Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekly Tip - Be Wary of Toy Guns

The image of toy guns has changed over the years - Cowboys and Indians, plastic guns, playing Army, all have all given way to an era of realistic toy weapons alongside real, functioning handguns and rifles. Search the Internet for "replica guns", "airsoft", "toy gun", and see how realistic our toys have become. Not only do the kids and collectors love the realistic look, but so can the bad guys. Take a look below at some photos of functioning weapons that are painted or colored to resemble toys.

This trend causes a dilemma for us all. We read about young kids bringing actual weapons with them to school and we have seen tragedy with school and workplace shootings. Our children play with toys that look like the real thing. So, with toy and weapon colliding, Law Enforcement is faced with even a greater challenge when responding to calls involving persons (of any age) armed with a weapon. The red plastic tip of old is no longer a deterrent for an Officer when a weapon is pointed at them. Unfortunately, some criminals have not only colored their weapons, they have also attempted to duplicate the red tip, all to "fool" the Officer and gain that split second advantage.

As parents, we need to do what we can to protect our children. If they play with replica weapons, have a responsible adult around to watch them and guide their form of play. Play in your own yard, not in a school yard, park, or around other buildings. Visit organized paintball courses. Most importantly, use common sense. The citizen passing by, your neighbor, or the responding Officer may not know that someone is "just playing."

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