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“(W)e need targeted voluntary efforts against (toy guns). A good start is the toy gun buyback organized by community activists in Cleveland, who will offer books, other toys or concert tickets in exchange for the guns. And following Dr. Spock, parents shouldn’t give their kids guns as presents. But we should also urge merchants not to sell them. And the best way to do that is to stop patronizing the places that do. This holiday season, if you find yourself in a store that peddles weapons as playthings, take your business elsewhere. That’s the only sure-fire way that we will ever stop the scourge of fake guns.” – NYU professor Jonathan Zimmerman in Boycott toy guns [at]

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  1. Hmm,
    I think I’ll do the opposite, as I’m shopping for a toy gun for my 6 year old granddaughter.

    • Our local WalMart is now selling a pink-stocked version of the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun – obviously marketing to girls! This is a great idea for Christmas – get your daughters/granddaughters started on being the next Shyanne Roberts.

    • Yeah, I thought it was serious, until I got to “stop the scourge of fake guns”, and then I started to think it couldn’t possibly be for real. No serious, intelligent person with a grounding in reality could state that phrase with a straight face. But he’s an NYU professor, so he very likely doesn’t meet those criteria, so this moron is probably not joking.

      • “… serious, intelligent person with a grounding in reality…” and “NYU professor” are mutually contradictory terms.

  2. Great — now we’re afraid of inanimate objects that merely look like the inanimate objects we’re unnecessarily afraid of.

    Then again, we’ve already banned even depictions of guns, and clearly a toy replica 1911 is more evil than a drawing or a Facebook photo, so … Let the witch hunt begin!

  3. Is real guns still okay?

    I bought my son a CZ-75 for Christmas.

    Dr. Spock. Yeah go read his biography. Lefty nut-job.

  4. So you’ll be doing your Christmas shopping where? Even the supermarket sells toy cap guns. Wait this could be a good thing. If all the anti’s stop frequenting the evil gun proliferating grocery stores, maybe there will be a die off. PERFECT! Every TTAG’er out there should get behind this one.

  5. Cops and robbers will now be called “cops and oppressed criminals,” and will focus on building community relations by taking a savage beating without complaint.

  6. Okay, I’ll confess. I’ve already learned to stop patronizing toy stores that *removed* toy guns and other “too militant” toys from their offer.

    It is only fair to let the anti-gunners use a similar tactic. It is their money, after all.

    • Actually, playing with toy “military grade” ghost guns with simulated over capacity 30 caliber clips which could be emptied in half a second, made me the high speed low drag “operator” that I am today.

      • Amen to that, thanks to toy guns, and a shoulder thing that goes up, I can light off 6000 rounds per minute with my assault weapons. Toy guns made me a Blackbelt in Gun-fu


        Only rounds, but it does empty them in about 1/2 second.

        And has made me the terror of the house in nerf wars (for about a 1/2 second, then I run away because reloading on the fly is impossible) 😀

        And since it is the ‘n-strike’ version it is twice as deadly, and has 4 shoulder things that go up.

    • Gee, I was on our high school rifle team (indoor range, Winchester 52D single shots). That must explain why I have turned into such a bad person that I visit this web site regularly. Now that I am over 65, and had toy guns when I was 4, when can I expect to start my first murderous rampage?

      • You already have. At 65 and after a lifteime of playing with evil guns (TM), you must have just forgotten all those babies you needlessly murdered in your younger days.

        A school rifle team? Wouldn’t that be considered a school shooting these days?

  7. If they don’t want to buy toy, replica or real guns, don’t. I wish they would stop trying to make my choices for me and telling me how I should think. Just leave me alone and STFU.

    • That’s not the liberal progressive MO. They want to ban everything that they don’t approve for you, the lowly under-educated tax paying peasant. Just roll over and comply or there will be trouble. Your independent and fact based thinking is not welcome. Now go and sacrifice your individual freedom on the altar of public safety.

      I’d like to wall off LA, NYC, San Fran, DC, and Chicago as liberal progressive zones. Citizens – which would obviously include illegals – could “benefit” from lefty ideas. Raise taxes, welfare for all, and no bothersome Constituituonal restraints. Ban sodas, ban civilian gun ownership, and celebrate tolerance. The only catch would be that the lefties would recieve no help from the outside world. None.

      Now that would be an interesting social experiment.

      • Tolerance: unless you don’t agree politically with them. Then you get called all sorts of racist, hoplophobia terms.

