New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, in cahoots with his boss, Andrew Cuomo, are very big into solving problems. Not to confuse anyone here… they’re not dropping the murder rate in New York City or staunching the the hemorrhaging of businesses and jobs from one of the worst business climates in the nation. But gosh darn it all, they’re going to solve… something. And this week it’s the menace of people buying toy guns. (Just to clear up any confusion, you were not redirected to The Onion by accident.)
So how will they relieve their beleaguered citizens of this plague? They’ve decided to pry a settlement in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from retailers who sell the toy weapons unless they look like the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator. And now we can all sleep easier in our beds at night. (Washington Free Beacon)
New York is forcing Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers to pay over $300,000 for the crime of selling toy guns.
The settlement stems from an investigation by the state’s attorney general office, which sent cease and desist letters to the retailers in December for breaking its strict law against children’s toys.
“State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, unless it has a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel,” according to the attorney general office. All fake toy guns must be neon colored in New York City.
Walmart, Amazon, K-Mart, Sears, and ToyArsenal.com were all targeted by the state. The settlement was announced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday, and will carry “collective civil penalties of more than $300,000,” the New York Times reported.
Contrary to some of my colleagues, I really don’t consider this to be all that much of a Second Amendment issue. The toys in question are exactly that.. toys. The cheap, gauzy ones are fine for kids to play with (in New York) so have a great time. The realistic Airsoft ones are useful in the television and film industry if they don’t have the annoying orange bands on them. But none of them are useful in defending yourself, your family or your property and the odds are that you’re going to get yourself killed if try waving one around at either a criminal or a cop. There’s an old rule about never pointing a gun at anything you’re not willing to shoot. It’s an even better rule to never point something that’s incapable of shooting at all.
So why are these laws on the books? Schneiderman’s office explains… sort of.
The office blames toy guns for four deaths in the past 18 years in New York, which has a population of 8 million people.
I suppose you might be “protecting” people from two different classes of danger by banning realistic toy guns. In one possible case you might stop wannabe criminals from robbing stores with a fake gun. In New York that might be a greater concern than in some other places because the laws here make it unlikely in the extreme that the clerk will have an actual weapon to defend themselves. But while some money or merchandise might be stolen, nobody is actually going to get shot with the toy. And if the clerk recognizes that it’s a toy, they might come out with a baseball bat.
The greater concern for the SJW crowd is that the angry, out of control police will be running around shooting up anyone they see with such a toy. It’s true that we’ve seen it happen to tragic results in one or two instances in the recent past in this nation of more than 350 million people. Would such laws have prevented that if realistic looking toy guns were banned entirely? That’s hard to say. A cop in St. Louis shot a suspect who he thought was holding a gun, but it turned out to be a sandwich. I don’t know what kind of sandwich that was, but I’ve yet to see any loafs of pistol shaped bread for sale.
There is, of course, a solution for these accidental shootings, but it unfortunately involves parents who teach their children to not be stupid with a toy weapon. And, perhaps even far less likely, adults who are also smart enough not to do something that’s going to get them shot. Of course… that’s not going to happen.
My chief objection to this law, as I said, isn’t a Second Amendment question. It’s just a dumb law. Are we going to ban everything which not only might be dangerous, but might look dangerous when it’s not? If you do a Google news search on stabbing death and just limit it to the last week or so you get a bunch of hits. Perhaps we should ban toy knives too. Where does it stop?
Oh, I know. We should immediately ban fake novelty sandwiches. That could get somebody killed.