After a Cleveland child was gunned down by police after waving around a realistic looking toy gun, Ohio lawmakers are pushing to ban toy guns altogether. The new legislation would prohibit manufacturing, selling, or even publicly displaying toy guns that are designed to look like real firearms.
Cleveland Democratic State Rep. Bill Patmon wrote the new House Bill 119. He said the ban would cover any replica gun including BB guns or any toy that a “reasonable person” would potentially mistake for a real weapon. Anyone who is caught producing, selling, or holding a toy gun could face a $1000 fine and up to 180 days behind bars.
Patmon said it’s time to put a stop to toy guns and help children realize that guns are dangerous weapons, not play things. “It’s either a gun or it’s not,” he insisted. “This idea of imitations has gone a bit far, especially in this day and age… This is a bill that if it saves one child or one adult, then I think it’s done its job.”
While we often see legislators target gun ownership with new bills, this is the first time toy guns have been at stake. At what point did we cross over to attacking actual toys? How many people played with toy guns as children and they grew up to be productive, hard working citizens? Banning toy guns is not the answer. Perhaps helping educate parents on how to raise their children might help though.
In today’s society, child rearing is left for teachers and school boards while many parents tend to shirk off their responsibility and leave it up to others to keep their children on the right track. If parents would do their jobs and teach kids about gun safety, this wouldn’t be an issue at all. Is it unfortunate that a child was killed for waving a toy gun around? Absolutely. But could it have been prevented if someone had taught him not to point a toy gun at police officers? You bet.