California School Launches Buy Back Program For Toy Guns

250px-Spud_GunStrobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill has implemented what he considers a key public safety effort: a toy gun buy back program. A child who turns in “their guns” will be given a book and a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles. I fail to see why such programs are worthy of such effort. Not only will it have no likely impact on the natural tendency of children to play such games, I fail to see the the value of such programs.

For full disclosure, I have previously written columns on the campaign against toy guns (here and here). I fail to see the alarm over such play and, as noted in the prior columns, the obsession of some parents is often based on inaccurate accounts of academic research.

We have made an effort to force manufacturers to clearly mark toy guns to distinguish them from real guns. Tragedies certainly occur where police mistake a toy gun. However, they remain relatively rare given the number of toys and children in this country. We also have mistaken shootings with other objects.

Hill clearly subscribes to the view that playing with toy guns produces violent, criminally inclined children — ignoring the hundreds of millions of adults in his country who were raised on such games and never hurt a soul. Yet, “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.” That is quite a stretch for any academic in cause and effect.

What do you think?

Source: Mercury

78 thoughts on “California School Launches Buy Back Program For Toy Guns”

  1. AY,

    Tex baled hay forever … I think he hated that particular chore more than any other

  2. Blouse,

    It is hard work…. And the seasoned ones are loners…. They have no use or trust of people…. In the summers I had to bale hay…… Ever loaded 500 acres of hay…. With just a trailer and a hook…. Then load it in the loft…. Without electrical equipment….. Ain’t no fun….

  3. SwM,

    Stockman – Just another all-American boy.

    BTW … Tex spent all his summers from the age of 10 until he graduated from High School working on his grandparents’ cattle ranch in Texas. At the age of 14 he moved into the bunkhouse and road herd on the range. Yep, hat, bandana, boots, spurs, rope, rifle, and horse. He’d be out for a week at a time rounding up strays etc. and sleeping on the hard ground. In his opinion anyone who romanticises the life of a cowboy is full of horse dung. Dam hard work.

  4. Blouise, Yep :Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), the self-proclaimed “most conservative Congressman in Texas,” announced Thursday via Twitter that he’s giving away a free AR-15 rifle through his website.

    The freshman congressman’s reelection website boasted: “Enter the drawing to win a FREE Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, almost impossible to find in stores and the number one firearm on the gun banners’ wish list!”

    A Bushmaster AR-15 was the same type of rifle shooter Adam Lanza used in December’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. Some gun control advocates have called for including the semi-automatic gun in proposed bans on assault rilfes.

  5. SwM,

    After reading all the comments I’ve decided it really is cultural. My brothers and I were discouraged from playing cowboys and indians because of the “disgraceful” manner in which our forefathers treated Native Americans (my mother’s position and this was the ’50’s … I also had two Aunts who worked on reservations in the health field)

    My father and all my 7 uncles had been in combat against the Germans and all had killed Germans … my father’s words, “It was no game and death is not for playtime.”

    We played with homemade wooden shields and swords and went on quests. Nobody died. We also hunted and killed, then ate … no need for pretend there.

    When those struggling to bring change to gun laws say that the gun culture is deeply embedded in and intimately tied to the American identity, they aren’t kidding.

  6. If you want this nonsense to stop… One needs to start publishing the addresses of the people involved and let the chips fall where they may…

  7. Bron, You appear to be a responsible gun owner. Many are not. These toddlers can’t tell the difference between the toy guns and the real ones. Some countries have requirements that someone go in the home and makes sure the guns are secured in a safe place. People is this country would go crazy over that government intrusion. We have massive government agencies to deal with the “terrorist” threat while more people are killed by toddlers than the so called terrorists. Crazy…….

  8. SMOM:

    the first rule of gun ownership is never leave a loaded weapon where a young child can grab it.

    I had rifles and pistols with young children, never any problem. I also told my children that if they were ever at a friends house and he/she said they wanted to show them their fathers rifle/pistol to get out of the house and to call me immediately so I could come pick them up.

    I would have also called the parent in question and raised he11.

  9. Mike S. & Mike A.,

    I, too, grew up with guns. Cowboy shows and movies were the rage in the 50s–as you well know. I had a black Hopalong Cassidy get-up that included a holster and gun.

  10. Blouise, If you’re not good @ geometry then I bet you were good @ algebra. An old high school math teacher I worked w/ says it’s how our brains work. Geometry was the only math I liked and did well at. Algebra was a struggle.

  11. Blouise, LOL! Great photo. If you remember the classic Seinfeld episode, that ice must cause severe “shrinkage.”

  12. Mike, they were loners but they were good guys. Not bad choices for role models. It seems from what you have written over time on Turlyblawg that they served you well and you did them proud.

    And I bet that metal replica of a western town was SWEET!

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