December 11, 2009

Turning the Tide on Toy Totin' Tots: Prov and East Prov to Hold Toy Gun "Buy"-Backs

Monique Chartier

If I were the type to cling to my guns and paranoia, this might strike me as some sort of pre-conditioning. "Look, Johnny and Suzie, it's normal to hand your guns to the nice man from the government."

Children in Providence and East Providence can trade toy guns for real candy or toys on Friday and Saturday.

In Providence, children can feed their toy guns to the "Bash-O-Matic," a device designed and built by students at the New England Institute of Technology and the Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch said.

The annual "Holiday Toy Gun Bash" will give an alternate toy to each child who relinquishes a gun from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant View Elementary School, 50 Obadiah Brown Road, Providence.

In any event, toy guns have been around for as long as the real thing. The correlation to gun violence, then, is quizzical at best.

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Idiotic on so many levels.

I wonder if, in addition to the toy gun "Bash-O-Matic," they'll have a book burning at the event as well, for any books , graphic novels, or magazines marketed to teens or children which might glorify the use of guns or violence. The Attorney General might as well cover all of his bases.

Posted by: Dan at December 11, 2009 7:18 PM

I'll never understand how we grew up in the 50's without turning into homicidal maniacs-after all,all of us had toy guns.We even brought jack knives to school.Brandishing one would result in the teacher taking it and it going into the desk drawer,never to be seen again,along with errantly displayed bubble gum cards and other "contraband"-they didn't lock the place down and call SWAT teams in(there weren't any)or generally have a fit.
This is an example of IDIOT politicians trying to make themselves look useful with the connivance of the social engineers.

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 11, 2009 7:23 PM

Wonder if Ralphie is gonna turn in his Red Rider BB Gun....

Posted by: Marc at December 11, 2009 8:14 PM

I hope they don't try to take away my "Rock-em Sock-em" robots!

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at December 11, 2009 8:56 PM

My grandkids would want,make that DEMAND
CASH ! Like the grown-ups get at gun buy-backs.

Posted by: James at December 11, 2009 9:29 PM

For my 6th birthday I got a pair of toy six-shooters. Maybe that is where I went wrong.

By the time I was in my teens I was ordering boots from L.L. Bean with a pocket on the side for my hunting knife. Try to find that in their catalog today. That goes back to the day when Aberchrombie & Fitch was a gun store that also sold safari wear.

I saw a catalog for a hunting gear store I remember. Now, all of the people in it are carrying walking sticks instead of shotguns. Instead of leading a duck with a shotgun, they are pictured pointing their sticks toward the horizon.

Can you imagine a day when Ducks Unlimited was a "hunters organization".

Joe mentions taking jack knives to school. We took our shotguns, but kept them in our cars. I remember a teacher saw my Fox Sterlingworth and stopped to admire it. He particularly liked the "Krupp Fluid Compressed Steel" barrels. It had "snap caps" from Aberchrombie & Fitch.

We weren't even "red necks". We thought we were "gentry". In duck season, we met for breakfast before dawn, at Morin's Diner. Precursor to "Russel Morin, Fine Catering".

I confess to spending some early years with Southern red necks, they taught me how to shoot kitchen matches out of my BB gun. They ignited on impact.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 11, 2009 10:41 PM

"Wonder if Ralphie is gonna turn in his Red Rider BB Gun...."

A few years ago, while on a skiing trip to Vermont, I bought my daughter a Red Ryder carbine. In small script on the box, it read "Hey kids, don't know who the Red Ryder is? Ask your dad".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 11, 2009 10:48 PM

"Brandishing one would result in the teacher taking it and it going into the desk drawer"

Joe I think you have a few years on me, which makes it even more likely your teachers were WWII vets. I don't think a knife or gun was a stranger.

I guess I like this thread. Another note from "back in the day". Starting around age 12, the local hardware store had a file of "notes from your mother" so that you could buy .22 ammo. Shotgun shells required another "note from your mother" and age 14.

That hardware store just closed the other day. They had been out of the "arms business" for about 15 years.

A kid of 14 walking along with a shotgun and a brace of hounds didn't put the police on alert. We always had our barrels broken.

I frequently think of moving back to the Tidewater or North Carolina. My relatives in the Tidewater tell me they have gotten as silly as we are. A while back I called the sheriff in Duplin County and asked about my shotguns. His response was "you keep them hidden till you're south of New Jersey, then you're in America".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 11, 2009 11:07 PM

Not only do I disagree with the premise (I think it's all just for show), I think we should do the opposite ... mandatory toy gun ownership for every child!

Posted by: Will at December 12, 2009 1:04 AM

Forget toy guns-how did we ever live to adulthood without bike helmets and kneepads!?
We used to heat buildings with coal(quick-call Al Gore)and in the winter we packed our snowballs with clinker ash and it was like throwing frozen shrapnel at someone.
In the summer we'd always find a building demolition/construction site to have "wars"-we used rocks as weapons.Many teeth were knocked out,but I don't recall anyone ever getting seriously injured.Empty lots,of which there were quite a few,also served as "battlefields".

Posted by: joe bernstein at December 12, 2009 6:29 AM

They can have my child's gun when they pry it from her cold, dead fingers.

At least it hasn't come to that, but when groups of adults get together to bribe kids to trade their toys for more acceptable ones things are grim indeed.

Posted by: michael at December 12, 2009 9:29 AM


"Empty lots,of which there were quite a few,also served as "battlefields"."

In my town it was a burned out mill building. In the debris was an enormous old safe, on its back with the door removed. That was our "tank". We always faught "Japs", we never faught Germans.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 12, 2009 1:36 PM

Hey, you don't even have to go that far back to remember when toy guns and jack knives were okay. My father, Joe, surely remembers that in the early 80s my brother and I loved our cowboy and cowgirl sets complete with cap guns. And I remember at Girl Scout camp we were encouraged to bring jackknives to practice carving, just so long as we could demonstrate that we were well-versed in jackknife safety.

Posted by: Tabetha at December 12, 2009 8:37 PM

Tabetha "that far back" ?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at December 12, 2009 8:58 PM

The 80s were not that long ago. I think I am still relatively young :)

My father mentioned that toy guns were and jackknives were acceptable for kids in the 50s.

They were still acceptable in most circumstances 25 years ago or so. I think this overreaction to all things that might hint at violence is a recent phenomenon that has really escalated in the past 10 - 15 years.

Posted by: Tabetha at December 12, 2009 11:56 PM