“Police plan to target replica guns and the inappropriate use of scooters, mopeds, and off-road vehicles to keep Boston streets safe from violence this summer,” bostonglobe.com reports. “Commissioner William B. Evans revealed his plan as Boston approaches the Memorial Day weekend with 11 homicides on record for the year.” Wait. What? Surely that’s not the BPD’s answer to Beantown’s “gun violence”? Don’t call me Shirley and check it out . . .
Police displayed an array of replica guns that had been recently seized or turned in through a city gun-buyback program, and Evans cited the case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot last year by an officer in Cleveland as he played with a fake pistol.
“It’s very frustrating for our officers,” he said. “If a young kid thinks it’s a toy … the worst thing that possibly could happen is one of us thinking it’s real and shoot a young kid. We’re pleading with parents. We’re pleading with the community, store owners not to sell these to the kids.”
He said officers seized about 250 replica guns last year. Last month, Boston police Sergeant Henry Staines accosted a man for videotaping officers surrounding a teenager who was playing with a realistic-looking fake gun on Edgewood Street in Roxbury. Staines later apologized.
At the time, Evans said that Staines acted partly out of frustration over these fake guns, noting that with tension between police and citizens high across the country, Staines was upset at the idea that police could have shot a child playing with a toy.
“They’re a big issue for us,” Evans said Friday. “Nobody wins with these guns that look as real as possible.”
Toy guns are such a big issue for the Boston Police that the entirely sympathetic Boston Globe had to cite a case in Cleveland where a cop shot to death a boy wielding a toy gun (with its orange tip removed). Panem et circuses people, bread and circuses.
Hmmmm. Could this dog-and-pony show have a little something to do with the now infamous video [above] of Officer Henry Staines hassling a videographer and showing him a toy gun [above]?
To be fair, Boston robbers have been known to hold-up store using fake guns. In that case, what difference does it make to the police whether the gun is real or not? Is the BPD jefe seriously suggesting that eschewing toy/replica guns for kids would cut down on plastic firearms-related crime? Just wondering’ . . .