Some “community leaders” in Buffalo, New York have launched a toy gun exchange program for kids. You read that correctly. WIVB-TV recently reported that the exchange, which is to be an annual event, was to occur Friday, December 8th starting at 5 p.m. at the Delavan-Grider Community Center. Leonard Lane, president of Buffalo’s F.A.T.H.E.R.S. organization, told the station that the toy guns would be exchanged for other toys or gifts. He noted that the exchange was conceived to reduce violence by deterring children from playing with toy guns at a young age, saying: “What we don’t want to do is make a child feel comfortable with a toy gun.”
Lane believes that toy guns in the possession of children present a serious concern for the future of the children as well as that of the community: “Whatever you put in a child’s hands that’s what he feels comfortable with, and you put a toy gun in his hands at an early age and when he gets older he’s going to want the real thing.” (Why only “he” and “his?” Kind of sexist, isn’t it?). Incredibly, Lane and other members of the F.A.T.H.E.R.S. group believe that coercing kids into turning in their toy guns will lead to a general reduction in gun violence within the community. Perhaps, if you consider getting squirted on a hot July afternoon “gun violence.”
To put it kindly, the reasoning behind this ploy is suspect. “Whatever you put in a child’s hands that’s what he feels comfortable with?” I guess he’s never tried that with broccoli or cauliflower. Or a bar of soap.
Actually, the best thing we can do for safety’s sake is to use these toy “guns” as a training tool to learn about proper handling, and respect for a gun…and others. From the Pilgrims to the Founders to the Greatest Generation, playing with toy guns was a natural part of childhood. Even necessary. Moreover, older kids were allowed to use real firearms for target practice or to hunt for food, as well. And for personal protection against beasts, wild and otherwise. This familiarity with firearms was a significant factor in the colonist’s shocking defeat of the British in the War for Independence and continued to give the United States an edge in gun battles in various conflicts thereafter.
The real reasons for “gun” violence are the same as they are for other violence and abhorrent behavior: the dissolution of the family, abuse of drugs and alcohol, rapidly diminishing standards of conduct, the prohibition on posting or learning about The Ten Commandments, the open mocking of Christianity, the dismissal of American exceptionalism, revisionist history, the entitlement mentality, and the general collapse of the culture, as evidenced in television shows and movies and shockingly violent and twisted rap music lyrics.
We’ll have no more frontiersmen- or women. No more aspiring Daniel Boones.
So, kids, turn in your cap guns, squirt guns, soft-dart guns, and candy-filled guns, before the government starts coming for them without offering anything in return. Maybe you’ll get a Rosie O’Donnell action figure or an Eminem c.d. in return.