      • Can i buy tickets to this Judge Dredd live show? I’d gladly watch from the cursed earth. Even got some beer and popcorn.

  8. So, you’re gonna fight the scourge of toys from your ivory tower… Your parents must be so proud.

  9. Ii’m offended/uncomfortable with kids and adults dressing like gangbangers or blasting obscenity-filled rap music that glorifies violence, crime, drugs, disrespect for the rules, ostentatious display of obscene wealth, and treating women as property to be used or abused at will.

    Wait, it’s just a harmless imitation? Excuse me; I can’t tell the difference.

    How about a “community buyback” of gangsta-style clothing and music? You know, for the children.

    • That’s the big punchline nobody seems to see coming. Someday soon if they get their way policy will come full circle and Tipper Gore will step from the shadows to resume her war on evil music. The fact that the party has been kept afloat by young voters who don’t remember the eighties won’t keep them from crushing those ignorant yoots when they feel like it.

  10. Oh look! Another New Yorker telling 300+ million Americans what’s best for them. Where have I seen that before?

  11. No squirt gun or Nerf gun battles? Can we not let kids be kids? More murders are committed with bats and hammers. Does that mean we need to ban Bob the Builder toys and baseball? I am glad I went to college when I did, for academia has now embraced political ideology above logic much like academia in 1930s Germany embraced fascism.

  12. I completely understand that violent attacks are so reprehensible and utterly awful that people deeply, passionately wish that they would never happen. Nevertheless, violent attacks actually happen in the real world and efforts to eradicate one particular weapon will not reduce violent attacks. Advocating for public policy based on wishful thinking which contradicts reality is insanity.

    Someone seriously has to analyze the New York City water supply and see what chemical is causing this.

    • Its not the water, it is the echo chamber. You grow up with a singular view of the world and anyone who thinks different is wrong. In NYC, you can be diverse as long as your view matches the narrative.

      Because of a current work assignment I am in NYC on a regular basis. I have learned to simply shut up. One of the reasons my company was hired for this assignment was simply to have someone who can think outside of the box.

  13. I will argue there need to be better police training before we ban toy guns.

    I grew up with toy guns and we even had an officer that lived down the road and no child was shot by the police. Toys guns are not new, so someone needs to ask what has changed?

    I also do not buy the argument that because there are more guns the police are more afraid. In some states and some counties there have ALWAYS been a lot of guns. When I grew up kids took BB guns to school, on a freaking school bus. If you were part of the rifle team you took you rifle with you to school just like band kids took instruments. In the UK at one time you could shoot pellet guns in bars as part of a game similar to darts.

    The problem is people, not the toys

    The USA is not Fallujah, Iraq — instead of a “Warrior Cop” with “Warrior Mentality” — perhaps maybe they should look at the situation or learn to look at the situation instead of just reacting.

    I question much of the police training if we have come to the point where we have to ban Toy Guns or Toy Swords ( because the people hired as police cannot tell the difference and their only solution in all their training is to shoot first and ask questions later.

    People like this guy always focus on the BS banning solution versus the real problem.

  14. Riiiiiiiiiiight, don’t even shop anywhere that sells gun shaped objects…. Does this idiot have any idea how many retailers actually sell “toy guns”?
    So remember parents. This holiday season, don’t shop at:

    Walmart (or Sams Club)
    Kmart (or Sears)
    Best Buy
    Gamestop (
    Toys R Us (
    And Toys R Us’s subordinate brands, KB toys, Babies R Us, and

    Kohls (
    Bed Bath and Beyond (

    Academy Sports (

    New Egg (
    CVS (Off brand nerf guns)
    Wallgreens (
    Costco (
    Party City (Costume guns)
    Publix (Cap guns in toy section)
    Radio Shack (

    Sony (

    JC Penny (

    DIcks, Sports Authority, Cabelas, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro Shops,
    Sharper Image (
    Micheals (
    Big Lots (

    There are even more. Im just tired of researching this in order to sufficiently beat the dead horse.

  15. Stop the scourge of fake guns…


    How about we start the proliferation of courage and morals. I think they would go quite a bit farther in achieving the goal for which the NYU professor is aiming.

    But Walmart still carries imitation guns, which can also put kids — and many others — in mortal danger.

