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Not that I expect for there to be a breakout of common sense among the anti-gunner crowd, but for the rest of us who are interested in ordered liberty, I have a suggestion for the “fake harmless gun” issue reported earlier. States with capital punishment often apply the death penalty if there is a “special circumstance,” if the murderer commits the crime under certain conditions.  Shooting from a car with the intent to kill is a special circumstance in California. Murder for financial gain can trigger the application of the death penalty . . .

These gang-bangers who are putting orange paint on the muzzles of their guns are doing two things. First, they are putting children at risk. They are also trying to gain an advantage over cops, or their own rivals. In either case, their decision to paint the tip of their heaters indicates the intent to make it more likely they can hurt or kill either a cop or someone else they’re gunning for.

Sounds like a special circumstance to me. It seems that a jury should be able to send an attempted murderer with a fake harmless gun to jail for life. And if they murder someone with a so-equipped firearm, that could mean the death penalty, without regard to whether or not the orange tip factored in the success of the crime. You on board?

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  1. Yep I agree. A person doing this is indeed trying to hide the fact that it is a real gun and therefor should get the death penalty for doing so.

    • Yeah, I’m with you on this. In fact I would go further and say that an orange tipped real gun shows and intent to use the gun on a would be victim more so that one not painted. My logic is thus – if you just wanted to use a gun to rob a person, but had no real intent to do them harm, you certainly wouldn’t want them to believe your gun was harmless (the opposite, in fact). If you intended to do harm, the doubt cast by an orange tip is a tactical advantage calculated to cause hesitation in an armed victim.

      This is the inverse reasoning in robbers painting their toy guns to look real, where intimidation, and not harm, is the goal.

  2. If I was a cop, I would simply assume all guns with orange tips are real. Unfortunate consequences to follow.

    • yeah, then you get shit on all day long by Monday morning quarterbacks, this site is one of the worst for it. which is ironic because if you threaten or flame a gun control advocate, your comments get deleted, if you do it to LEOs, everyone chimes in and claps

      • I don’t see that here.

        What do I see? Commenters are critical of law enforcement officers who violate our rights or just plain act stupid … like the officer who fired wildly at a van full of children that sped away from a traffic stop in New Mexico. And I see that many commenters here are critical of anyone who promotes going after “offenders” in victimless crimes. Finally, I see many commenters here who are critical of law enforcement officers who fail to go after their own.

        To summarize, commenters on this site are critical of law enforcement officers who have lost sight of the fact their job is to serve with integrity and respect the good people of this country. Unfortunately, too many law enforcement officers perform their jobs to serve themselves or politicians at the expense of the good people of this country.

  3. Sure am. Unfortunately here in the People ‘s Republic of Illinois there is NO death penalty. Plenty of gang bangers though. No LOL. It ain’t funny.

    • Remember, in Illinois there’s no such thing as a gang or violence problem, only a gun problem. So says the wise politicians. I live in Chicago, I know.

      Hang on, it’s been 15 minutes. I have to go put another 10 dollars in the meter. I’ll write more later…….

      • Even the death penalty doesn’t deter everyone and raises the stakes for criminals to act even worse.

        However I agree that painting a orange tip on a real gun is a specal case, as well as shooting someone who has a fake gun or weapon without ascertaining weither or not it is fake (ie police shooting first, asking questions second).

        • If you think that, you should submit your application to put on a uniform and march out to join the line of targets.

  4. Was buying a hookah at a head shop that also sold airsoft guns. Guy working there volunteered how you can paint over the orange tips, “and they look real.”
    Funny how works.

  5. Nope. Why does the fact that they’re incompetent change the punishment? The intent was clearly there in an attempted murder, no?

    • I agree. In fact, I think ALL “special circumstances” (Megan’s Law, hate crimes etc) are a complete and utter load of horse shit. All it does is give prosecutors some more b.s. to hang over your head to force a plea. Charge folks properly and win in court. None of this @#$%^ massive overcharging like you are haggling in a street market. Quit passing more and more draconian laws just because you suck at your job.

  6. Yes!. Similarly, there should be an enhanced penalty for committing a crime using a genuinely fake gun (airsoft, pellet, etc.) with the orange tip removed or painted over, or one of those clear plastic airsoft guns painted black to look “real”. Of course, this would not qualify for the Death Penalty, unless someone was actually murdered in a crime where, for example, the assailant used a fake gun painted to look real to gain an advantage over the victim, then murdered them by some means.

