Pastor organizing toy gun buy-back to help curb violence - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Pastor organizing toy gun buy-back to help curb violence

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Pastors in St. Louis think taking toy guns out of children's hands may help curb violence.

"They toy gun is not the reason for the violence, but it is a symbol. It's a symbol of the culture that exists," said Pastor Rodney Francis of the Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.

Francis is considering starting a toy gun buy back. He says toy guns introduce children to violence, so parents shouldn't buy them for their children.

"Perhaps choose a different kind of toy to encourage kids to engage in dramatic play than a violent toy," he continued.

Guns have been involved in at least 18 murders in St. Louis in 2013.

In addition to desensitizing children to violence, Pastor Francis says toy guns can also ruin a child's education.

"We're in a culture where a kid can take a toy gun to school and get expelled. We're in a culture where a kid can put their fingers in a shape of a gun and it can carry consequences.”

Pastor Francis hopes the community supports the plan.

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