On December 21, Hempstead, New York, children were asked to hand over their toy guns in exchange for a toy that was not associated with firearms.
The “Toy Gun Turn-In” was spearheaded “by Manhattan philanthropist Jean Shafiroff,” with help from the Hempstead Heights Civic Association and Hempstead Mayor Wayne Hall (D).
The NRA-ILA quoted a Newsday report in which Shafiroff said, “I wanted children to know toy guns are not good toys. … By exchanging them for a much better gift, it shows a toy gun is not worth having.”
The Hempstead Heights Civic Association’s Lamont Johnson added, “We need to get away from that culture and give children appropriate toys. Hempstead is sending a message guns are not to be played with.”
The Newsday report makes clear that the toy guns turned in were not the kind of toys that can be confused with real guns, the kind which have been mistaken for actual firearms and resulted in officer-involved shootings. On the contrary, “[m]ost of the toy guns handed in were brightly colored.” This shows the turn-in was really focused on taking toys, rather than getting rid of objects that have resulted in loss of life.
The NRA-ILA observed, “Toy gun turn-ins have been around for decades and have become part of the year-round ideological attack on harmless fun. We suspect that toy gun turn-ins are about as effective in achieving their goals as the gun turn-ins that inspire them.”
On October 16, Breitbart News reported that children at a Baltimore “Peace Camp” received prizes for handing over their toy guns. The camp was founded by Ralph E. Moore, Jr., and Nawal Rajeh. The Baltimore Sun quoted Moore comparing taking toy guns to taking candy cigarettes on the basis that candy cigarettes were “orienting kids to smoking.” He said, “I think toy guns, in many ways, are doing the same thing. The replica guns are what’s dangerous.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.