Question of the Day: Should Kids Be Allowed to Carry Fake Guns for Halloween?

I grew up in an anti-gun household. Thankfully, the anti-arms antipathy didn’t include toy guns. Playing with toy guns helped me explore issues central to my personal and social identity: good vs. evil, courage vs. cowardice, machine gun vs. lever gun, seeking cover vs. a full-frontal attack, etc. Dressing as a cowboy, soldier or secret agent for Halloween without a toy gun would have been like eating a hot fudge sundae without the hot fudge. Nowadays . . .

my daughter’s middle school made it a point to remind parents that “no weapons of any kind will be permitted in school for Halloween.” Not even an arched eyebrow? That said, the tragic case of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot playing with a toy gun shot and killed by Cleveland cops, certainly gives pause to worried parents.

That said, it’s Halloween for Christ’s sake (or not). Where’s the harm in skulking around the neighborhood dressed like a soldier, wielding a fake AK, checking out the neighbors’ valuables and security systems, extorting them for free candy?

If you have or had a kid, would you/will you let them carry a fake gun in pursuit of refined sugar and corn-syrup-infused treats?

comments

    1. avatar The Punisher says:

      Took the word right out of my mouth.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Of course they should be able to carry fake guns.
      Not all of them are responsible enough to carry real guns.

    3. avatar Illinois Shooter in Texas says:

      Yes, Next question…

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    “If you have or had a kid, would you/will you let them carry a fake gun”

    Yes, unless he was black, in which case a kid dressed up as a cop would probably shoot him.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      And the witnesses in Moana, Pokemon, scarecrow, and Transformers costumes will scream to those dressed as reporters that the kid should have used his fake Taser instead because the “victim” didn’t actually have twenty pounds of stolen candy on him and wouldn’t have actually pointed the plastic AK at the pretend cop due to the fact that he was turning his life around to go back to Second Grade soon…

      1. avatar Jeremiah Thompson says:

        Thread of the decade LOL!

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    As long as it’s an obvious toy… no problem. Would I let kids run around with replica airsoft guns on Halloween? No. That would be pants on head retarded.

    I do find the ban on edged weapons silly. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would consider a kid with a plastic sword decked out as Gawain to be an actual threat.

  3. avatar anonymoose says:

    If you let your kids go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, you shouldn’t have reproduced in the first place. No costumed kid is going to get shot by overzealous jackboots if they have an adult parent/relative walking with them. That said, I would discourage my kids from dressing up as soldiers or cops for Halloween. I did that for several years as a kid and looking back it seems really dorky. Monsters and ghosts are much better costumes for Halloween.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      True. If the rugrat is “too big” for an escort they are “too big” to be shaking people for a handout. AND you don’t go to homes where you don’t personally know the residents by name.

      A once fun kid thing has been demtardizes with welfare and degenerates

  4. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    The fact that this question is being discussed, asked or responded too is a loss for liberty.
    The whole issue suggests a utopian view of society. Who do our kids belong to ? The State ? The group with the majority opinion ? I weep for humanity and the USA

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Old Region Fan,

      Here is why the question is so relevant:

      Several years ago on Halloween night, I placed a battery operated handheld spotlight by my front door “just in case”. Well after official trick-or-treating time and in spite of our porch light being off, six teenage boys came up to our door and yelled “trick or treat”! I answered the door, spotlight discretely in hand behind my body, and explained in an upbeat demeanor that trick-or-treating was over, our porch light was off, and we ran out candy anyway. A boy in the front, dressed as a gangster, then asked, “Are you sure you don’t have any candy?” I said, “no”. He then asked if I had any food treats? I said, “no”. Then he raised up a handgun (without an orange tip), pointed it at me, and asked if I had any money. I said, “no but I have this” while simultaneously raising the spotlight and shining it into his face — which ended the “encounter”.

      I sincerely hope you can see just how dangerous that situation was for that boy and for myself. His replica handgun was realistic and I had no way of knowing whether or not it was real or a toy. What if I had answered the door with a real handgun in a holster or in my hand — a fairly prudent thing to do when six teenage boys come up to your front door after trick-or-treating was over on Halloween? Promptly drawing and firing means injuring or killing a boy who simply exercised poor judgement. Or it means stopping an actual armed robbery. And failing to draw and fire could mean that I am injured or killed in an actual armed robbery. Or it could mean preventing the injury or death of a boy who exercised poor judgement.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        Shooting that kid probably would have been a public service.

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    If my children wanted to carry toy replica firearms, I would instruct them as follows:
    (1) Do NOT point that toy gun at anyone, EVER. Period. Full stop.
    (2) If anyone approaches you with a firearm pointed at you, DROP YOUR TOY FIREARM IMMEDIATELY without any sudden movements.
    (3) If you hear someone near you yelling, “Drop the gun!”, drop your toy gun IMMEDIATELY and DO NOT TURN TOWARD THE PERSON who is yelling until several seconds have passed. Drop the toy gun first and foremost, then turn toward the person after 10+ seconds.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      Good luck, if they remember all that.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Your response implies that children would not actually do as I instructed based on nothing more than my verbal instructions — with which I emphatically agree!

        I would actually practice with them so that it is akin to “muscle memory”. (In my experience, people learn a LOT better from actually doing versus nothing more than listening.)

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      I was taught #1 by the time I was four or five. If you point it at somebody, you lose it for a month.

      #2, I probably would have froze and peed my pants.