    • There actually is a penalty like that in most states, they charge you just as if you’d used a real gun with enhanced sentences and weapon specifications. More laws we don’t need, assigning and actually having violators serve the lengthy sentences the law currently provides for these crimes however would be useful.

  7. If someone’s using a real gun in a crime I think deterrence has already failed. Let’s hope the most punishment falls on those who try to rob places while armed with airsoft guns.

  8. Psh, isn’t going to work anyway the cops will still shoot them. Think about it, from more than 20 feet away you just see someone pull a gun shaped object- you don’t see a little orange tip.

    • Every one I’ve seen (and I own a select fire M14) has so little orange on it as to be indistinguishable from just about an distance. That is not good enough, the guns need to not look real in the first place.

  9. Really? Making murder more illegaler is the plan? I’m so not on board that there ought not be one more law passed unless there is a simultaneous repeal of 5 existing laws. There sure shouldn’t be any law that names cosmetic features of a gun as grounds for special circumstances in a death penalty case. Have you always been both foolish and a supporter of tyranny or is this a recent thing? I ask because a sudden loss of both sense and sensibility can be a sign of a neurologic condition. If we, the POTG support any criminalization of a cosmetic feature of a firearm we do so at our own peril. That you would suggest it here, in the full light of the fact that we vehemently disagree with such things suggest either that you have failed to consider what you’re saying, or that you’re an officially sanctioned troll. I hope for the former (with a retraction) and pray against the latter.

      • You are, of course, right in your request Bob. Forgive my vitriol as stemming from frustration (and a few glasses of beer).

        When I read this I was actually shocked that TTAG had run it as an OP. Some of the venom was meant for them. It struck me as an illegitimate piece meant to arouse ire (about it’s legitimacy I can’t be sure, that it aroused ire, at least mine is a surety).

        I’ll stand on this, the cosmetic features of a gun have no place in a determination of aggravating factors in a death penalty case and the dangers of that I think are self evident.

        As for my disparaging remarks to the OP, my edginess was meant to reflect my concern that the OP wasn’t serious but rather trolling for content. It’s difficult for me to bear the concept that there is a POTG who doesn’t get the disastrous consequences that could (would) arise from making cosmetic features of a gun grounds for special circumstance. I may have conveyed the lesson in less than stellar form, but the message remains the same, do not advocate such things as they are dangerous and ignorant.

        • Your overall points are valid, Ardent. The tone of your original comment didn’t bother or offend me. Sometimes we need a bit of very direct and forceful criticism to “slap” us back to our senses. We went for years and years with children having “realistic” looking toy guns. I have deep nostalgia for some of the ones I had in the 1950’s.

          Although I posted in favor of enhanced penalties for real guns being made to look like the orange tipped toys and for enhanced penalties for toy guns being made to look like “real” guns, I now realize how erroneous that was. I think your point about the dangers of “cosmetics” is a better point of view. After all, we have to face the hard fact that cosmetic features have been a plague insofar as “Assault Rifle” bans and restrictions, particularly for the AR-15. I believe ttdinva pointed out the AR-15’s ancestor was a hunting rifle, NOT a military rifle in another post’s thread a few days ago.

          Nice work! Keep posting that genuine common sense stuff!

        • Self replying here to get this comment into roughly the space where it’s relevant.
          I’m glad you took no offense at my first post DerryM , re-reading it this morning I see both a failed attempt at humor on my part and more than a little gnashing of teeth (I’m sure there is also some internet inspired lack of courtesy involved).

          What’s most embarrassing is that you’ve accepted my premise, thus proving that there was a real opportunity to change your mind and so also proving that I didn’t need to attack you to make a point. It’s not a lesson I’ll forget, and thank you for the opportunity.

        • Well, admittedly, I get to ranting a bit now and then, but it’s sort of cleansing, Thanks for helping me see a better way. Much appreciated.

    • I really agree with the idea of repeal 5, pass one. Subject doesn’t even matter to me, as in, repeal 3 tax laws and 2 traffic laws, pass one firearm law. Just start whittling down hundreds of thousands of laws nobody even knows about from a hundred plus years ago.

    • ” There sure shouldn’t be any law that names cosmetic features of a gun…” sums it up right there.

    • “Making murder more illegaler is the plan?”

      Murder is already “more illegaler” depending on the circumstances. Murder 1, 2 and 3 already exist. The law allows for special circumstances to create either a lengthier stay in the hoosegow, or perhaps a date with a needle.

