NY's Latest Crime-Buster:Muzzling Toy Guns


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2dogs
January 1, 2003, 11:28 AM
from the January 02, 2003 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0102/p01s03-usgn.html

New York's latest crime-buster: muzzling toy guns
By Ashley Chapman | Special to The Christian Science Monitor
NEW YORK - Her voice is impish and feminine, but her gun is menacing. "Give me your money," she says through a ski mask to a bank teller in New Jersey. The teller hands over $3,050, and the robber and another female speed off in a getaway car.

But this wasn't exactly a Thelma & Louise duo. These robbers were 14-year-old twin girls who held up a bank with a toy air-pellet gun this fall.

Their crime added fuel to a toy-gun scare that's sweeping the country: Baltimore just passed a law that makes it a misdemeanor to sell a BB gun to a minor; Chicago has introduced a bill to ban toy-pellet guns; Wal-Mart recently raised its age restriction for air-powered paint guns to 18; and Carrollton, Texas, has banned the public use of replica guns.

And in New York, the site of many toy-gun fatalities, City Council members have introduced a bill to ban the sale of all toy guns - a ban that has not yet passed anywhere in the US. If the bill is approved, officials think it could help blaze the trail for the state, as well as cities nationwide.

"We recognize that you can't pull all guns off the streets: If people have a criminal mind, they'll make a gun out of a stick," says Bill Wren, deputy chief of staff for Brooklyn Councilman Al Vann, who coauthored the bill. "But the bill is about how [a toy gun] makes people feel. If I feel threatened, I'm threatened."

According to the most recent study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 1990, police departments nationwide reported 31,650 imitation guns seized between January 1985 and September 1989 during crime-related incidents. In New York City alone, more than 1,400 toy guns were used in crimes in 1987, 80 percent more than four years earlier.

New York City's current law, signed in 1998, prohibits the sale of toy guns unless they are brightly colored or transparent or have a prominent trademark. But some City Council members think the law is ineffective: Kids can make toy guns look real simply by spray-painting a gun black, or hiding the toy trademark with tape. And even though Toys "R" Us and KB Toys removed realistic-looking weapons from shelves in 1994, some manufacturers still sell replica guns elsewhere.

"If a kid has a toy gun that looks real, he could be in danger," says David Weprin, a Queens councilman and co-author of the bill. "We shouldn't glorify guns by giving them to our kids as toys," says the father of five.

Toy manufacturers are opposed to the outright ban, since there is already a federal restriction on toy guns. Current federal law prohibits manufacturers from selling imitation firearms unless there is a orange plug in the barrel or a marking designated by the Commerce secretary. According to the law, imitation firearms include BB guns, air rifles, and pellet guns. The bill in City Council, on the other hand, would ban anything that can "reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm," which would mean a total ban on imitation firearms - regardless of color or markings.

"If the federal law needs to be strengthened, we support it," says Tom Conley, president of the Toy Industry Association. "But if a product in no way resembles a real gun, we want to ensure that it reaches the market."

Still, grass-roots interest in a blanket ban on toy guns is growing. "Giving our kids toy guns and then telling them to stay away from the real thing sends a mixed message," says Farideh Kioumehr, founder of the Anti- Violence Campaign in Sherman Oaks, Calif. She encourages children to turn in toy guns, which are then used in pieces of art. The program, Replacing Violence With Art, has collected more than 20,000 toy guns.

Meanwhile, the impact of deaths from toy guns is ricocheting across the country, and more people in New York are thinking twice about buying them.

Christopher Industrious of Manhattan, who was shopping in Times Square, would support the new ban. "Kids are imitating whatever they see in the movies and on TV," he says, motioning to his 3-year-old son. He says that one time when disciplined, his son "pointed his water gun at me."

"Like toy cigarettes, they're promoting something violent," adds Donna Csolak of Princeton, N.J., who was at the Times Square Toys "R" Us. But she concedes she's against the ban because people should have a choice in their purchases. "Everyone has a right to buy what they want, but parents should have control over what [their kids] buy."

For Maurice Davis, a salesman at Toys "R" Us, his unfortunate childhood encounters with both real and toy guns are seared on his memory. Growing up in Brooklyn, Mr. Davis was forbidden to play with toy guns. But when he was 11, a playmate pointed a toy gun at a police car. The cops mistook the toy for a real weapon, and sprinted toward them, brandishing guns. "I told my friend, 'Just drop the gun!' " says Davis.

Now, standing next to a shelf of oversize paint guns, Davis says, "If they're gonna ban some, they might as well ban them all."

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Alright, so when exactly do we start petitioning the courts and swaying the "majority". This is where "sensible gun laws are taking us- it's a one way road and it is going DOWN.:banghead:

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PATH
January 1, 2003, 11:43 AM
It is starting to get Orwellian rather quickly!

Hkmp5sd
January 1, 2003, 11:49 AM
Since when is a pellet gun a "toy"? In some locations they are regulated the same as firearms.

