As we grew up in America, many of us were given toy guns to play with, and from there we invented entire worlds of fiction where were could be the armed hero saving the damsels in distress and dispatching evil doers.
This is the quintessential American trope of childhood, running around playing Cowboys and Indians, (or whatever the left wants us to call it these days). Young voices boisterously announcing that they’ve fired their weapon of choice with a “BANG!” echoing throughout the neighborhood isn’t an uncommon occurrence in America, and for years, this was completely acceptable.
Of course, as we grew up with toy guns permeating society, we all remember just howe clunky they were. Orange tipped, hastily assembled, dull, plastic knockoffs whose triggers would only work for about a day and a half before giving in to our wildly irresponsible spraying of fake bullets into the imaginary horde of bad guys.
As technology increased, so did realism, however. Toy guns today are very often indistinguishable from the real thing, and this poses a serious concern for law enforcement and other armed individuals.
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, on Friday, released a photo of the gun a Gwinnett County man held as he was shot and killed by police the previous morning. We now know it was an airsoft pistol – a fake gun.
“Investigators said they also found a suicide note inside 27-year-old Steven Hutchins’ home. Now, we’re looking at the latest example of officers finding out too late that the gun pointed at them wasn’t real.
“It’s, sadly, not a new trend. Investigators found a fake gun next to a man shot in December by school officers near a southwest Atlanta school. And, in another case in 2012, Gwinnett officers recovered a fake gun from a man they fatally shot when he didn’t follow commands to drop the suspected weapon.
“All three are airsoft or BB guns, in the split second an officer has to decide his actions, it’s nearly impossible to know that.
“We put pictures in front of former Nashville police officer Vincent Hill and, to him, every one of the toy guns looked real.
“As he looked at the pictures, he rattled off the names of popular guns – the ones that were almost indistinguishable from these fake or extremely low-power weapons.”
It is not difficult to imagine just how dangerous this sort of situation could be for a child who is simply playing in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Fortunately for us, however, the most realistic “fake guns” are often the most expensive, meaning that the age range of use will increase as well, and, predictably so too will the intelligence of the operator.