      Thought I was clear.

  10. I have an opposite view. When I was a kid my dad very strictly taught me that my toy M1911 was to be treated like a real gun. Never point it at anyone because they might think it was real. We didn’t have sissy orange on our toys back then.

    Putting orange on toys teaches irresponsibility by kids and causes cops to lose common sense. And as we are seeing, a criminal would have to be stupid to not paint their gun orange.

    • Yep. I think you and Ardent are on the right track here. My Dad wasn’t as strict as yours about the toys, but by the time my brother and I got to shoot real guns we knew the rules of safety and the difference between the toys and the real thing.

      • I had some wonderful toy guns from Edison that where at least as detailed and realistic as the airsoft guns of today are but rendered in die cast metal giving them some of the heft of the real thing as well. I share your nostalgia for those high quality toys and recall with a bit of a smile the enormous hit they made in the neighborhood and how each time I acquired another one it was the new most popular choice when we played ‘guns’ (war reenactments, cops and robbers, all the stuff kids could come up with to play when in possession of a few toy guns).

        Those Edison guns didn’t have orange tips and were realistic enough that if you weren’t holding them yourself it would be foolhardy not to regard them as anything but real. I once had an encounter with a police officer over a hyper realistic replica of a S&W Mod. 29 when I was about 10 years old. In our small town and this being in the 80’s (more like the 60’s in the backwater I grew up in) he didn’t shoot me or even draw his weapon, he just stopped his car and told me to bring him the gun, which I did. Once he realized it was a toy some of his obvious concern left and he left with my toy, saying I should have my parents claim it at the police station. It turned out that someone had called to report a child playing with a gun in an unsafe manner, which is understandable.

        I was taught that toys are toys and guns are guns. I received my first real gun at age 8, a little Marlin .22 rifle. By age 12 it was fully in my possession ammo and all and I would frequently take it and a box of ammo, by bicycle, from my house into the nearby hills to shoot without supervision. There was never any confusion in my mind between the toys and the real thing. Different objects with different purposes.
        I knew even back then though that not all children mature at the same rate or share equal levels of responsibility. There were only a few kids from the neighborhood that I would take along on my impromptu shooting trips because some others just didn’t have ‘it’, the mindset for responsibility and safety with a gun.

        I know there are many here who would criticize my parents, my friends parents and everyone involved et al over letting kids run off with a rifle but it’s important to understand that I’d been shooting since 3 or 4 and squirrel hunting since age 8. At 12 I was in a position not only to safely handle my rifle but even to teach the more capable older kids about it. Point in fact we never shot anything we weren’t supposed to and never committed a crime with my rifle and no one even came close to getting hurt. Back then powerful air rifles like the Crossman 760 were popular and many kids had one loose to take when they wanted. Often my shooting trips with the .22 were accompanied by one or more of these air rifles. I suppose that having grown up with arms we just knew better than to shoot each other with these things, but then it seems to me that we were a lot more responsible in every way than kids today. It might be a fallacy of memory but I feel certain that the average 12 year old 30 years ago was more responsible and in fact had more responsibility than the average 16 year old does today. Then again, these days we ‘protect’ children from things rather than teaching them how to protect themselves. When I was a kid the biggest danger of us finding a gun laying around was that we’d shoot up all your ammo in the woods and return the gun uncleaned, except we wouldn’t even have done that, or at least I wouldn’t have, because we understood about other peoples property and concepts like respect, for ourselves and others.
        Maybe it’s ‘old man’ syndrome but the kids I meet these days strike me as immature and even infantile compared to the miniature quasi-adults I recall from my youth. We swam in creeks unsupervised but no one drown, we played in abandoned industrial sites and no one fell to their deaths. We walked and bicycled alone and in groups all over the place but no one was molested or kidnapped or run over. I was lost in the woods once my cousin and I. We’d been missing for hours and half the village was looking for us when we finally stumbled across a road. The very first driver stopped, took in our confused and bedraggled state and said our names, he too had heard we were missing and drove us home.

        Maybe I grew up in some isolated utopia or maybe we were all just really lucky or maybe my sepia toned memories leave out the bad things but aside from a few encounters with unreasonably angry people, a few encounters with some really creepy adults in which nothing really happened and the occasional school yard style dust up that ended when some one surrendered I can’t think of anything bad happening.
        I look around now and see a more dangerous world filled with children less prepared to deal with it and don’t know what to do. I think I know what caused it though, at least in part: back then we felt empowered and liberated and now we feel disenfranchised and controlled. Back then we were responsible to and for ourselves while now there is little encouragement for personal responsibility and we’re responsible to the government and laws instead of our own moral character.
        Perhaps every generation feels this way, perhaps not, but I’d have to say that things have gotten much, much worse for the average person over the last 30 years or so, definitely so for the children.

