The world is growing crazier over toys guns as the line between them and real guns seems to be blurring. Over the past several days numerous reports have hit the news regarding the use of toy guns with everything from a man being arrested for carrying a toy gun to police confiscating a shotgun that was made to look like a toy gun. In addition to all of the chaos over the news stories about toy guns, many people have been shot in the past for wielding a toy gun, including the most recent incident of Tamir Rice who was shot and killed by a police officer for waving around a toy gun. With all of the school shootings, police shootings, rioting, and more, there needs to be a bolder line between toy guns and real guns, but with people making real guns to look like toy guns, political activists may soon get their much wanted ban on guns, rather quickly.
Many news stories have arose that focused on toy guns. The first and currently most pressing incident, was that of the killing of the twelve-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was killed by an officer in Cleveland when he was apparently waving around a toy gun. According to sources, this was not the first killing of a child with a toy gun, however, with the officer still on trial and especially following the shooting of a boy in Ferguson by a police officer who was not convicted, the matter seems to be growing.
As if the battle over toy guns was not tense enough, police in Ohio confiscated a shotgun that was designed like a Super Soaker water gun. Dec. 4 was the day that the police crew posted a picture of the gun on their Facebook page with a statement reflecting they fact that they suspect many more guns made to look like toys will show up in the future. Though police have seen guns before that were made to look like toys, they are usually guns bought by hobbyists and not meant to be fully functional. Though now with the turn up of the fully functional shotgun that looks like a water gun, police and parents are both growing concerned.
Monday, a man was actually arrested for having a toy gun in his possession. According to sources a man in Alabama robbed a girl at gunpoint, using a toy gun. Though it was only a toy he is still being charged for robbery and burglary with a deadly weapon (since the victim thought he had a gun and he had used the toy as if it were a weapon). This crime was just another reason to add gasoline to the already existing metaphorical fire. As toy guns and real guns begin to blur together, many political activists and protesters are calling for a line to be drawn.
In fact, at the beginning of December, an activist in Alabama called for an end to toy guns in the state. The activist and a group of people actually gathered for a planned bashing of toy guns. Supposedly the protest involved smashing and burning the toys for a period of several hours. Though activists in Alabama seem strong willed, this was not the only instance of people protesting against toy guns in the wake of all of the tragedy surrounding the issue.
For several months now, actually, many schools have enforced a zero tolerance policy for kids who even so much as make a gun from their fingers. Students from many schools have been punished for pretending to have guns of any sort. One state finally overruled this. Oklahoma passed a bill early in 2014 that forced schools to ease up on this policy, as it stated that schools could no longer bully, humiliate, intimidate, or punish kids who have toy guns or simulate having one.
With all of the hype over toy guns, it may be likely that in the future kids will no longer have access to toys resembling weapons. The line between real guns and toy guns has officially blurred, as concerns have been raised over people who have toy guns in their possession and kids who have been killed in such a state. With the commotion, there are good organizations who work to resolve the issue without chaos. Whereas protesters use violence, and organizations like the Outcast Voters League destroy guns and hold riots, the Boy and Girls Club toy gun buyback program works to provide money for parents in exchange for toy guns previously bought. But will this be enough to subdue the use of toy guns in a violent manner.
By Crystal Boulware
Photo by Woodleywonderworks Creativecommons Flickr License