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. Not every person that smokes gets cancer either, but…….
    So please visit the NoToyGuns.org website.
    It’s a matter of personal choice.

  2. nick,I think people under 35 care very little about guns unless they live in a rural area. They are starting not care about cars. I doubt those juice bar coffee shop hipsters in Madison are packing and driving escalades.

  3. nick, My dad grew up in western Illinois, and he played a lot of shuffleboard.

  4. SWM, You know human nature, both sides of the political spectrum are boing to moan about something being taught. A lot of pc parents object to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer being taught. Making smoking unacceptable was the best way to reduce smoking, although it is coming back. Guns should never be made unacceptable. Illegal, immoral, reckless and uninformed use of them should be.

  5. Blouise, May I call you Lakota woman? And, you would kick my ass @ darts or pool. I was a pitcher but sucked @ darts. My game was shuffleboard. Those long wooden tables w/ sawdust on them. They’re popular in Eastern taverns but I seldom see them in the Midwest.

  6. What gets me the most is that they waste time, money and other resources on this foolishness. School time should be spent on ACADEMICS!

  7. Thanks for that, Mike Appleton.

    (I chain-smoked those candy cigs. And I slept with my six-shooters and cowboy hat… (Toy six-shooters, just to clarify. ))

  8. What utter nonsense.

    Growing up in the ’50s, I personally eliminated several companies of German infantrymen, a candy cigarette dangling from my grim lips. If it weren’t for those efforts in my formative years, we might all be speaking German today.

    1. Mike A.,

      While you were keeping us safe from the NAZI threat, I was making sure my cowboys got the “bad guys”.

  9. nick,
    this is not a female thing or an issue created or made worse because a lot of teachers are women. This is a school district and an administrator with a burr in their saddle.

  10. Nick, what you have is a whole bunch of school administrators, men and women, all over the county scared s***less that some insane person is going to walk into their school and shred ‘their’ children and co-workers. They’re dealing with their fear by controlling the only things they can control and that’s the kids under their control. They’re paying it forward and they’re initiating zero-tolerance policies regarding guns and ‘threatening’ speech. It’s symbolic magic.

    What you are seeing is, in all likelihood, a school district by school district choice to implement certain policies. And policies that are so draconian in their execution they will do more harm than good, at least to the children caught with the banned objects.

    This doesn’t have anything to do with women as such.

  11. A child who turns in “their guns” will be given a book and a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles.

    Today’s lesson for impressionable children
    – Toy guns bad.
    – Gambling good.

    Thank you for listening.

  12. political correctness gone astray. teaching the students what a sucker looks like
    Nick. Did you ever make a match gun out of a clothes pin?

  13. nick, Some conservatives are still fuming about the schools observing “earth day” and turning a whole generation of young people into “treehuggers”.

  14. nick,

    I was raised in the Congregational church … very liberal.

    My family were all expert hunters but the weapon of choice was the bow and arrow. Guns were considered unsportsmanlike. I’m a better than average tracker. Patience and careful movement were drummed into my head. I can dress what I kill. And I’d be willing to wager a substantial sum that, even at my present age, my marksmanship is markedly better than the majority who post on this blog. We wore jeans, flannel shirts and vests and no one worried about color except, maybe, in wild turkey season. We did, sometimes, depending on the state of the ground, muffle our boots.

    I’m also better than fair with a knife.

    ps … nock, shaft, cock etc … yep, I can build my own weapon

  15. Since guns are a right under the 2nd amendment then what’s the next right schools will make “unacceptable.” They’re also currently working on the first and 4th; you know..the amendments you like! And doing stupid things like gun buybacks doesn’t make guns unacceptable. It makes everyone realize the folks who instigate this absurdity are fools. It has the opposite effect of making guns unacceptable.

  16. lotta, I’m sorry that my words offended you. 80% of all teachers are female. The % is higher in grammar school. Principals, be they male or female receive daily requests from their staff. So…if the staff is almost all female he/she is going to be asked, prodded, questioned, etc. from a female perspective. Do you question that women are much more anti gun[toy or real] than men? Finally, are you talking about the Ritalin comment. I will respect your wish to not engage now, I surmise you’re not a morning person. But, if and when you do, I think we can work this out.

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