I remember how much I loved Halloween as a kid. I didn’t do much trick-or-treating because of some food allergies, but the costumes were still a whole lot of fun. Being me, I typically dressed up as a soldier or something like that most years. It was an easy costume since I had so much camouflage clothing anyway.
It was great.
However, a warning from police in Wisconsin might be good advice for parents this Halloween.
Fake guns are causing real concern in Chippewa Falls.
Earlier this month, a concerned resident called police after seeing two kids get off a school bus and grab what appeared to be two handguns from a bush.
Police made contact and found they were toy BB handguns and the kids weren’t trying to scare anyone.
Officers said these toys often look very real and could lead to real trouble if kids are not careful.
“A lot of toy guns are black. A lot of them don’t have the safety tips anymore so with somebody just walking around all they see is a toy gun black in color,” said Cody Monson, a financial crime investigator with the Chippewa Falls Police Department. “Parents should take steps to educate the children on what other people will perceive that weapon to be.”
That’s actually pretty good advice this Halloween season. While many toy guns these days are obviously fake–federal law requires them to be, after all–BB guns and airsoft guns aren’t held to the same standard. There are good reasons for that, after all, but that introduces potential problems.
During Halloween, kids often want to look as realistic as possible. For a costume that requires a prop firearm, it’s entirely possible for someone to be using a BB gun and freak people out as they think it’s an armed kid.
They could then call the police and things get ugly from there.
Now, should things get like that? No, of course not. People really should assume a kid in a costume with a gun-shaped object is probably carrying a toy or non-functional firearm of some kind. That should be their default.
Unfortunately, people are stupid.
Look, we can complain about how the world is and talk about how it should be all day long. In fact, we should. Yet we also have to live in this world as it is. Griping isn’t going to change a damn thing in and of itself and I wouldn’t count on it doing so right at the moment my child might be in danger because of stupid people.
Let’s not put the police in a bad situation. Let’s not give our idiot neighbors the opportunity to show just how stupid they might be. In fact, let’s just exercise our own good judgment and make sure any gun-shaped objects are clearly non-functional firearms. While it won’t eliminate the potential for stupid, it’ll minimize it as much as it practically can be.
After all, Halloween is a fun holiday where we all get to play like we’re someone else. Let’s not let it turn into your personal tragedy.