        • This is a great comment. When I was a kid we played something involving toy guns almost every day, especially Saturdays after our chores were done. We could not go to a nearby area to shoot our BB guns and later .22’s, but my Dad took us to the Desert to shoot rifles and Bows and Arrows and taught us about safe handling and to respect and understand the difference between toys and the weapons that could kill or harm in no uncertain terms, so we knew the difference.
          I got my first .22 at age 13, and I still have that rifle and shoot it. It is a J.C. Higgins bolt action with a five round detachable magazine. Later I learned it was secretly a Marlin made for Sears Roebuck and Company to sell in their J.C. Hiiggins sporting goods line.

          I agree that looking back it seems we were more sensible and prepared for life’s unexpected challenges in the 1950’s. We went through Boy Scouts and had Scoutmasters that were all WWII Vets, so they taught us and challenged us in a hard-nosed, but caring manner. I still do a lot of things based on what I learned from those men. We got solid parenting and were allowed to be children, indulge our fantasies and imaginations, but knew the boundaries very clearly. We could play whatever at School and learned a healthy sense of fair competitiveness. Fights happened, but rarely resulted in more than a bruised ego. We had a healthy sense of self. Believed we should stand up for ourselves and for those who needed help, and a personal sense of honor that admonished us that “doing the right and honorable thing” was more important than peer approval or “following the crowd”. Honesty was always paramount in personal behavior.

          In our neighborhood, most every household’s Dad was a WWII Veteran with a few older couples thrown in as :surrogate” Grandparents to the 12 or 15 kids that composed our playmates. We were all about the same age. No one ever got hurt except an occasional bicycle crash, and I have to laugh at some of the foolish things we did and marvel that no one got hurt. We all got along and had one helluva great time as children. We did have one old codger who pretty much threatened our lives if we stepped on his Dichondra Lawn, but we knew to respect other people’s property and we told new kids that came into the neighborhood never to risk his wrath.We never heard of a “playdate”. We had all kinds of toys and played a variety kid fantasies as well as ad hoc sports, and pretend “gunfights”, backyard “Construction Crew” and so forth.

          I think today’s kids are more sheltered, and maybe that’s because the world got creepier. Also, some here claim that the Public Schools are much more restrictive and tend to emasculate boys. (I have no direct experience, so I can only take their reports at face value). Looks to me like the boys in my current neighborhood aren’t suffering from wussification, but I DO NOT see them playing imaginary “gunfights”, mostly sports. I think the Internet, Cable TV and smart phones have played a part in how kids are now. There’s a lot of obsession about their self-image, fitting in with their concept of being “cool”, and of course Internet and at School bullying over those concepts. They seem paradoxically arrogant and vulnerable. The opinion of their peers matters too much to them because they do not have a healthy sense of self.

          Well, enough. Thanks for bringing back a lot of great memories in this exchange about childhood. Made my day!

  11. Not on board. A beating or a murder should result in removal from society (whether through death, caging, a walled city, or banishment to the moon). I don’t care what the tool was or what advantage it had–a beating is a beating; a murder is a murder.

    Special circumstances for the color of a tip sounds an awful lot like special circumstances for the color of the skin (hate crime).

    • What a load of bull manure. You are equating the act of willfully depicting a real gun as a toy… to racism? Get your head checked. You have been watching too much Oprah.

  12. Sort of goes against the “a crime is a crime” bluster I hear from… certain people when it comes to hate crime add-ons, but I’m certainly on board.

  13. I doubt that it would do much good, but I’d add that possession of a real firearm with orange paint on the muzzle should be a felony. For the people who do such things, prison is a rite of passage. You’re not a man until you’ve been there.

    BTW, it’s about time Glock added a slide mounted safety.

    • That satire site has been quoted more than once unfortunately. That said, if you look at their ‘retraction’ you’ll see it has truth to it.

    • Sort of an Internet News “sucker-punch”…eh? Like other urban myths, just enough plausibility to be believable…DOH!

