A story by the Plain Dealer's Rachel Dissell helped kick off the current event planning.
Here's how it works: Children may come in on Dec. 13 and turn in their toy or replica guns for educational comic books and prizes.
More information from Dissell:
Pointer and Forshe say the buyback event is simple a way to start a conversation with youth about the dangers of guns – both real and fake – and put the emphasis on education.The event comes, of course, after the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by Officer Timothy Loehmann. Rice was holding an air-soft "toy" gun, pictured here, which was mistaken by Loehmann for a real gun. Rice was also mistaken as being "maybe 20" by the officer.
The comic books being passed out were created by Rid-All to teach children about the environment and sustainability.
"We need mothers to show solidarity and bring their children to turn in their toy guns," Pointer said.
The now-national controversy contrasts a May 21 police report, in which Officer Aaron Reese apprehended a suspected gunman at East 86th and Superior. That suspect, a child, turned out to be waving a toy gun around the intersection. He was taken home and ordered to write a letter of apology.
The boy's letter reflects back much of the community's concern over Rice's death — and the inherent problems with toy guns and violent subcultures among predominantly poor youth.
“I was stupid to have a BB gun that looks real enough to may have been shot and killed by anyone who saw or carried a real gun,” the letter stated. “I was also stupid to walk down the main street with it. I should have just kept it with my brother’s friend and shouldn’t have touched it at all. Even though I was walking, I was thinking in my head what if I get caught also what if I get killed. I am sincerely sorry for having the gun.”Pretty much the exact thing Pointer has been fighting against for years.