2dogs
January 1, 2003, 11:56 AM
"they'll make a gun out of a stick," says Bill Wren, deputy chief of staff for Brooklyn Councilman Al Vann, who coauthored the bill. "

When I was a kid, I was Sgt Saunders (Vic Morrow) in "Combat". My Thompson was a stick or piece of wood that bore, basically, little resemblance to the real thing but was more cost effective.

They are GOING TO BAN STICKS.

These people are already in control of large portions of this country. THE LUNATICS ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM.

For pete's sake folks, wake up.

:banghead: :neener: :what:

TheOtherOne
January 1, 2003, 01:01 PM
Dang. What a freaking joke. My nephews semi-automatic, 8 round, rubber band gun (that looks like a stick with a handle) is probably already illegal in New York.

asdaf
January 2, 2003, 05:20 AM
This is a great idea. Yet another blow at the gun culture that is the root of all evil in this country. Only when all children have learned that anything vaguely L shaped is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs will we have achieved a violence-free utopia. And just as soon as NY is utopian let me know; that will be the day that I sell my guns and move there.

bredda
January 2, 2003, 11:13 AM
Interesting part about the bonehead who's 3 year old actually pointed a water gun at him. I may be corrected but I could have sworn that was its intended purpose.

Fly320s
January 2, 2003, 08:33 PM
"But the bill is about how [a toy gun] makes people feel. If I feel threatened, I'm threatened."

My version:

But the bill is about how [a stupid politician] makes people feel. If I feel threatened, I'm threatened.

:rolleyes:

Coltdriver
January 2, 2003, 10:31 PM
I am a dyed in the wool supporter of gun rights and gun ownership.

I was taught to shoot at a very early age and was turned loose on my own with a .22 when I was 11 years old. With my 9 year old brother who had another .22.

We were taught well and never had anything but fun. Never a dangerous moment.

I currently own several pistols and rifles. I shoot frequently and hunt as often as I can. From my cold dead hands if you get my drift.

But these replicas of full size guns they are making pellet guns out of are insane.

A stupid 14 or 15 year old can have a replica that you could not distinguish from its real life version from three feet.

My teen age son brought home a Beretta 92 pellet gun and I took it the moment I saw it. In fact when I first saw it I wondered where the hell he got a Beretta 92 from. It looks exactly like its full size counter part.

This ain't the world today that I shot .22's in as an 11 year old.

If I were a cop (and I have been a cop many years ago) and I saw one of these guns I would have no choice but to treat it as a real gun. They are that authentic looking.

If you lunged at a cop with an authentic looking rubber knife and he killed you, would the shooting be justified? I say in a nanosecond that in todays world it would be fully justified.

You don't need to lunge at a cop with a gun in order for it to be deadly.

So what is the difference??

Toy marketeers are exploiting children with these guns and enough of these kids are being killed by well meaning law enforcement that a line must be drawn some where.

Some one is going to get sued out of business sooner than later and this lunacy will stop. But in the meantime a few more stupid 15 year olds will have to die.

We are not talking about rubber band shooters here. We are not talking about Buzz lightyear looking Ray guns. We are talking about authentic looking, full size counterparts that I would defy you to distinguish from the real thing from three feet away.

It puts a different light on this story.

Monkeyleg
January 2, 2003, 11:32 PM
"It puts a different light on this story."

No, Coltdriver, I'm afraid it does not. In self-defense situations, the intent of the aggressor is not at play. Only the intent of the person who acted in self defense is: did that person believe, as would a reasonable person, that his life or the life of another was in grave danger? You cannot know the intent of the aggressor at the time; that technology is at least decades away (disclaimer: the previous statement does not apply to NJ).

For hundreds of years dads gave their children toy guns. For several decades those toy guns looked pretty real. (The more real, the better the sales. Who the heck wants an orange six-shooter?).

Had I, in the 1950's, pointed a cap pistol at a cop, he would more than likely have spanked my butt and taken me home to my folks for a more extensive butt-spanking. But, then, in the 1950's eight year-olds didn't shoot cops. Neither did eighteen year-olds.

I've been on this Earth for 52 years. Things have changed, and I'm not happy about the changes.

No longer can kids be kids. They've got to be bubble-wrapped, encased in Kevlar boxes and transported to and from school. Walking? Ohmygod, that's dangerous! And we'd better be sure they don't do something life-threatening, such as riding a bike. Put on the Kevlar knee-pads and chest protectors. Better yet, ban bicycles.

If a child is confronted by a playground bully, tell him to not fight back. We can't have violence, can we? Better to load the kid up with Ritalin and wait for him to really explode.

The inmates are in charge of the asylums, and the Direktors are the same arrogant idiots who thought that, in the 1960's, they could eliminate war, and have sex without consequences. Think for a minute about that hubris: a self-absorbed bunch of suburban kids without real responsibilities thought they could undo in a few years what mankind has been trying to undo for millennia. Or that, after leaving a sexual "event," there would be no emotion. Just that cold. And they based their strategies upon the words of the likes of John Lennon.

