Columbia man runs toy exchange to fire back at gun violence

1 year 3 months 5 days ago December 18, 2015 Dec 18, 2015 Friday, December 18 2015 Friday, December 18, 2015 9:33:00 PM CST in News
By: Louie Kaczmarek, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – A man plagued by gun violence opened his second annual toy exchange Friday, allowing parents to swap their kids’ toy guns with a new toy or five dollar gift certificate.

Operation K.I.T.E. Foundation Founder Marcus Buford started the exchange last year to make an impact on what he calls a worldwide problem.

“Gun violence is everywhere,” Buford said. “If I can get one kid to come in and get rid of their toy gun and move away from that type of play, that makes this a success.”

Buford said a person his cousin met on Facebook shot and killed her just the week before. He said that was his second cousin killed by gunfire.

“I had to bury my own cousin, again,” Buford said. “But that’s where my passion comes from, so I can give something positive to these kids and make a difference.”

Some people do not agree with the complete removal of gun culture from homes. Ellen Kliethermes of A Girl & a Gun Women’s Shooting League is a mother of three children and said the guns do not create the problem.

“Guns are not violent or unsafe,” Kliethermes said. “Uneducated people make them unsafe.”

She also said it is more dangerous to keep guns completely out of a child’s life than it may seem.

“Children are naturally curious creatures,” Kliethermes said. “If you prevent them from having anything to do with guns, the first thing they’ll do when they see one is want to touch it and see…how it works.”

Despite those opinions, Buford said he would continue his mission.

“I think if I can get them to focus on other things, positive things in life, that can go a long way in terms of making a difference,” Buford said.

He said the toy exchange will be available all year starting January 1.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – A group of local artists hosted a fundraiser Friday night, giving people people the chance to view works... More >>
4 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:40:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia businesses are coming together to encourage community members to lead healthy and balanced lives. Keystone Chiropractic... More >>
4 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 5:28:45 AM CDT in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a Kansas City suburb where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under... More >>
5 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:30:30 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a man arrived at a Missouri hospital with his lips apparently glued together after coming... More >>
6 hours ago March 25, 2017 Mar 25, 2017 Saturday, March 25 2017 Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:19:00 AM CDT in News
COLE COUNTY - Deputies arrested a man Friday evening for shooting a gun near Rainbow Hills Road, the sheriff's office... More >>
13 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 8:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said Friday it will begin patrolling areas with a high concentration of student housing... More >>
15 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 7:09:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge says summaries of initiative petitions against right to work no longer fit since... More >>
15 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:59:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican Gov. Eric Greitens will be visiting the U.S. Capitol this weekend to talk policy with... More >>
15 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:49:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Mid-Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to multiple sex charges. ... More >>
16 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 6:22:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
PITTSBURG, Kan. - Former University of Missouri head basketball coach Kim Anderson has agreed to join Division II Pittsburg State... More >>
17 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 4:43:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - Michael Porter Jr. announced his commitment to the University of Missouri Friday. Michael Porter Jr. is the... More >>
18 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 4:21:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - As the only all-female a cappella group at the University of Missouri, the Naturelles are reaching new heights.... More >>
18 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 4:05:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Crews battled strong winds Friday as they worked to demolish the historic Truman Hotel in Jefferson City.... More >>
18 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 3:30:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A $20,000 grant for Daniel Boone Regional Library will allow children ages K-12 who cant regularly access the... More >>
19 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 3:23:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed budget could cut billions from the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program... More >>
19 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University students have mixed reactions over president Kevin Rome moving to Fisk University in Nashville. ... More >>
20 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 2:13:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Police say a man arrived at a Missouri hospital with his lips apparently glued together after coming... More >>
21 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM CDT in News
FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Missouri man charged in the 1996 slaying of a 15-year-old Maryland girl will remain behind... More >>
22 hours ago March 24, 2017 Mar 24, 2017 Friday, March 24 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 12:14:42 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
11am 61°
12pm 64°
1pm 65°
2pm 66°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
The Voyager with Josh Garcia
10:30a
Wilderness Vet
11:00a
Journey with Dylan Dreyer
10:00a
Save Our Shelter
10:30a
Vacation Creation
11:00a
Dinner Spinner

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Despicable Me 2
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld