Toy Gun Exchange Hopes to Educate Kids, Parents Alike

F.A.T.H.E.R.S leaders say toy guns lead to using real guns.

Tom Puckett
April 23, 2019 - 4:00 am

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) The Buffalo F. A. T. H. E. R. S. Group will take toy guns and give in exchange other toys like games and basketballs in an effort to educate about gun violence.

"We just believe in an urban community, violence and homicides are high and they're starting to take a toll, and we want to educate our kids on the impact of guns and gun violence," says Leonard Lane of F. A. T. H. E. R. S. "We feel a toy gun in the hands of our children where they can feel comfortable in doing the wrong thing. We don't want our children to be comfortable holding guns and pulling the trigger."

Lane hopes a message can be sent to parents too. "When parents buy these things, they're putting these tools in our children's hands, and holding a toy gun is just like holding a real gun. We want our children to be educated when they decide to pull the trigger," says Lane. Lane says he wants to educate children about using guns safely, and it's not about taking away the right to bear arms.

Lane says among the toys available will be board games. "We don't play enough board games in our community because we have electronic devices. We also have footballs and basketballs and golf clubs. Our children love football and basketball and we hope they'll exchange for one of these," says Lane.

Common Council President Darius Pridgen agrees. "We''ve seen young people lose their lives with a toy gun, but this sends out a bigger message to parents with guns in the house and alternative toys to use," says Pridgen. "I don't have a problem with kids playing with Nerf guns that look like toy guns, but those that look like weapons can be deadly to a child on these streets, so that's more important than anything."

Pridgen says if police stop even a child and the child has that in his hand, it could be dangerous. "Any effort for anti-violence is important, and one effort is not enough. It's our collective efforts that will keep our children safe," says Pridgen.


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