NEWARK, N.J. — The mayor of New Jersey’s biggest city says a shooting near a children’s 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 Monday in Newark to exchange their fake weapons for books and non-violent toys as word spread a shooting with a real gun had taken place just blocks away.
The exchange program was organized by a grass-roots group called Stop Shootin’ Inc. It offered children donated goods including hockey sticks and pucks from the New Jersey Devils, basketballs and Barbie dolls in exchange for toy guns.
Organizers say toy guns make children comfortable with real weapons.
Mayor Cory Booker says Monday’s gunfire was from a man accidentally shooting and injuring himself.