America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48

Will We
W
Surrender
Toy Guns?
that planting ideas into young minds
is one of the best ways to foster
long-term brand loyalty. By punishing
normal childhood behavior and
targeting beloved childhood
institutions like toy guns, activists
hope they can manufacture an
anti-gun membership from the
ground up.
One place those efforts are
playing out right now is in the
public school system. Rather than
teaching independent thinking and
imagination, or letting children utilize
safe environments to explore ideas
for themselves, many administrators
are creating a sort-of psychological
experiment by associating guns with
fear, creating an unapologetic stigma
that all guns are bad, period.
Of course, this represents a
curious deviation from the standard
policies of most schools. Whereas
most "progressive" teachers and
administrators insist that children will
experiment with certain behaviors and
must be taught things like "safe sex,"
when it comes to firearms they adopt
a strict "abstinence-only" approach,
with harsh penalties for anyone who
steps out of line.
Readers are likely familiar with
the notorious case of the 7-year-old
Maryland boy who was suspended
from school for gnawing a breakfast
pastry into a shape resembling a
handgun. (The boy, who was later
given a Life membership to the nra,
stated he was trying to create the
shape of a mountain.)
That is the consequence of the
"zero tolerance" policy most schools
have for toy or replica firearms.
48

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March 2015

Supposedly designed to discourage
violence or prevent shooters from
escaping detection, the policies are
now being used to intimidate innocent
children, and have reached new
extremes in recent years.
One school in Michigan confiscated
a student's cupcakes for being adorned
with little toy army men. In New
York City, a fourth grader's toy police
officer, made out of lego™ bricks,
was confiscated due to the toy's tiny
replica service weapon. (The boy's
father is a retired officer.) A New
Jersey boy was suspended and made
to undergo a five-hour physical and
psychological evaluation for the
crime of twirling a pencil-which
another student claimed was a "gun
motion." One Chicago sixth-grader
turned in a nonfunctioning toy gun
and was rewarded with a suspension.
(Ironically, an anti-gun television ad
circulated last December encouraged
children to steal their parents' real
guns and turn them in to teachers
at school.)
One California elementary school
actually staged a toy gun exchange.
Another school in New York suspended
a 16-year-old sophomore for wearing
an nra T-shirt. (The suspension was
later overturned.) Others have been
threatened for sketching guns, or even
using a pen with the Glock logo. In at
least three separate instances in 2013,
elementary school boys were suspended
merely for pointing fingers in the shape
of a gun.
These cases aren't isolated. They
represent a growing cluster of stories
emerging from America's school
systems-a result of overzealous
enforcements and ignorance
perpetuated by anti-gun groups'
complete demonization of firearms.
Now, no longer content with
attacking the gun cabinet, opponents
are turning to the toy cabinet, staging
toy gun buy-backs, municipal or
state-level bans, and pint-sized
prosecutions-all making public
examples of any resistance.
During the height of the Christmas

toy rush, New York Attorney
General Eric Schneiderman issued
cease-and-desist orders to area
retailers warning against violating
state law by selling realistic toy guns.
"When toy guns are mistaken
for real guns, there can be tragic
consequences," Schneiderman warned
in an accompanying statement.
However, the warning was based
on just one finding from one store.
Despite attampts by media and
politicians to sensationalize the issue,
no one has shown an "epidemic" of
injuries or fatalities arising from toy
guns or even that they're any more
dangerous than other common
toys such as balloons, tricycles or
stuffed animals.
Nevertheless, New York law
requires all toy guns to have orange
stripes, tips or other markings to
denote them as toys, and criminalizes
the sale of aluminum, black, blue or
silver toy guns. Violators can expect
fines of anywhere from $1,000 to
$5,000, and up to $8,000 for repeated
offenses. From 2006 to 2013, the state
seized 7,200 toy guns and charged
$2.4 million in fines, including a
$500,000 fine against just one retailer.
Toy guns have been in America
nearly as long as the real thing, but
came to popularity after the rise
of cowboy movies and tv serials.
Toy companies identified a demand
by children to imitate cowboy
heroes like Roy Rogers, and created
facsimiles that used caps or rubber
bands. The accompanying values
promoted on television often included
nonaggression, safety, responsibility
and marksmanship. In fact, a 1957
commercial featuring a costumed
Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger)
promoting a Cheerios cereal revolver
includes the masked man's solemn
warning: "Remember, play safe and
never aim at another person!"
Unfortunately, the vintage heroes
of that era gave way to graphic
realism and violent portrayals
in cinema, tv and video games,
which still promote the desire for



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - March 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 51
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 52
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 65
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 66
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover4
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