Anti-police activists are calling the airsoft gun used by 12-year-old Tamir Rice “a toy gun” but the airsoft gun association have repeatedly stressed that the military-style weapons aren’t toys.
In fact progressive Democrats have tried to ban airsoft guns for years precisely because they aren’t toys but now that a young black kid is dead they are calling them toys once more. What gives?
The Star-Ledger pointed out the problem that airsoft guns posed for law enforcement in a 2006 article.
“The replicas really don’t give our police officers time to think about ‘Is this, or is this not, an airsoft weapon?'” said Tom Walsh, a spokesman for police in St. Paul, where a politician wants to tighten an ordinance to cover airsoft guns.
Toy guns – airsoft guns included – are required under federal law to have a bright orange tip to distinguish them from real weapons. But some people remove or blacken the tips.
That was the case last January in Seminole County, Fla., where 15-year-old Christopher Penley was shot to death by a SWAT officer while brandishing an airsoft pistol at a school. The muzzle of the 9 mm-lookalike had been painted black.
“These replica firearms pose a problem not only for law enforcement, but I think the community as a whole,” Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Harriett said yesterday. “It’s certainly a very difficult situation for a law enforcement officer to process whether or not they’re facing an assailant who is clearly armed with a firearm that could cause harm to them, when these manufacturers make them so realistic.”
Minnesota law already makes it a crime to have a fake gun on school property. St. Paul City Councilman Lee Helgen is calling for an ordinance that would bar the carrying of replica guns in public.
Some other local governments are moving in the same direction.
After a 14-year-old boy with a BB gun was shot and wounded by police in Chicago over the summer, the city council banned BB and pellet guns. And officials in Beaverton, Ore., are considering a ban on airsoft guns.
Gabe Stitzel, president and owner of the Minnesota Airsoft Association, said airsoft guns need to be handled with care by teenagers, and parents should get involved.
“Airsoft guns aren’t toys. They really shouldn’t be treated like that. They should be treated with the same respect as a real firearm,” he said.
Multiple left-wing journalists are insisting that airsoft guns are toys now that Tamir Rice was shot by police after he drew on them.
— TIME (@TIME) November 25, 2014