Remember the recent stories in the news about children who were treated like criminals for carrying toy guns or pretending their hands were guns? They were suspended from school because they had them on school property and some were questioned at length by the police, making them look and feel like common criminals. If you think that was ridiculous, here’s another one.
Are you ready for this one? There is a pastor in St. Louis, Missouri who has implemented a program to buy back guns in his community. But, wait! These are not the “real” guns that can actually do bodily harm to others. Oh, no! This pastor wants the children and their parents in his community to bring all their fake guns, swords or any other “violent” toys to the church this summer and trade them for another toy that he deems more suitable and “wholesome.”
How many of you who were kids in the 40s, 50s, and 60s played with toy guns or used your hands as pretend guns? Would it be a stretch to say that the number would be rather high? Those early years were a time when there were a lot of western cowboy shows and they were popular with kids then. Every child who watched them wanted a gun just like their hero, Hop Along Cassidy, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger and others. They were the good guys who always caught the bad guys. Yes, they used guns and shot and sometimes killed a bad guy, but they didn’t show anything gory. You might have seen what looked like blood at a gunshot site but that was the worst thing that was seen. These shows taught a lesson that when you break the law, you must pay the consequences, whatever it may be. How many of you just had to have a gun like your hero’s? Remember the Hop Along Cassidy cap gun? It looked real, but no one was going off half cocked getting a look alike real gun to go out and actually kill people.
Now, this pastor has his heart in the right place because he wants to protect children. Honestly, how is taking the children’s toy guns, even water pistols going to protect them. For Pete’s sake, cap guns, plastic water guns, paint guns, swords? These are fun toys for kids and the swords, well, they help them connect with an era where that was the weapon people used for protection along with bows and arrows and knives.
Speaking of knives, would he not want children to learn how to use them either? Look, if our children are not allowed to have toy guns and be taught how to safely use a gun for protection, are we going to allow them to grow up not knowing how or being able to protect themselves, their families and property? Learning how to use a knife properly is just part of growing up. There is a need for using knives for many things. Besides food preparation, hunter use knives to gut and clean small game and fish that they catch. Guns and knives can be a means of survival in certain circumstances.
Would you like to know who this pastor is? He is Pastor Rodney Francis of the Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
Yes, the older generation grew up with toy guns and watched TV shows where the bad guys and the good guys got shot, but they were shows where the good guys always caught the bad guys without a big bloody scene. They were fun and entertaining to watch without depicting horrible, graphic scenes like TV shows do today.
We must remember that it’s not the gun that kills by itself. It takes a person pulling the trigger on the gun that kills.
Do we really want to make our children afraid of guns, by taking their toy guns away and telling them they’re dangerous? Yes, real guns are dangerous in the wrong hands and they need to learn that, but they also need to learn that they are necessary for protection and that the right to own guns is protected by our Constitution.
It will be interesting to see just how many parents will actually take their children with their toy guns, swords, knives, etc. and turn them in to the pastor. Isn’t this getting just a little past ridiculous? It will also be interesting to find out just what kinds of toys the pastor intends to exchange for the toy weapons.
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