    Damn straight. Because of… the lack of courage. Do we do a little further investigating to see if it is a real gun? Nah. Officer safety. Do we go and take a look at the actual suspect to determine if a threat really exists as interpreted by the surveillance cam? Nah. Lets just call 911 and say he is waving a gun around.

    Last summer, a 22-year-old man picked a BB gun off the shelves at a Walmart in suburban Dayton, Ohio. A few moments later he was shot dead by police, who mistook it for an actual rifle.

    Uh no. the 911 operator didn’t have the courage to find out what was happening. He called 911 and the cops arrived guns blazing because they didn’t have to courage to assess if the situation was actually a threat to anyone at all. Safety people. Gotta have safety.

    But both of the Ohio young men would be alive if not for fake guns, which have proliferated in America since the 1950s.

    Sure. Both would be alive if toy guns didn’t exit. But both would be alive if real guns didn’t exist. Both would also likely be alive if cops didn’t exist. The solution lies in the action taken by the responsible parties. If the cops don’t want to take responsibility. Maybe they should find a less demanding, less dramatic situations better suited for them.

    The following year brought the first federal toy gun law, which required a blaze-orange plug to be inserted into the visible end of every imitation firearm. Shortly after that, the government ruled that toy guns needed either the orange plug, a blaze-orange stripe around the barrel, or a translucent, brightly colored, or white exterior.

    Because of Officer safety people. Kids… no orange plug? – you die. Orange plug – maybe you live. Maybe. But because of officer safety, the officer’s aren’t going to bother to find out what you have.

    So we shouldn’t be surprised, really, when people wielding fake guns are gunned down.

    I wonder what they did in the past with all those kids playing with toy guns. Hmm. They survived. I wonder what the difference was between those law enforcement officers and today’s law enforcement officers.

    • You summed it up well. When I was a kid in the 1980’s, I used to run around my yard firing all manner of cap guns and other toy guns, I don’t recall them having orange plugs either. Somehow no one ever called the police on me, and I’m sure plenty of cops rolled by as I was frolicking with my siblings or friends. They managed to not shoot me, or even think twice about it. Something else has changed, and it ain’t the proliferation of toy pistols.

  16. You’ll also be unsurprised to learn that this intellectual bright light & professor of edumacation,
    is also in favor of ending presidential term limits so that America can be more like Zimbabwe.

    So, he’s just brimming over with bright ideas.

    Just consider that ed students taught by him and others of his ilk, will be teaching those young skulls full of mush while you pay the property taxes to support this nonsense in the public schools.

    Here’s the learned professor’s oped from, also unsurprisingly, The Washington Post:
    End presidential term limits

    • “Jonathan Zimmerman is Professor of Education and History and Director of the History of Education Program…”

      History of Education? Seriously?

    • “…I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama…”

      Big surprise that he makes that argument during Obama’s second term.

  17. I have a better idea. Let’s stop sending our kids to universities that show contempt to our freedoms and those that reward radical professors by giving them tenure. Let this Leftist radical breed die out so it can’t continue poisoning the minds of our youth.

  18. Nothing like hearing from the wacko left educated idiot. My daughter bought Red Ryder BB guns for my grandkids ages 9 & 6, just like the ones Ralphie wanted in A Christmas Story! And no they won’t shoot their eye out because she is teaching them the 4 rules of gun safety!!!

  19. I love the logic. We need to make the personal decision ourselves not to make toy guns gifts, but we also need to make it impossible for anyone else to make that choice for themselves.

    I went to college in California and came up against this kind of idiotic logic repeatedly…. sadly for my GPA, I was rarely ever to keep my mouth shut.

  20. Ironically enough, the guy with the BB gun at Wal-mart died because a hopelessly hoplophobic busybody much like the good professor made a patently false report to a 911 operator.

  21. I’ve been gifted two guns growing up. one at 12 and the other at 16. I was happy as heck to receive them. I also had a lot of toy guns growing up and all of the neighborhood kids including the girls liked to play Army. None of those kids grew up to be murderers.

  22. There may be some gun owners that refuse to buy toy guns for their kids due to the belief that it teaches their children to view and treat a gun like a toy.

