Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Naked Toy Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Statism

I always though that London city council was the undisputed king of frivolous bylaws such as the banning of both pesticides and selling spraypaint to minors. However, it seems that Oshawa council has outdone them for the covenanted nanny-statism crown by far:

Oshawa City council is expected to approve a bylaw Tuesday evening banning the use or display of imitation guns, including toys that could be mistaken for a firearm and guns adapted to not discharge.

This bylaw would ban the sale and possession of toy firearms to anyone under the age of 18. It would also ban the display of toy guns in department stores.

So what exactly is the premise for this new bylaw?
Oshawa Mayor John Gray said imitation guns are being used by criminals and children trying to scare others.

"We want to avoid that situation where at some point a police officer may find him or herself faced off with someone brandishing a replica gun," said Gray. "That officer's not going to know that it's a replica."
It seems obvious that Mayor Gray enjoys using red-herrings to justify passing this bylaw. Just as long he can make these arguments sound good enough to a gullible public, he can convince them that any statist agenda is beneficial. Lets decipher shall we:
  1. Children trying to scare others? Not too many people run in fear of a child with a $2 toy gun made of Taiwanese plastic.
  2. Is it really difficult for an officer to distinguish a toy gun from a real one? The police already have the legal authority to reprimand a suspect if they feel they are being threatened by a real firearm.
I guess Mayor Gray thinks its best to eliminate any ambiguity just to be on the "safe side". Of course, the Mayor doesn't tell you that this bylaw will harm the police department's ability to fight crime more than to help reduce it.

Anytime a new bylaw comes into effect, it needs the resources of the police to be enforceable. The police will be too busy trying to arrest adolescent hoodlums with fake guns, while real criminals with real guns are more likely to roam the street undaunted.

"It's the fact that these things are dead ringers for the real thing," Gray told CBC Radio's Metro Morning in an interview Tuesday. "Why don't we just say that we as a society really don't need this?"

Seems like the real premise of this bylaw is telling individuals what is morally acceptable in the eyes of a politician. It is hidden behind the shroud of "community safety" instead of what it really is: the indoctrination of society.

Then what are these so-called facts that Mayor Gray has to prove that toy guns are "dead ringers for the real thing"?
The mayor knew of no statistics on the use of toy guns in crime or schools in his community. He said residents' response to the proposed bylaw has been "quiet."
I guess when in doubt on the facts, it's best to just make them up as you go along. It is bound to work--just as long the public remains complacent and uninformed.

Good thing my younger brother registered his arsenal of toy guns.