  14. If an adult points a realistic looking weapon at me im gonna treat it like its a real weapon being pointed at me.

  15. I can state with 100% confidence that the story that prompted this outcry has been debunked. Due to original source material being marked as sensitive, I cannot publish the source that indicates that it has been debunked, but it is a credible source. The original story that prompted this appeared on a satire website called, and the original author has verified that it is satire based on a 2012 story about real shotguns being hidden in supersoakers.

    Edited to add: Just saw Chaos’ comment above. We must be getting info from the same sources.

  16. How about we stop tacking on extra crap to everything and just enforce the laws already there? The last thing we need are more laws. We’ve got too many as it is.

    • Some pro-gun pundits assert that if we actually enforced the existing Laws, it would do more to reduce domestic crime than any new Law(s) any Politician(s) could think of, so your point is well taken.

  17. Absolutely. We should have the death penalty for a dab of paint.

    We should also make it a crime to have an empty shell casing in your house, a ball of lead in the back of a dresser drawer, a metal box that holds more than 7 cartridges, a gun stock that collapses, a device at the end of a barrel that hides the flash, a grip on a rifle that makes it easier to hold, or removable magazines.

    Then cops won’t have to kill children. And we’ll all be safe.

  18. I’m going to moderate my own post and I understand the 24hr news cycle but we expect better here. Perhaps hesitate until you’re sure the story is real before publishing. Too many of these is going to not only be embarrassing but undermine your credibility. On the internet, credibility is capital.

  19. If killing is wrong, then killing is wrong, regardless of the size or officialness of your lynch mob. In fact, pompous self-righteous pontificating is the worst kind of premeditation.

    • Killing is not wrong. Wrongful killing is murder. Killing in defense of self or others, or the nation is good. Killing murderers is not wrong.

  20. Yeah, that’s what we need, more laws. More “special circumstances” by which a DA who’s interested not in truth or justice, but a conviction to pad his legacy, can overcharge a suspect. After all, why stop at “hate crimes” in which a person is punished further because of his thoughts? Literal thought police.

    A crime is a crime. It doesn’t matter why someone did something or how they do it, only the crime itself matters. Once you start adding modifiers, it becomes a slippery slope, like so many things.

  21. I disagree with the article.

    I favor the death penalty in any murder case where:
    (1) There is rock solid, incontrovertible evidence which identifies the killer.
    (2) There is rock solid evidence which shows the killer had a wanton disregard for human life.
    (3) There is rock solid evidence which shows the killer planned his/her actions well in advance.
    (4) There is rock solid evidence which shows the killer murdered for personal gain, where personal gain includes the likes of financial gain, getting something of value such as an object or person (e.g. murdering a spouse or boyfriend to “free up” the widow for romantic advances), or simply achieving the sick “pleasure” of killing.

    The killer’s tools or the victim’s race are irrelevant.

  22. i painted my whole glock orange because nothing rhymes with orange. it doesn’t look any dumber than it did. i call it ‘orange glock’. hard to see the sights though.

  23. Well crap. Undeniable fact of life #4 never underestimate another persons desire to get an upper hand in a situation.
    One of two things happen now. The banning of life like toyish guns or the banning of painting your gun how ever you want. I hope its the former and not the latter. I never understood the reasoning behind realistic toyish guns. Frankly this one thing is likely why we have so many children kill them selves and others. Oh I didn’t know the difference. For a small child with no other exposure this is true. Now we have the chance of another freedom being taken away because of a few people.

    • That’s what government does. It grows power by restricting the People. Any government. Anywhere. Please place blame where blame ought belong. Seriously, grown adults come off as five year olds when they ride the “they ruined it for the rest of us” train. Our government was defined and created by the Constitution. It has no legitimate powers beyond those enumerated. When it acts beyond that definition, it is not just because persons X,Y, and Z did such-and-such. Government is just being government and will continue to do so until the People put it back in its place. Instead of blaming someone who may paint a piece of metal or plastic, how about blaming government for flexing its muscle beyond enumerated powers? When government does that. it’s tyranny.

  24. No. I totally see where you’re coming from, but this is conceptually identical to mandatory minimum sentences in the war on drugs. Why tie the hands of the court? Let the judge and jury increase the punishment after considering the cases individually. This need not be mandated.

  25. For the past several years LEO training has been to IGNORE the color on the end of the barrel and to shoot if it looks like a firearm. If later it turns out to be an airsoft or some other non-firearm well too bad for the dead fool. As for making this a death penalty case just because, not so fast.

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