If you had a Lone Ranger cap pistol, a dart gun or a firearm-shaped space blaster — or perhaps even the fabled stick shaped perfectly like a gun — to liven up your games of cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers as a child, chances are you grew up to be a pistol-packing maniac awaiting the opportunity to open fire on innocent civilians in a public square.
At least that’s the logic of school officials who felt the need to hold a toy gun buyback at a California elementary school on Saturday.
Bay News 9 in Hayward, Calif., reports that Principal Charles Hill of Stonebridge Elementary decided to hold a toy gun buyback at his school, giving children the opportunity to turn over their plastic-tipped peacemakers, water pistols and photon ray blasters in return for books and the chance to win a more Democrat-affable bicycle.
Explaining his logic, Hill said, “Playing with toy guns, saying ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ desensitizes them, so as they get older, it’s easier for them to use a real gun.”
While it may just seem like someone is still a little upset that Santa forgot his Johnny Seven One Man Army Gun, anti-gun sentiment throughout the United States has actually made Hill’s style of educator pants-wetting over children’s toys bearing any resemblance to guns quite common.
Late last month, the principal at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby, Md., carried out a hot lamp-style interrogation on a 5-year-old boy who brought a cowboy-style cap gun to school.
The following is an account of the insanity, via The Washington Post (emphasis added):
The mother was called by the principal at 10:50 a.m. and was told that her son had the cap gun and pretended to shoot someone on the bus. She said that both the kindergartner and his first-grade sister, sitting nearby on the bus, disputed that account.
The mother said the principal told her that if the cap gun had been loaded with caps, it would have been deemed an explosive and police would have been called in.
The child’s disciplinary referral said he was being suspended for possession of a look-alike gun.
The boy, described by his mother as “all bugs and frogs and cowboys,” was apparently questioned so rigorously by the principal that he “uncharacteristically” wet his pants. Reports indicate that the youngster has been allowed back at school, but that the incident will remain on his permanent record.
And there was the case of a 10-year-old boy in New York suggesting that a bully ought to be shot with a water pistol; the cops came to his house and confiscated his father’s concealed carry permit. John Mayer, the boy’s father, was told that his 2nd Amendment rights would be restored when his son turned 18 and moved out of the house.
These reports are just a few of the many extreme cases of toy guns being treated like deadly weapons by adults.
If the argument is that playing with toy guns increases the chances that a child will grow up to shoot people with real guns, does it apply to other children’s toys? Do youngsters who play with remote-control cars have a higher chance of being reckless drivers? If your child is allowed to play Monopoly, what are the chances of his running a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scam when he grows up, or perhaps even orchestrating the next sub-prime mortgage crises? Or if he watches liberally acclaimed cartoons about pint-sized transsexual superheroes, is little Johnny more likely to be found answering to “Jenny” on a sidewalk dressed in drag and looking for a good time?
Probably not. As an aside, however, people like Hill probably would encourage Johnny’s transformation to Jenny.