  23. Hmmm…my favorite Christmas gifts as a kid were a Mattel tommy gun and my brothers extremely realistic metal 38snubbie. We turned out OK. Unfortunately part of the problem is kids with real guns-like 13year old gangbangers in Chicago. It’s a screwed up world. BTW that was quite an impressive list of toy gun retailers 🙂

  24. Somehow, I don’t think ‘ole Jon Zimmerman would be all that helpful framing a house or fixing a flat roof. I also seriously doubt his knowledge of cars extends much beyond the idea that you “put the key in to make it go”. Think he’d know how to plug in a OBD II code reader when his check engine light comes on? He’s the kind of guy who’d be completely useless even changing a tire. I mention these examples because they represent a level of cultural literacy, of basic competence that the Zimmermans of the world completely lack and that People Of The Gun quite often at least know about even if they don’t possess the actual skills.

    Zimmerman represents the culture of post modernism. He’s afraid of toy-guns for the same reasons he’s afraid of real guns. They represent independence, they represent personal empowerment. Can’t have that in the post-modern world. That’s why people in the post-world are so anxious about People Of The Gun. As well they should be.

  25. “…That’s the only sure-fire way that we will ever stop the scourge of fake guns…..”


    Interesting choice it words.

  26. Too bad the media mavens can’t boycott these liberal prof’s who spew ignorance as though it were some sort of virtuous, profound wisdom. Never mind that it was the advent of the gun that allowed us to forge a country and defend it and keep it free, so liberal ass clowns like this can have the liberty and freedom to openly broadcast the inanity of their make-believe intelligence.

    • “inanity of their make-believe intelligence”– that’s great, I might have to steal it.

  27. Wow… So now were afraid of inanimate objects that just LOOK like inanimate objects we’re unreasonably afraid of. Nice.

    I can only imagine this guy would have an anyurism if he saw my favorite CQB Airsoft rifle. “Oh, the horror! This man can put 120 6mm plastic BB’s down range in about 5 seconds without reloading! And it’s a compact rifle, so he could conceal it! Oh no, he’ll destroy all of society!”

  28. Looks like they finally legalized LSD and pot at NYU. And Professor Zimmerman is trying to get laid. How’s that working out for you, Jonathan?

  29. Using this logic we need to remove all toy cars and toy hammers as both of these items kill more people every year than guns do? Rave on Professor….

  30. “This holiday season, if you find yourself in a store that peddles weapons as playthings, take your business elsewhere. That’s the only sure-fire way that we will ever stop the scourge of fake guns.”

    … he thinks that’s a sure-fire way. Really? Now my head hurts.

  31. Man, these people are finding bigger and bigger sharks to jump everyday. Soon enough they’ll be jumping a damned plesiosaur. “Scourge of fake guns.” I’m convinced that the scourge of psuedo-intellectual pantywaists is the real problem here.

  32. Another SJW in the War on Boys.

    P.S. When college profs have much better things to do, the fact the t beta males and progsvare joining up with MDA an bloowberg, at the community collaborater level is no accident… Obama still has two years of executive action abuse to weild, and firing up the scaredy cat base both gives him an excuse to pull something, like federalizing the Nat Guard in CT and NY to go get the illegal guns, if only to distract from the looming catastrophy of ObamaCare, that is his one ‘legacy’. Same with immigration, a power play to secure dem supermjorities in Reds of jobs, and the looming apocalypse in the ME that is a nuclear Iran…all abject failures of his policy and the broken socialist model of progressivism.

  33. When college professors actually fight wars then they can talk about toy guns for kids. We win in the field because kids know what end of a gun the bullet comes out.
    We have become such a paranoid society and mainly due to professors who think they know what is best for the common man……I believe gun safety should be taught in schools….it use to be done in the boy scouts and probably still is but to many kids don’t belong.
    It is embarrassing when I hear some of these know it alls talk about assault weapons…..I laugh…..then I think this is what is being fed to our children.

  34. I still have some of the toy guns I had as a kid. I can’t even remember how many I had over the years. I’d love to see what the reactions today would be of what I did to my most favorite toy gun when I was a kid. I had a squirt gun that, other than being entirely transparent blue, looked like a Colt Anaconda. It was about the same size as an Anaconda, too. Unhappy with playing with a “giant see-thru smurf gun” (the neighbor kid’s original name for it), I spray painted the whole thing silver, then painted the grip brown, and the nozzle in the end of the barrel black. I played with that thing so much, I constantly had to repaint it. Eventually it got broken and thrown away, but it was my favorite one, even though it was only a painted squirt gun. A close second was a cap gun that fired those caps that were a strip made of plastic (not the paper ones) and looked exactly like a micro-uzi, complete with a detachable “magazine” that held the extra strip-caps.

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