Newark Mayor Cory Booker held a toy gun exchange yesterday, in which children handed over toy guns in exchange for another toy deemed more suitable, the city’s Examiner reports. While the exchange was occurring, a man nearby fired a gun. Ironically this demonstrated further how gun violence has become commonplace in the city’s streets. The nearby man was said to have shot himself and no one else was injured.
No evidence has been found to link childhood play with toy guns with future violence. Still, Booker said, “They're getting books in their hands, positive toys.” “These are healthy toys, learning toys,” said Al-Tarik Onque, founder of Stop Shootin’ Music, a sponsor of the event, referring to the basketballs, tea sets, books and action figures. “Don't let guns be the first option.”