June 9, 2013
Now the sheep are really crazy and I thought it was me! But after hearing this story you will see what a crazy world we really are living in.
An elementary school in Hayward California held a toy gun exchange Saturday (6/8/13), offering students a book and a chance to win a bicycle if they turned in their play weapons.
Strobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill thinks that children who play with toy guns may not take real guns seriously. ”Playing with toys guns, saying ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ desensitizes them, so as they get older, it’s easier for them to use a real gun,” Hill said.
At Saturday’s event, called Strobridge Elementary Safety Day, a Hayward police officer demonstrated bicycle and gun safety, and the Alameda County Fire Department sent a rig and crew to talk about fire safety. Fingerprinting and photographing of children was offered, with the information put on CDs for parents. All youngsters who attended were given a ticket to exchange for a book.
Every child who brought a toy gun got a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles.
Hill said he got the idea for the toy gun exchange from a photographer, Horace Gibson, who takes students’ school pictures and who expressed concern about the spate of shootings of young people by police in Oakland. Hill said police are fearful of being shot when they encounter armed suspects, and there have been cases where police mistook a toy gun for a real one.
However, many people thought that this event was an exercise in anti-gun conditioning. It amounts to nothing more than form of brainwashing designed to teach children to hate and fear guns.
“Having a group of children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians is a normal part of growing up,” said Yih-Chau Chang, spokesman for Responsible Citizens of California, a group whose goal is to educate the public about the facts behind gun rights.
“While the intentions are obviously good on the part of the school administration, this doesn’t really educate children about guns or gun safety,” he said. “Guns are used in crimes, but they are more often used in defensive ways which prevent violent crime from occurring in the first place.”
Chang also questioned whether toys can look like real weapons. ”Toy manufacturers are forced to paint guns in bright colors, usually orange or yellow, that make it virtually impossible for an officer to mistake it for a real gun,” Chang said.