A coalition of non-profits in Cleveland is running a campaign with the stated intention of promoting gun safety and gun buybacks. This is not made up: They are staging buybacks for toy guns, having already conducted a run that netted around 150.
The initiative is inspired by shootings in which police mistook an airsoft pistol or pretend gun for the real thing. It is appropriate to have a serious conversation about the wisdom of taking any toy gun—especially a realistic one—out in a public space. But this is the sadly familiar anti-gunner narrative: “We need them off of our streets!”
Any shooting of an innocent child is immensely tragic, and we support efforts to combat this trend with real gun safety training. But fixing the problem by encouraging kids to give up their toys? If our children don’t feel free to play and imagine, that’s not America.