What a monumental conceit! What's worse is that these Useful Idiots now propose legislation that they hope will absolve any responsibility for the actions of anyone. It's not the kid's fault, it's not the cop's fault, it's the fault of the toy. So let's sue the hell out of the toy!

It's not the smoker's fault, nor the burger-binger's fault, nor the criminal's, nor the drunkard's, or the pancake-flat Yugo driver who got hit by a semi. No blame, no pain.

My prediction: in 2030 the US will be conquered by the army of the country of Obscuresethan. Why? Because their army will be the only one in the world that didn't have to undergo anger management classes instead of boot camp.

2dogs
January 2, 2003, 11:54 PM
Because their army will be the only one in the world that didn't have to undergo anger management classes instead of boot camp.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA:D :D :D :D :D :D

Coltdriver
January 3, 2003, 04:04 PM
I]No, Coltdriver, I'm afraid it does not. In self-defense situations, the intent of the aggressor is not at play. Only the intent of the person who acted in self defense is: did that person believe, as would a reasonable person, that his life or the life of another was in grave danger? You cannot know the intent of the aggressor at the time; that technology is at least decades away (disclaimer: the previous statement does not apply to NJ). [/I]

My friend I don't know what planet you live on but in the past 15 years I have yet to see a single police officer jailed for shooting a suspected carrier of a deadly weapon including things that turned out to be not weapons and persons that turned out not to be deadly. And jailed or not for such an action, the person who got shot is still dead or permanently affected. That is reality.

If you have a teen age child and you let them carry an authentic replica of a fire arm in a public place you should not be surprised when a police officer kills your child.

If you have a child that was killed as a result of this kind of meeting it definitely puts a different light on the story.

You made the same point I did, todays world ain't the one you and I grew up in. I don't believe in blaming inanimate objects either. We call em children because they are not fully matured to the point of (theoretically) adults and their judgement is either flawed or lacking in many instances.

Eliminating replica copies of weapons deprives no person of anything, except a profit from selling them to children.

natedog
January 3, 2003, 04:35 PM
fewwww.....

those evil deadly BB guns are going to be out of the hands of children. i feel safer already.

Monkeyleg
January 3, 2003, 06:29 PM
Coltdriver: "Eliminating replica copies of weapons deprives no person of anything, except a profit from selling them to children."

What other things might we ban, "for the children?" Plastic swords? Toy wallets? (Amadou Diallo took a few shots for having the real thing).

I can't stomach the idea that we're tightening the noose around our necks because "things have changed." Things are always changing, and always have been.

Given our current trajectory, it won't be long before all children will be wrapped in foam rubber and duct tape. But, then, a couple of kids will bounce themselves to death and...

Coltdriver
January 4, 2003, 08:44 PM
There are toy recalls every year.

This is one of em.

Hk Paul
January 4, 2003, 08:51 PM
"We recognize that you can't pull all guns off the streets: If people have a criminal mind, they'll make a gun out of a stick," says Bill Wren, deputy chief of staff for Brooklyn Councilman Al Vann, who coauthored the bill. "But the bill is about how [a toy gun] makes people feel. If I feel threatened, I'm threatened."


What the hell? Its about how a toy gun makes people FEEL?:confused:

What are thease people talking about, they come right out and say that you cant get guns off of streets, so they pass bills to "get them off streets" But this bill, nonono, isnt about getting them off streets, its about how people FEEL!

Its about FEELING SAFE!
There is a diffrence between feeling and beaing.

Go hug a tree you stupid hippie.:fire:

Admiral Thrawn
January 4, 2003, 09:56 PM
"But these replicas of full size guns they are making pellet guns out of are insane.

A stupid 14 or 15 year old can have a replica that you could not distinguish from its real life version from three feet.

My teen age son brought home a Beretta 92 pellet gun and I took it the moment I saw it. In fact when I first saw it I wondered where the hell he got a Beretta 92 from. It looks exactly like its full size counter part."

Yep, I know exactly how you feel...

My little 14 year old brother brought home a black Beretta 92F pellet gun that he bought off a friend at a new year's eve party.

Moving slide, removable magazine, etc etc.

These pellet guns are now circulating around quite alot with early teens...

Monkeyleg
January 4, 2003, 11:28 PM
Coltdriver: "There are toy recalls every year. This is one of em."

The toys are recalled because children choke on the parts, strangle themselves with them, or get electrocuted.

The toys aren't recalled because the kids use them to try to choke, strangle or electrocute police officers with them.

And, if some kid is so dim-witted that he'd point a "realistic-looking" toy gun at a cop, chances are he'd do something even more stupid in the not-to-distant future. Taking the kid out now saves us tax money, and reduces the number of column inches the newspapers would use to tell us what a "good kid" he was. (Despite multiple rape/AR/BE arrests prior to his demise).

sm
January 4, 2003, 11:55 PM
So when they gonna start painting the kiddies hands and fingers orange or yellow---they might give someone a "threatened feeling" by pointing at them.

Neighbor's gonna bust kids for playing 'army', 'cops robbers" or any childhood game without the mandatory 'safe paint".

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