Every day it seems like the gun-related story du jour reaches a new low. We’ve heard of the police holding gun buyback programs—but now, one St. Louis pastor thinks a toy gun buyback program is needed. Pastor Rodney Francis of the Washington Tabernacle Baptist Church says parents need to replace these “weapons” for more “wholesome” toys, whatever that means:
Francis says there are no violent video games, gory movies or toy weapons in his family’s house.
“My wife and I feel that we need to do everything we can to not allow our kids to get exposed to this too early. They’re going to get exposed to it but we can protect them early on so they don’t get a distorted view of what those can do to the human body,” he explained.
“We want to engage the culture of violence and one of the strategies that we thought we might be able to use is to educate parents about the danger of allowing kids to continue this access to toy guns and playing with toy guns.”
If you choose to raise your children in a home where water guns, Nerf guns, rubber band guns, etc. are not allowed that is perfectly respectable. But what is it accomplishing when projected onto an entire church community? Generations of little kids have played cops and robbers and other such games with toy guns and developed into perfectly normal, healthy adults. The most this does is fuel the zero-tolerance policy regarding anything related to firearms we’re seeing all over the country. Of course it’s a sensitive issue given Newtown, but that doesn’t mean we lose our First Amendment right over the Second one, or that gun owners (real or fake) should be portrayed as would-be criminals because of the acts of a madman.