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Elementary School to Hold Toy Gun Exchange

We’ve all heard of gun buybacks, but how about a toy gun buyback? Strobridge Elementary School in Hayward, California will host a toy gun buyback this Saturday. Children who turn in their toy guns will be entered for a chance to win a bicycle, so it’s less of a buyback and more like an expensive raffle.

Charles Hill, the school’s principal, explained, "Playing with toys guns, saying 'I'm going to shoot you,' desensitizes them, so as they get older, it's easier for them to use a real gun."

The event, dubbed Strobridge Elementary Safety Day, will feature a Hayward police officer talking about gun and bicycle safety.

But not everybody is convinced that the buyback is a good idea. “Having a group of children playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians is a normal part of growing up," said Yih-Chau Chang of the pro-gun group Responsible Citizens of California. "While the intentions are obviously good on the part of the school administration, this doesn't really educate children about guns or gun safety. Guns are used in crimes, but they are more often used in defensive ways which prevent violent crime from occurring in the first place."

He also points out that toy guns are so visually different from real guns that vilifying toy guns won’t have much of an impact.

Hill disagrees. "Some of the guns I've confiscated, if they're stuck down in a waistband, the average person would think it's a real gun," he said. "I could easily see one of our sixth-graders wanting to fake out someone at a 7-Eleven by walking in there. They would think it's funny, but it could turn into tragedy."

What’s your take on the buyback? Could this actually help curb gun violence, or is it completely pointless despite its good intentions?

Source: Mercury News


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