Myles Coleman and Marcus Adams said they meant no harm, claiming their intention was to combat violence in the streets by encouraging people to drop their real guns and pick up paintball guns instead.
"We're not doing (anything) violent. We're not shooting at random people, hurting people. We're doing it amongst our groups, people who know about it," Adams said.
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The two friends wanted to start a movement using the childhood game, tag, but with paintball guns. They claim it’s a way to tackle crime by giving people a way to hash things out without real guns.
"It's only with the group of people (who are) involved that we have a group message with,” Adams said. “If I catch you at the gas station pumping your gas and I tag your car, now you're it, so now you're trying to catch me somewhere. I'm pumping my gas or trying to get food in the drive-through."
CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said this effort is irresponsible and comes with serious risks.
"I understand people want to draw attention to issues, but this is just an irresponsible way to go about it. From a public standpoint, it's idiotic. It could have hurt somebody out there," Tufano said. "How do I know the difference between a gun and a paintball gun if I'm in the middle of traffic at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a main road? I don't know what's going on."
CMPD is encouraging the group to reach out to the department to talk about creative ways to address gun violence.
"There's just got to be a more responsible way of going about it," Tufano said. "If they got some creative ideas that aren't dangerous or irresponsible we're all ears."