Nationwide ‘Guns Down, Water Guns Up’ initiative launches to stop gun violence

Nationwide ‘Guns Down, Water Guns Up’ initiative launches to stop gun violence

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Videos are surfacing across Georgia of teenagers getting together to help stop violence.

They are doing this but using water guns. Columbus is joining in on the GunsDown,WaterGunsUp movement. The idea behind the movement is to use water guns as a fun alternative to violence.

The “Columbus, GA Water Gun War” will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1. The community is invited to meet outside of Fluellen Recreation Center located at 2824 8th Street.

Max Keeble organized the event.

"A lot of senseless shooting have been happening in our community lately and we’re trying to put an end to it. Why not use water guns instead of real guns, so running having fun,” Keeble said.

Karliettia Scott is a parent and thinks this movement is a good idea for the community.

“I think let these kids play. They're letting off steam. They're having fun. They're staying out of trouble,” Scott explained.

Michael Williams recently lost his niece after she was shot and killed.

"She was just basically an angel and what happened to her due to violence behind a gun is kind of hard to fathom and deal with at times. But this right here, this event, should truly bring a lot more unity to the community and to the public,” Williams said.

Williams said he plans to join in on the water gun war.

"We need more things for the community to help the children understand that it's always a different side of life and there's always a better thing in life than just being out here in these streets," Williams said.

Even some local businesses are hoping this will help lower crime.

“We just spend all day inside the store and when you hear of a lot of break ins, a lot of gun shots, that worries you. You are inside the business. It can be the next day in your store,” said Rachid Boumaschoul, assistant manager of Beauty Queen store.

However, not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

“That could have been a real gun. People could lose their lives like that,” said Columbus resident Rebecca O’Donald.

The ‘Guns Down, Water Guns Up’ movement is also going on in several other cities in Georgia.

Columbus police said they don’t mind teens shooting off water guns, but advise everyone to be safe, stay out of the street, and respect others and their property.

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.