John Leland
New York Times
January 1, 2011

BAGHDAD — The Ministry of Health here is campaigning to ban the sale of guns in Iraq. Toy guns, that is.

Baghdad’s toy markets are stocked with plastic weapons in all prices and sizes: toy guns, tanks, knives, uniforms, even silencers. In a country where guns and military gear are heartbreakingly prevalent, basic training begins early.

“It’s the responsibility of the community to get rid of these toys,” said Dr. Emad Abdulrazaq, national adviser for mental health at the ministry. “They make it easier for a child to make the next step to real violence, because every day he enjoys guns.”

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