      #3, good luck with that, you’re trying to teach a kid not to have reflex reactions.
      Somebody yells something, the kid’s going to look to see what the yelling is about.
      And a fradycop will murder him for it. Hopefully those idiots are as rare as Tamir Rice shootings. No cop I know would have done this:
      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/10/robert-farago/ca-police-shoot-13-year-old-holding-airsoft-ak-and/

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    And kids, whatever you do, don’t go trick or treating at Kevin Spacey’s house.

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      ~snort..

      Interwebs winner right there.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Ouch!!!

      (Definitely NOT too soon.)

  7. avatar John says:

    Do lightsabers and other galactic weapons count also?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Only at ComicCon Denver…

  8. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    These days, I wouldn’t let any children run loose on the streets tonight – costumes, toy guns or otherwise. My grandsons and I will watch a movie with popcorn, hot cocoa. That’s as much sugar as they need any day. They are old enough to think “toy guns” are lame anyway. They much prefer the real ones. We’ll shoot tomorrow if it doesn’t snow too much.

  9. avatar Nanashi says:

    I’m going to be controversial and say kids should be able to carry real guns any day. The Constitution gives no provision for minors not being “the people”. This is especially true of late teens who, while not eligible for the Continental Army, were always part of the militia.

  10. avatar Ogre says:

    Since my now-grown kids were daughters who wanted to be princesses and stuff like that, I wouldn’t have to consider or worry whether to let them carry toy guns. However, in today’s political climate and with quick-on-the-trigger cops, I’d probably think twice about it. I wouldn’t want to send out a little “commando” with a toy M16 and get back a corpse. Considering how politically correct today’s schools are getting, I’m not surprised at the “no weapons” meme. When I was a kid (50’s), I borrowed my Dad’s WWII Japanese police sabre and went out as a pirate – took it to school for show-and-tell, too. Couldn’t do that nowadays. And I agree, any parent that permits the children to go out these days without an escort is not thinking with their brain.

  11. avatar Snatchums says:

    I grew up with an extremely anti-gun mother and a father that kinda liked guns but wouldn’t press the issue with her. I wasn’t even allowed to have a damn squirt gun. Nevertheless I would buy myself a cap gun or something every once in a while, until my mom found out and would confiscate it.

    Any kind of prop that could be mistaken for a real gun from 50 feet away is probably a very bad idea. I don’t have any kids so I don’t really have any skin in this game and I’m about…… 80% sure I’m not going to be randomly blasting any neighborhood kids who are toting weapon props tonight.

  12. avatar MeRp says:

    I would let my son use a toy gun as a prop for a costume.

    With regard to his school; the local school district decided that kids should not wear costumes to school for Halloween at all, so the entire question is moot, but I wouldn’t let him bring any sort of toy weapon to school because schools are way too tyrannical to allow such things, and clearly too stupid to recognize the difference between a toy weapon (even a wildly improbable one) and a real one.

    As for trick-or-treating unsupervised; I wouldn’t do it yet as he’s too young, but in a few years he should be old enough. Not sure where the commenter got the idea that kids (no matter the age) should be under 100% supervision at all time; the whole point of growing up is to become an independent functioning adult. If I wanted him to rely on constant supervision, I’d be teaching him to live in a nanny state. That’s assuming, of course, that he is interested in trick-or-treating. He’s not this year, so he’s going to help hand out candy. Probably in costume, since he loves wearing costumes.

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    Hmmm…I seem to recall carrying toy guns as a lad on Halloween. But THAT was 55 or 60 years ago. Now NO. HELL NO. My sons are grown and grandkids live 800miles away. Between trigger happy po-leece and paronoid idiots I wouldn’t let my rugrat do it. Especially in my southern Cook County hood…

  14. Light sabers, yes.
    Plastic or wooden pirate swords, yes.
    Star Trek phasers, yes.
    Realistic-looking guns, no, with or without an orange tip because at night, it’s hard to see the orange tip.

  15. avatar John says:

    What a good looking question.

  16. avatar Highwayman says:

    I did the trick-or-treat thing in the 60’s. It might have been appropriate then. Remember cap guns and cowboy outfits? Unfortunately I’m not so sure it would be good form today.

  17. avatar Mark C says:

    Watch the video of the Tamir Rice shooting. He was 12 and the LEO had been deemed “emotionally unstable and unfit for duty” in his previous job.

  18. avatar strych9 says:

    I think it depends on where you live. Where I grew up or where I live now, sure. Other places I’ve lived? Absolutely not. Around here it happens every year and it’s not a problem. Taking a trip to Boulder might be asking for trouble.

  19. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Allowing your children to walk around with a fake firearm is beyond stupid. You people who allow your kids to walk around with fake rifles and fake pistols deserve the dead kids you get. Did you ever even think, what if someone thinks they’re a threat and shoots at them?
    That’s why I give my kids real guns so that if that happens, they can at least fire back. If it saves just one life….

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      That’s awesome.

  20. avatar Porkchop says:

    My daughters were all Disney princesses, so the question never came up. Wouldn’t have had a problem with weapons, though.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Two Sunday’s ago, a 2.5′ high little girl in a pink frilly dress also had on a wide black belt, and a lightsaber.

      I thought, ‘now those are awesome parents’.

  21. avatar John - the real one says:

    If you are sending your kids to public school, you have failed. This hasn’t always been true, but it is now.

  22. avatar Anymouse says:

    I don’t like my son playing with toy guns, period. I am a little more accepting of Nerf blasters because there are consquences to pulling the trigger, and I insist on eye protection. Noise making or inert toys just scream training scars to me. I’d rather he come play with real guns, but he’s not ready for that yet.

  23. avatar Scoutino says:

    The very fact that we have this conversation shows how well the anti-gun brainwashing works.

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