“I’m a gun owner.” Oh brother. How many pro-gun control articles start with the author’s declaration that they own guns? Or, in many cases, a gun. It’s a sure sign that the writer supports firearms freedom like Gemma Massey supports Sharia law. “I was in a gun shop and shooting range last week,” toymaker turned Wall Street Journal columnist Rhett Power continues. “A man came in with his daughter who looked no more than 8 years old. She quickly spotted a pink handgun on display. She was convinced that it was a toy and told her father that she wanted to hold it. I asked the sales clerk if this was common, and he said that kids always think the pink guns are toys.” Uh-oh . . .
That was apparently the case on Feb. 1, when a 3-year-old boy in Greenville, S.C., was killed with a handgun kept in the house by his mother. Police said that Tmorej Smith and his 7-year-old sister had been playing with the handgun. It was pink. The investigators said that the kids thought it was a toy.
As a businessman who makes children’s toys, I am appalled by this aspect of the firearms industry. Toymakers are extremely regulated, and for good reason—no one wants kids to get hurt. In the case of toy guns, manufacturers since the late 1980s have been required by federal law to use distinctive “blaze orange” barrel plugs or markings to ensure that the toys are not mistaken for the real thing. I don’t make toy guns, but I certainly understand the rule: There were too many tragic stories involving young people killed by someone who mistook the child’s toy for a loaded weapon.
Is it me or does that “extremely regulated, and for good reason” bit sound a bit kinky? What business welcomes government regulation, save one that [rightly] views it as a barrier to entry to competition?
Anyway, you can guess the rest. Stop making pink guns! Stop making brightly colored guns! Do it for the children! But don’t get to thinking it’s about gun control . . .
Let me get this straight: Children are not allowed to have toy guns that look like the real thing, but adults are allowed to have the real thing that looks like a toy? That has got to change. This isn’t about “gun control,” it’s about something closer to simple decency.
No it’s about personal responsibility. It’s my job to teach my children gun safety, so they can tell the difference between a toy gun and a real firearm; no matter what the gun’s color.
It’s also about freedom. Not to coin a phrase, but those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Liberty? The freedom to buy pink guns? Yes. In the same sense that I don’t want the government regulating where a supermarket places the Cocoa Puffs or what size soft drink a store can sell or what my child should and shouldn’t eat, I don’t want the state regulating gun colors.
First it’s gun colors, then it’s safety features, then it’s safe storage laws, then it’s age limits, then it’s ammo types, then it’s types of targets, etc. It’s not for nothing they’re called Safety Nazis.
Notice I used the word “stop” instead of “ban” above. Mr. Power didn’t have the cojones to come out and say the government should intervene and ban brightly colored guns. But you don’t have to be a gun control advocate to read between the lines.
The website PackingPretty.com recently reported that “pink guns are flying off the shelves at gun stores.” As a business owner, I get it. Pink guns sell, and this is why the manufacturers keep producing them. It makes business sense. But what about responsibility as corporate citizens?
The corporation as a buffer between stupid people and a tyrannical government. Yeah. No. But I do fancy one of those Hello Kitty ARs—for reasons I can’t explain. And shouldn’t have to. To anyone. Ever.