Banning Toy Guns

One of the sillier responses to the recent school shooting in Connecticut is a re-launch of a movement against toy guns. I read about it here on Fox News.

 A crusade against toy guns that began in 1987 is being re-launched following the elementary school shooting in Connecticut that left dozens dead.

Santa Monica activist Jerry Rubin says a personalized merit award will be sent to children who write to him about why they don’t like playing with toy guns.

Rubin says his anti-toy gun project used to reward children who sent in their toy guns with teddy bears in exchange, but stopped after he ran out of the 5,000 donated stuffed animals.

Less than two weeks ago, 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Over the years, Rubin’s grassroots campaigns against violence and in favor of environmental causes have made him a familiar figure in Southern California news.

I begin to get the impression that much of the impetus behind support for stricter gun control legislation stems not from any rational consideration of the cost and benefits of the effects of such legislation, but from a vague feeling that guns are icky. Ickiness is hardly an important consideration  in a debate on how to balance personal freedom against the safety of the community, but in this, as in so much else emotions trump reason. Consider the recent confrontation between David Gregory and the NRA‘s Wayne LaPierre.

Banning high capacity magazines won’t make any difference, as LaPierre pointed out, but they look scary and are icky. There is not a consistent definition of “assault rifles”; they are the ones that look scary and icky so should be banned, and on and on.

 

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