. JohnF Boulder, Co says:

    From the article:
    “Newark City Councilman Ras Baraka says more children and teenagers die each year from gunfire than from cancer, the flu, HIV/AIDS or other causes combined.”

    Openly false on the face of it, to any simple search online.
    More kids die from falls or drowning at home, than by gunfire. More kids die and are hurt in school athletics, than guns in schools.
    And how many of these “teens” they want us to mourn are killed in gangland fights, or in shootouts with police? How about studies that show that people who as children are taught about and given guns by their involved parents and have vastly less incidents of problems with the law later in life?

    And what about the kids that are alive because they had access to guns (Numerous cases can be found) and kids that are dead because they didn’t have proper access even if they had all the right education and good parenting?
    The Merced Pitchfork Murders

  3. Eric says:

    Garbage. Ignorant human refuse. These drooling idiots are making their neighborhood more dangerous and upping the odds those kids die from accidental or intentional gun violence. Only illogical morons following their emotions and shallow perceptions focus on the tool instead of the behavior of the person using it. They should be teaching kids how to safely use and maintain firearms and encourage adults to get carry permits to shoot back at the animal thugs that have grown up in response to socialism, LBJ’s disaster of a great society, welfare, handouts, degenerate TV, and schools that don’t deserve to be called schools.

  4. LarryA says:

    “We’re teaching impressionable young children to be non-violent, like hocky players.”

    Oh. Wow.

  5. Grandma Em says:

    Guns are not violent. They just sit there like a piece of furniture ’til they’re used for an unlawful, violent purpose.

  6. Bubbo Shanty says:

    Society spends a lot of energy on sex education, and on getting the message out that having two mommies is ok. We also spend a lot of energies inoculating our kids against the flu, polio, tetanus etc. MAYBE, just maybe if we spent the time to “gun proof” our kids, they might not be so curious about guns.

  7. Sgt Carter says:

    Im in law enforcement. This tactic is what we call a “Strokejob”, yeah it feels good, but it does nothing except lighten your wallet and put the community at risk.
    How about encouraging FATHERHOOD, NOT “BabyDaddy”.

    Teach kids right/wrong instead of allowing gangs to teach them how to rob rape and steal.

    Drug test for welfare.

  8. Richie says:

    It seems that most lawmakers want to get rid of guns. I live in Georgia and I have quite a few guns. They are a good investment for one and I like to collect them and shoot them at the range for sport. People use guns for the wrong reasons to hurt and to rob or kill.
    Its very easy to buy a gun if you are a resident and have no criminal record. Another reason for the guns is to protect me and the family should someone break in my home.

  9. sigh says:

    I don’t even know where to start with this garbage article, much less this garbage program. This is a feel-good measure that will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in determining how the futures of these kids play out. This always happens. People spend a little bit of money on trivial issues so they don’t have to spend a lot of money on the real socioeconomic problems that cause violence, and it makes people feel good enough that the idiots who come up with these ineffectual ideas keep getting paid/re-elected… what a joke.

  10. The Facts says:

    How about teaching children the difference between right and wrong and then holding them to account for their actions?

  11. schmeder says:

    Why isn’t the real problem tackled, which is lack of a father figure for these “youth”, which would fill a void that leaves these kids on a path the gang violence.

  12. theresa Afzali says:

    I am glad some one wants to put a positive influence out there, but PARENTS/ FAMILY/ FRIENDS need to do their part by being INVOVLED.. mentally, emotionally and yes SPIRITUALLY!! people have lost touch with themselves, we keep searching for stimulantion, opposed 2 mental growth.. this world is LARGE!!
    But hey dont knock the guy!! at least he is doing his part!!!

  13. steve says:

    what a joke, this is taking it to the extreme. Not needed, waste of money, not going to work.

  14. Mike says:

    yeah like this is going to help to stop the violence. Positive toys like GTA should be helpful.

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