August 13, 2013
City council members in Lakewood, Washington are currently pushing for bigger fines and jail sentences for people who brandish toy guns.
The city had recently attempted to charge a woman with a weapons violation for scaring her roommates with a small toy guy, but the case was thrown out after a judge agreed that a plastic toy gun was not a real weapon capable of harm. In response, the city now wants people who display toy guns in a “threatening manner” to be charged with a gross misdemeanor.
An early suggestion from the city council called for misdemeanor charges against anyone displaying any item at all that could “frighten” another person, an idea that likely would lead to innocent people being charged based solely on the feelings of another, regardless if a crime was actually committed.
“Everything can be threatening. I can pick up a piece of beauty bark and scratch you with it. Is that threatening? I don’t know. I think it’s kind of silly,” said Keshia Vaetoe to Komo 4 News.
While that specific suggestion was later scrapped, the council is still working on a toy gun specific ordinance which will likely pass after the public safety committee approves the language.
Although there has been a 70 percent drop in gun crime since 1993, a media-induced paranoia over anything resembling a firearm continues to create hysteria over everyday normal activities.
Just last January, a 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl was suspended for making a “terroristic threat” after talking about her “Hello Kitty” toy bubble gun to fellow students while riding the bus home. Under Lakewood’s proposed ordinance, a ridiculous situation could of easily become a criminal one as well.
Last March, a 6-year-old student in Washington had his suspension overturned after originally being punished for simply talking about his Nerf gun he had at home, a statement others found “threatening.”
Earlier this year, a 5-year-old boy in Maryland was interrogated for 2 hours until he wet himself for bringing a toy cap gun to school.
A 7-year-old student from Maryland was suspended for chewing a “Pop Tart” breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun earlier this year as well.
Also this year, a 5-year-old Massachusetts buy was threatened with suspension for building a small toy gun out of lego bricks.
Mikael Thalen’s article first appeared at SecretsOfTheFed.com.