Kids, Guns, Shootings, Federal Law and Responsibility

toy gunI originally wrote this as a Facebook post in response to a link to an article about the 13-year old who was shot in California while carrying a replica assault weapon. A few people wanted to share what I wrote, but Facebook is all sorts of glitchy and some of of the shares didn’t include the original link, so my commentary seems to be missing something. I’ve added a couple of thoughts and links here, and hope this makes it easier for people to understand.

This kind of stuff really, really bothers me; but not for the initial reasons a lot of people think.

I do not own a gun. I know plenty of people who do. They have the right to own guns, and they do so responsibly.

Take a close look at the gun in this picture. It’s a screen shot of what you see on Facebook when this news article from Fox is shared. This gun looks very, very real – and it’s the gun the 13 year old boy who was shot in California was holding when he was killed. ┬áIt’s a replica. I’m not sure how “replicas” are considered, but it is federal law that “toy” guns have red or orange tips. This allows law enforcement to identify them as toys. There are even some cities where there is legislation that a toy gun can’t look like a real gun at all, which is why you see such odd shapes and colors. [Read more…]