Skip to comments.What's With Mock Assault Rifle Sales for Kids? (Liberal Gun Fear on Display!)
Posted on 12/05/2005 3:01:27 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
I must confess that it's probably been two decades since I've done any Christmas shopping for kids. So I was a bit taken aback when I visited ShopKo last week - searching for an action toy for my 4-year-old grandson - and happened upon a black soft air rifle that fires plastic BBs and bears a striking resemblance to an assault weapon.
Yes, the same kind of assault weapon that gangs have used to gun down police.
(Actually, it wasn't a total surprise: Several weeks earlier, a reader had called and suggested I check out some of the sophisticated fake guns now on the market.)
This particular gun was called the Crosman Stinger R34 and, according to a promotional ad I found on the Internet, it's modeled after the "legendary AR-15" assault rifle. Which, it so happens, is one of the many assault weapons that were illegal in this country until last year, when the Republican-controlled Congress allowed a 10-year ban to expire.
So why would a store carry such a gun - especially in Madison, which is having all sorts of headaches with kids bringing BB guns to school?
Jason, a regional manager for ShopKo who happened to be present that day (he declined to give his last name), explained that ShopKo, like many discount stores, carries a wide assortment of fake guns. Everything from the Crosman Stinger R34 and the Crosman Pulse R70 (fires up to 10 plastic BBs per second) - both of which are recommended for kids 16 and older - to the Star Wars Energy Beam Blaster, which is targeted at kids in the 5-to-8 range and shoots something called "silly string."
He pointed out that the Stinger R34, which sells for $59.99, is used mainly for target practice and has been one of the top-selling items in the sporting goods department since ShopKo began carrying it six months ago. What's more, he wasn't aware of a single complaint.
"But there's definitely a level of danger with it," he acknowledged. "I mean, you could easily shoot someone in the eye."
He added that he was almost certain that Target and Wal-Mart also carried the gun. (I checked, and they don't - at least, not at their west-side Madison stores. However, I discovered there are all kinds of fake assault-weapons available on the Internet.)
But what sort of parent, I asked Jason, would buy such a thing?
He shrugged. "I wouldn't buy one for my kid, I can tell you that much," he said.
Now, for all the NRA members who are foaming at the mouth as they read this, I should point out that I'm not an anti-gun guy, that I support the Second Amendment and that I actually did some hunting as a kid.
At the same time, I'll admit I've never had much interest in guns. Probably because my older brother got a BB gun for Christmas one year - just like the dorky kid in the movie, "A Christmas Story" - and actually did shoot a neighbor kid in the eye while horsing around in the yard. (A surgeon managed to remove the BB, but my parents were worried sick for months that the kid's family was going to sue.)
In fact, to be honest,
Mike Hanson, a spokesman for the Madison Police Department, says law enforcement officers have long wondered why stores carry look-alike fake guns. Especially BB and pellet guns that are almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing. (They do come with orange tips, but police say the tips often are painted or removed.)
The problem, he says, is that police occasionally will be alerted about a kid carrying a fake gun in a public setting. "And because the gun looks so realistic, we sometimes have to make split-second decisions about its authenticity - which could lead to a deadly-force encounter."
He notes that just a few weeks ago an officer nearly fired on a teenager who'd pulled a gun out of his pants on Tree Lane on the west side and aimed it at the officer. It wasn't until the kid dropped the gun and ran that the officer discovered that it was actually a BB gun.
"That came very close to being a tragedy," he says.
Hanson says the department can't discourage the sale of BB guns.
"But we can encourage parents that if they have some compelling reason to buy Johnny a mock assault rifle to make sure that it's kept in the house."
Fortunately, my grandson's only 4, so I don't have to worry about these things yet. In fact, after talking to Hanson, I've pretty much decided to get him something sports-related for Christmas - like, say, his first authentic metal driver.
Junior size, of course. And with a small head.
ROFLMAO! What a doorknob. Yep. No one, in the history of the world has EVER been killed with a golf club! (Hint: Martha Moxley, killed by golf-club-wielding liberal Fortunate Son.)
How can we possibly trust a kid with a bb gun? They're irresponsible and untrustworthy...
...better we let them get abortions without parental consent...
He is a moron, of course.
I don't like realistic fake guns, however, because cops and others occassionally think they're in real danger and respond accordingly.
Instead, I recently bought my daughter her first .22, which she will use responsibly.
Actually, there have been a number of husbands killed with golf clubs while teaching their wives how to play. I use to know the statistics buy have forgotten them now. Perhaps someone has the energy to look it up.
Thanks for the tip... I'll go out later and get one for my little brother.
The same kind of weapon law enforcement uses to keep the peace. The same kind of weapon homeland security uses to protect your A**. The same kind of weapon the military uses to defend your liberty. The same kind of weapon peaceful, responsible, law abiding people use to protect themselves and their families. I feel sorry for the son of this sorry wimp.
It's not even a BB gun. It shoots plastic "BB's".
I need to drop a thank you note to the liberal author. This looks like the perfect birthday present for my kid.
Maybe you should consider getting one of these peace loving dolls:
This Eid al-Fitr there is a new must-have toy on the Muslim child's wish list - the Razanne doll. With her pre-teen figure and aura of humility she doesn't, at first glance, stand out in the gaudy world of children's toys. But she has captured the hearts of Muslim girls across the US, Canada, Singapore and Germany. And now the doll, whose name translates as "shyness and modesty", is available in the UK.
"It's not even a BB gun. It shoots plastic "BB's"."
I think they will shoot metal BBs too.
YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!
The guy's a grandfather, so he has some years on him, yet he pens this piece of tripe. How can one live so long and learn so little?
He shrugged. "I wouldn't buy one for my kid, I can tell you that much," he said. "60 bucks for a plastic BB gun is pretty steep. Besides, I've already let him put a couple of thousand rounds downrange on the real thing, so I imagine this would be a bit of a disappointment if ya know what I mean. Do you shoot 5.56 or 7.62, Mr Hoplophobe?"
The 'fake'ness should be more prominently displayed, definitly, but it isn't a total look alike now.
Um, no they weren't.
...when the Republican-controlled Congress allowed a 10-year ban to expire.
Your stupid "scary-lookin gun ban", along with Hillarycare, is why you got a Republican-controlled congress.