There is a toy gun exchange program underway. Are they serious?, I wondered while reading the story.

The answer is a resounding, “YES.”

Toy Gun Exchange – Village of Hempstead

Officials in the Village of Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y. are offering to replace toy guns children received this Christmas with other toys, reported ABC7NY.

“Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan.

Kids are invited to turn in their water pistols, replica firearms and other imitation weapons for sporting goods, educational items and other toys, according to the report.

“The purpose is to offer safe alternative to toy guns. We don’t want the kids playing with guns. Guns are dangerous,” said Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson.

Johnson infers that a toy gun is the equivalent to an actual firearm. This mindset is ridiculous!

toy gun

(Graham Dean)

The article went on to quote law enforcement sources about what a good idea this is. While I don’t want to disparage fellow officers by including their names in this piece, the idea of a toy gun exchange is lame.

Colossal Overreaction

This is a colossal overreaction. While there might be some well-intentioned thought involved, it’s actually anti-Second Amendment politics playing out. It will do nothing but program young minds of the next generation as we stigmatize firearms—toys and all—in a manner that will facilitate future victimizations en-masse.

More Than 2 Million Defensive Handgun Uses Annually

I’m serious. There are more than 2 million defensive handgun uses annually. By creating a class of people who increasingly believe firearms are the root of evil will do nothing to endear society toward safer norms.

To demonize toy firearms and correlate them with mass murder is an intellectually dishonest resolve to a greater societal problem.

Surrendering your rights—via possession of a firearm—will create more “sheep” to be victimized in future years. Imagine what kind of havoc would have been experienced by 2 million plus citizens had their firearms not been accessible?

Future Cops

Moreover, future cops and military members are playing with toy guns today. To demonize toy firearms and correlate them with mass murder is an intellectually dishonest resolve to a greater societal problem.

Seeds of Murder

The seeds of murder are born in the mind, not the gun store or shooting range. The more we destabilize our collective conscience by blaming “things” and excusing “people” for criminal behavior, the greater our chance will be to witness humanity participating in destructive activity with a variety of items.

Driving Kills

The officials in Hempstead want to offer children with a “safe alternative,” as if the toy is lethal. Using this logic, we should offer a car exchange program as well, since automobiles “kill” with far greater frequency than actual firearms.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) we lost 37,461 of our loved ones to traffic fatalities in 2016 alone. That is quite a loss in life due to people operating their vehicles negligently.

By the way, driving is a privilege, not a constitutional right like possession of a firearm is.

Water Kills

Furthermore, water is pretty deadly too. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were an average of 3,536 unintentional drownings annually in the US between 2005-2014. There is no need to grab your calculator, the total during this ten-year-period of time comes to 35,360 accidental drowning deaths (unrelated to boating mishaps). That is an alarming number! Even all the homicides in Baltimore and Chicago combined do not compare!

Let’s not “close the playground” enjoyed by future sheepdogs.

Oh, by the way, 20 percent of the drowning victims were under the age of 14. So let’s “do it for the children”—no more swimming!

toy gun

(Eric Samson)

Politics of Incrementalism

Consequently, the actions taken in Hempstead are part of the politics of incrementalism—slowly eroding rights and freedom before something is lost altogether, like the Second Amendment.

Let’s use good sense. I do not want irresponsible people driving automobiles, nor do I want criminally violent, dangerous, or insane people holding a gun to the head of loved ones. It is perfectly acceptable to revoke privileges and rights when people abuse them. Yet let’s not “close the playground” enjoyed by future sheepdogs.

– Jim McNeff, partner and managing editor, Law Enforcement Today