Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Toy guns fool Beaverton, I guess

War on Guns pointed me to this little gem. Now, I'm not a huge fan of Beaverton in the first place, but I thought they might be a little smarter than this.

They have, de facto, banned any toy that looks like a gun. They allow for clear guns (at least according to the article), but I wouldn't count on them. The law bans "any toy or imitation that substantially duplicates a lethal firearm or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm." The scary and ill-defined words "substantially" and "reasonably" make this the sort of law that can easily expand.

In almost any state, committing a crime with a replica gun will get you the same sentence as a real one. After all, you certainly wanted the victim to believe it was a real gun, and thus used some of the power of a firearm.

In almost any state you can carry, a toy firearm is still enough of a threat to use your own weapon. A lot of high-powered civil attornies will milk you for a lot of money over it, and a prosecutor will try to convince the jury that you should've known it was fake, but the law says you can use appropriate force, since there's no way to know it's fake.

Why, then, are the toy guns banned? They claim they're only banned in public places, but that makes it awfully hard to buy them. It also makes it hard to transport them to and from places you can go to have fun with them.

I'll tell yo why they're banned: the continued demonization of firearms is much easier to force down people's throats if toy guns are banned. If children aren't exposed to them, it's easier to keep them from ever learning about them. And ignorance, as we see constantly, breeds fear.

There were a couple things that scared me in the comments, too. People on both sides of the issue were criticizing or praising the police. The police do not make laws. This was the creation of a city council that wanted to make people feel good. Another scary thing is the last comment. People actually believe this sort of stuff:
I applaud the Beaverton police for taking action on this issue. Again, it's not the police, though I'm sure one or two from the department gave strong endorsements.
Like it or not folks: The majority of the public does not want people walking the streets with guns - real or phony (toy, replica or what have you). It makes people anxious and nervous. There are a lot of folks who do not feel safer because there are people with concealled [sic] weapons permits packing. Because some folks don't feel "comfortable" with my rights, I am supposed to feel guilty about my guns? And why do they feel uncomfortable? It's largely due to misinformation and lack of education. And "the majority" may not be the actual majority. There are a lot of gun owners out there.
I think the majority agrees one should be allowed to own (and even carry) a gun if you like. Fine. So be it. But you just said that the majority doesn't want me to carry. Of course, you only grudgingly bestow upon me this preexisting right. i especially like the choice to put "and even carry" inside parentheses. That way, you can express your particular dislike for the bearing of arms, though you probably dislike the keeping of arms, as well.
BUT there is also good portion of society [sic] that is willing to sacrafice [sic] a little bit of (perceived) protection for peace. I don't think you meant to write this exactly like this. You mean to say that they'll trade liberty for safety (despite certain famous quotations warning against this trade), not protection for peace. Your way doesn't even make any sense.
Really? Do our kids need to practice at violence? Shouldn't we be teaching them more useful and important things to better them as humans? Aren't there sports and games they can play that are healthy and build REAL life skills? Our children should indeed be learning real life skills. You are correct in this. We should teach them gun safety, good marksmanship, and the importance of protecting all of our precious liberties. While I certainly believe this should be done with real firearms, I also find that airsoft guns are kind of fun to play with, even at my age.
I am all for this ordinance. It could save lives and money for the city. Where would these savings come from? I haven't heard of any airsoft-related deaths in Beaverton, and the enforcement of such a bizarre law may cost more money than the tickets bring in. Period. It is not about gun owner rights, the second amendment, etc. No, it is about mass hysteria over fairly harmless toys. The city of Beaverton had been responding to an ususal number of calls around toy and replica guns. Hmm, were they? I'd like to see what all these calls may have been. After all, I haven't seen many airsoft guns out in public, since most people know they can look fairly realistic. For all you less government is better people out there...they wouldn't need to do this if people were being more responsible. And we don't need another useless law on the books. It's illegal to use these as though they are guns, so there's no need for another law. Absolutely. But since parents - the grown ups - aren't taking the initiative to solve this, the police did. City Council passed the law, and I see no evidence that it was needed. If you don't think parents are teaching children the dangers of waving fake guns in public, start allowing gun safety into schools again. Don't point fingers at them - look at your neighbors, cousins and friends.
Do you think that speed limits are the first step in taking our cars away? No, I think speed limits are not only a way to make money, but a way to regulate traffic. Many of them are bizarre and ridiculous, and those are often the ones used to generate extra income for the police. But speed limits are obviously a completely different subject.
I am sick and tired of gun owner mouth barffing [sic] of "liberals this.... and liberals....that" preaching their paranoia and fear. Well, I can't say much about the "liberal" part. The classical definition of liberal tends to be centered on individual rights. I could, of course, point to modern "liberals," who tend to be Leftists, bent on nannying us all. As for the paranoia and fear, I'll point out that there are all sorts of attacks on our 2A rights at every level, so you'll have to forgive us if we get a little defensive about them. I assume you are talking about the fear of getting them taken away, since most of the fear-mongering I see comes from the Left. Y'know, the stuff about how we're unsafe because of "assault weapons" (which are very rarely used in crimes--they just aren't as concealable as handguns), handguns (which are the only guns a law-abiding citizen can really carry in public--and are used to prevent a lot of crimes), and "sniper rifles" (which is usually the term for anything scoped, like common hunting rifles).

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