|Who is in charge of
teaching a child not to kill? The government?
Parents? Society? Or, perhaps, all three?
When we buy a toy gun for a child and authorize its use, are we
promoting the idea of killing? Are we stimulating the Beast of
Terror's itchy finger? Some lawmakers think so.
Banning toy gun sales is on the move, especially in big cities.
New York City is tossing the question around and may be the first U.S.
city to ban toy gun sales. Is this an act of Vigilance or a
movement toward Big Brother taking over our children's citizen
4, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 479
The Day Toy Guns Were Banned From New York City Children
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Jan. 4-- New York
City may be the first to ban the sale of toy guns. Some
people are tired of parents teaching their children how to "kill"
before they reach pre-school.
In an article today in the Christian
Science Monitor, reporter Ashley Chapman took a look deep into the
bowels of the Beast of Terror. She found a wave of
violence surging in a society that puts its children at risk whenever
a parent buys a gun for a child, even if that gun is a toy.
Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that 31,650 imitation guns were
seized between January 1985 and September 1980 during crime-related
incidents. In New York City, 1,400 toy guns were used in crimes
in 1987, the report noted.
Federal law prohibits the
sale of toy guns unless they are brightly colored or transparent.
But kids, using their creative talents, often spray paint them black
so they'll look realistic, turning a toy into what police may assume
is a lethal weapon. The child with such a gun in his or
her hand, now becomes a Crime Terrorist, and if at the wrong place at
the wrong time, is subject to being "shot."
with guns years ago
York City is especially sensitive to shooting the wrong people.
Its police force is under constant attack for trigger happy police who
are quick to mistake a movement by a suspect as a threat and open
fire. In the first days of 2003, four suspects were shot
and killed by police. One of them was armed with a BB gun and
had it pointed at an undercover cops head when his partner shot him.
Another suspect made a movement the police said was threatening as
though going for a weapon, and they opened fire, killing him.
A few months ago my younger
daughter in federal law enforcement told me a harrowing story.
She was on a stake out in a crime-ridden area of New York when she
noted a young man walking down the street with a machine gun held at
his side. She and her partner swept down on the gun-toting
teenager. The suspect turned out to be a teenage boy
carrying a toy machine gun. Fortunately, nothing happened
but it was a situation where instincts were at play. The
crime-ridden area was known for violence, and suspects with guns often
used them without warning.
In my own combat experience in
Vietnam, I was well aware of what happened when you hesitated and
pondered whether someone had a weapon or not. If you
waited too long to "be sure" it could cost you your life, or your
fellow Marines' lives. The age of the bearer of the
weapon had little to do with the decision about "kill or be killed."
In Vietnam young children were often used to throw grenades or run at
your position with a satchel charge of dynamite on their backs--young
suicide bombers. The age of the enemy had little value,
but the intent of the enemy did.
combat zones" a pall hangs over all law enforcement to not shoot until
they are under lethal threat. That's a fine, fine line.
Whenever someone in law enforcement would talk to me in awe about my
combat experience I would always tell them how more courageous they
were than anyone in combat.
"In combat, you shoot first and ask
questions later," I said. "There's nothing courageous
about putting your weapon on full automatic and blasting everything in
sight. But you guys, you cops, you have to measure and decide
when to draw your weapon, when to fire. And you can't fire until
you've been threatened, until the last moment. In my book,
it takes a lot more courage to learn how to 'not shoot' than it does
to shoot. Shooting is the easy part, it takes guts to not
what I said. I could not fathom drawing a weapon without
the intent to kill, or to hesitate killing. As a Marine, I was
trained to kill, kill, kill. When in doubt, pull the
trigger. But law enforcement is squeezed into a
frustrating box where the suspect's rights supercede the instincts.
While not every case where police draw their weapons and hesitate
before shooting is statistically recorded to the public, those few
where they do shoot under threats of lethal force are.
When that fine fine line between "kill or be killed" is crossed, the
police are put on the hot seat. They are derided for not
controlling their instincts, and sometimes prosecuted.
I would love to see the stats of how often they don't shoot.
Drawing of a
policeman arresting a criminal made by my six year old
A toy gun is
still a gun. In my book, there are no toy guns.
All guns are weapons designed to kill, even a water pistol.
As a kid, I grew up with guns. And when we strapped on our
Roy Rogers six shooters, we didn't go out to play tiddlywinks.
We went out to "kill or be killed."
Of course, we were pretending to kill.
But pretending to kill is still killing. There just isn't any
blood or guts, and whomever you shoot gets a reprieve to play another
day. In real life, the right to play again goes away when the
bullet strikes a vital organ.
Toy guns are Terror Training Tools.
I never really thought I'd believe that,
but I do today.
Putting a toy gun in a kids hands is like
putting a time bomb in it. You are endorsing the "right to
kill" to a child. You are promoting the child to kill everyone
he or she points the weapon at, whether it's a water pistol or a
GI-Joe machine gun.
My friends and
I watched a lot of Cowboy Television shows years ago
Anyone who has ever
played with toy guns as a kid knows what I'm talking about.
When you aim at your "buddy" or "friend" through the sights, the Beast
of Terror rises from his lair. Deep in your primal brainstem,
drool oozes out the corners of your lips as you squeeze the trigger
and "pretend" to kill your best buddy, or the guy down the street.
