- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2003

Call it fun control. The city council of Annapolis is considering a bill to outlaw toy guns. Alderman Cynthia Carter, who masterminded the measure, explained that, “The perception of a life-threatening weapon carries consequences. [Carrying a toy gun] is a very dangerous act for all concerned.” Her proposed ban is a reaction to an April incident in which a 7-year-old walked into a video store with a toy six-shooter and yelled, “Freeze.” In 2000, Mrs. Carter introduced a toy-gun buy-back program to get the offending trinkets off the streets. Enough is enough. These initiatives are silly, and will not prevent any crimes. It is already against the law to rob a store; making it against the law for a 7-year-old to pretend to hold up a store with a squirt gun adds no extra measure of deterrence. Controlling children at this level is the responsibility of parents, not the state.

Liberal attempts to demonize guns in the public imagination know no bounds. The instances of children being sent home or suspended from school for drawing soldiers with weapons, or for packing a miniature G.I. Joe Uzi, are increasingly common. In some school districts, little ones are not even allowed to contort their fingers into the shape of a pistol, and can get reprimanded for saying, “Bang.” God help the child who is insensitive enough to play cowboys and Indians — that’s two strikes against the PC-police rules. In Annapolis, Alderman David Cordel supports firearms education as a more realistic and practical alternative to the toy-gun ban, and we agree. As resident Bob Toronto put it at the public hearing last week, “We can’t abandon common sense here, and personal responsibility.” Obviously, he shouldn’t expect the keys to the city any time soon.

The city government of Annapolis has a long history of promoting hippie-dippy ideas. Its Web site gives top billing to free yoga classes and a “sister to sister circle,” where women can get together to share “the concept/message of peace and love universal.” Being the state capital, some of the Annapolis nuttiness might trickle down from the state government, which managed to introduce the “Citizens’ Guide to Terrorism Preparedness” with a PC platitude: “Vigilance requires citizens of Maryland to avoid stereotypes to counter the terrorist’s most effective tool — surprise.” The legislators do have a point. That innocent-looking tot with the Super Soaker could really be trying to take down the government.

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