The costume police are back out in full force, and this year they’re gunning for your kids’ toy guns.
North Carolina parents Amanda Hanig and Jordon Gillis recently launched the Goodies Not Guns campaign, which encourages families to wear “non-violent, weapon-free Halloween costumes.”
The couple, who have two children together, tell ABC News they came up with the idea in the aftermath of the Las Vegas Massacre.
“We just felt so powerless as citizens and as parents,” Hanig, 40, said. “There’s so much violence in the world, and you read about gun control … but it isn’t enough. Maybe we have to do more than that.”
With Halloween approaching, Hanig said they created Goodies Not Guns “as a way of taking some of the power back and making immediate changes.”
“It was a simple thing that we could do,” Gillis, 41, said. “And [we figured] maybe other people would like to help out.”
We’re not quite sure how forcing children to dress up in “friendly” costumes is going to reduce gun violence, but it appears many are already on board with the idea, including local mom Thayer Lavielle.
Lavielle tells ABC that she’s not denying citizens have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, but thinks, “if you’re going as a soldier as a 7-year-old, you don’t necessarily need to have an AK47 strapped to your back.”
The Goodies Not Guns campaign has also earned the support of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District, as well as the Brady Campaign.
Thank you to the parents in our community who created @goodiesnotguns to promote safe costumes without weapons.
— CHCCS (@chccs) October 19, 2017
Shout out to local gun violence prevention advocates for working to promote safety in their communities. #GoodiesNotGuns https://t.co/fWaQZUDy3m
— Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) October 20, 2017
Hanig insists the campaign is “not trying to tell people not to own guns.”
“We’re just trying to say consider not sending your kids out with violence,” he explains. “I realize that it’s all in fun, but if we teach kids that guns are fun, what are we teaching them?”
It’s doubtful something like Goodies Not Guns will have a significant impact – if any – on gun violence in our country. However, Hanig does raise an important question: What are we teaching our kids when it comes to firearms? Simply telling them they can’t use toy guns in their costume doesn’t sound like much of a life lesson.