There's this kind of gritty satisfaction that you've performed some
act of "authority," some dominance over another by erasing their
existence, if only in your mind. For a brief, flashing
second you become God Almighty, Mr. Powerful, able to snuff life with
a single squeeze of the trigger.
"Bang! Bang! You're dead!"
Those four words ring now with glee as I
think about the countless hours I spent as child playing Cowboys and
Indians, Cops and Robbers, Soldiers and War.
Learning to "kill" with toy guns made it easier for me later in life
to be prepared to kill real human beings with real bullets.
It inured me to life's value, and helped me step over the bodies of
women and children and old men without vomiting, or throwing down my
weapon and saying "I've had enough of killing."
So I'm against toy guns.
toy guns available when I was a kid
But I'm not sure I'm
for what Bill Wren, deputy chief of staff for the Brooklyn Councilman
Al Vann is after. Wren is a co-author of the bill to ban the
sale of toy guns in New York City. If it passes, it will be the
first in the nation to blanket the sale of all toy guns.
Other cities are working on the same
problem in a variety of ways. Baltimore just passed a law that
makes it a misdemeanor to sell a BB gun to a minor.
Chicago recently introduced a bill to ban toy-pellet guns.
Wall-Mart raised its age restriction for air-powered paint guns.
Carrollton, Texas banned the use of replica guns. And, in
Sherman Oaks, California, Farideh Kioumehr, founder of the
Anti-Violence Campaign in Sherman Oaks, urges children to turn in toy
guns and use them to make art. The program, Replacing Violence
with Art, reports CS Monitor reporter Chapman, has collected more than
20,000 toy guns.
Wren's and Vann's bill banning toy
gun sales in New York City would blanket all toy gun sales.
The bill covers anything that can "reasonably be perceived to be an
When I read that, I wondered if
that meant banning a child's index finger and thumb, the most
often-used weapon of "killing imagination." The "Bang!
Bang! You're Dead!" cry is most often issued by just pointing at
ago, this spokesman for the NYPD warned against toy guns
wrestling match with the City Council isn't the intent of the bill,
but the target of it. The "victim" of the bill is the
retailer. That's what bothers me the most.
It's like we're spanking the wrong person. The retailer is only
the middleman, not the source. Punishing a store owner is
like urinating in the wind.
If the bill were a true bill,
one that was aimed at the source of the problem, it would indict the
parents of the child, the child's guardians, his or her grand parents,
uncles, aunts, cousins, for allowing the child to have a toy gun, or
for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor," as laws are
constructed for those who buy a child booze or cigarettes.
It's pretty hard for a child to
have a toy gun without endorsement by the parents or guardians.
It's pretty hard for a mom or dad or grandparent to not notice his or
her genetic pool playing "kill or be killed," or "Bang! Bang! You're
That's my problem.
The one(s) who should be penalized
are the Mothers, Fathers and Guardians of Terrorism, the ones who
allow a child to feed upon his or her Beast of Terror by endorsement
All child-protection laws in my book
should serve the penalty back upon the parent. It should
be a crime for a parent to allow a child to play with toy guns.
While that is a total violation of all the Constitutional Rights of an
individual to live in a "free society," it also imposes upon a parent
a societal duty that transcends individual rights--and that is the
safety of the children, and the children's children's children.
Children are put in parents' trust
and protection. Parents are the responsible the "liable
party" as far as I'm concerned. A law that prosecutes a retailer
is an impotent law. Its a faddic communion with nothing.
It's a road without an end. It's political masturbation.
The Beast of Terror grows within all
children. It's part of human nature. But its growth can be
stunted. Its thirst to expose its violence can be tamed and
curbed. A child can learn to manage violence through
martial arts, an excellent tool to provide a child with
self-protection as well as mental and spiritual power.
Every child should know how to protect himself or herself.
Parent with child at Karate class
- managing violence through mental and spiritual self-protection
But the issue
with the toy guns goes to the heart of Vigilance.
Vigilance is about teaching a child
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions--none of which are part of a
gun. A gun is about Terrorism, or, anti-Terrorism.
It is either used as a weapon to "kill" or one to be used to "kill the
killer." It is a Beast of Terror weapon, used by the Beast
or against the Beast.
Guns feed on Terrorism's
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. They breed these
poisons in a child for they suggest by their nature that "killing" is
Killing is not
By themselves, they are bad examples to a child.
But a parent can
tell a child what guns are for--and why, in some cases, they are
And, why a child
doesn't need a gun, and why a child doesn't need to play, "Bang! Bang!
That is Vigilance
is buying a child a gun, or, allowing a child to play with guns, or,
not caring if a child does. Putting or allowing a gun, toy
or not, to rest in a child's hands is teaching a child to take life
indiscriminately. It is a crime against the child's innocence,
and one that only the parent, not society, is ultimately responsible
to and for.
I would like
to see a bill passed by a city where it makes it a crime for a parent
to allow a child to play with guns, having the same effect as buying a
child liquor or cigarettes.
Only when society
turns its penalties on the parents will our children be safe. If
parents are not responsible to their Duty of Vigilance, then society
has a duty to impose that duty upon them.
retailer for the parents Complacency is not the right approach.
Taking the Pledge
of Vigilance is.
Jan 3--North Korea's NY Deli Solution
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a ((HYYPE))
**The answer to the above
question "Can you tell which guns are real and which
one is a toy": #4 is real