For most of us, the idea of a fake guns isn’t really worrisome. After all, we have the real deal. Why worry about something like an airsoft or a BB gun? Sure, we can see how these guns can be misused to commit crimes, but their use is predicated on the idea that no one will call their bluff. After all, using a toy gun to hold someone up is really nothing more than a ballsy bluff.

Yet some people are seriously freaked out about anything shaped like a gun.

That’s crystal clear when you think about the way one Massachusetts town reacted to a fake gun simply found lying around.

There was a frightening, “fake gun find” in Berkshire County, and police say it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the one that’s less lethal, and the one that’s very real, and very deadly.

You’d expect to find a set of car keys, maybe a scarf in a “lost and found,” right? Pittsfield police say instead it was a BB gun that had gotten dumped.

Police couldn’t tell the difference without a closer look.

Pittsfield police say a local business called them up earlier this week to report the “lost-and-found” find, located we’re told, in a snow bank right on the side of a Main Street. Officers were simply stunned when they saw the BB gun up close. There is no brightly colored tip, no cheap, plastic – even the slide mechanism works and sounds like the lethal, real thing – with similar potential outcomes

The “weapon” in question is apparently some kind of air gun made to look identical to a Glock handgun.

Now, don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before, I know people use these fake guns for nefarious purposes. They terrify people, bully people, and rob people with these fake guns. They use these because they don’t have the real thing but, honestly, it doesn’t matter because most people can’t tell the difference between the real one and the fake one when they’re staring down the barrel.

I get that.

However, we don’t have any evidence that this is anything more than a toy someone lost. That’s it. It wasn’t apparently used in a crime. It wasn’t dropped after an armed robbery so far as anyone can tell. It could well belong to an airsofter who dropped it after one of their fun-filled days of milsimming (is that even a word?) or something else equally benign.

The problem here isn’t that the “gun” was found, it’s that people in Massachusetts are so hoplophobic that even a toy gun sends them into fits of apoplexy. They can’t fathom anything gun-shaped that’s not an instrument of pure, unadulterated evil and even it turning out to be a toy is insufficient to quell their disquiet.

They’re terrified of the wrong things.

Look, I get the desire to be cautious. I get the individual who found it believing it was a real gun. They’re built that way on purpose, after all. Yet everyone treating this like a public crisis is a little much. Grow a pair and recognize that people use these things for law-abiding purposes far more often than for nefarious ones.

Kind of like real guns, when you think about it.