Tuesday, October 25, 2005

In Which I am Incorrect

Younger Girl has decided that she's going to be Miss Congeniality for Halloween. Since I persuaded her that a full evening gown would be inconvenient and chilly for walking around town attempting to shake people down for candy, this will be relatively simple: a small fake gun in a shoulder holster or evening bag, and a banner that says "Miss Congeniality." The rub comes, you see, with the gun. I went three places today, looking for a small toy handgun. No joy. There were light sabres; there were foam-padded nunchuks; there were swords and armor; there was a broad array of "spy gear." There were also electronic versions of slot machines and Texas Hold 'Em and other gambling games. What there was not was toy guns. Apparently all these other forms of mayhem--and gambling--are okay, but shooting play is not.

Can I just say this strikes me as a little, um, shortsighted? When I was five, I asked for--and received--a tommygun with "genuine rat-a-tat action!" (It made a very loud noise which pleased me greatly.) I had cap guns. I even learned to shoot a 22 rifle and a CO2-powered BB pellet gun. And I am, today, pro-gun control; the same imagination that had me running around playing cops n' robbers and spies and all sorts of other gun-related games, plus a fascination with medicine and trauma surgery, gives me a pretty good idea of the damage a gun can do. I am profoundly anti-violence and about the least aggressive person on my block, and I still think that a kid should be able to find a toy gun for her Halloween costume.


Blogger C. F. Blog said...

What about a cowboy looking gun and spray paint it black (and keep it on the leg like in the picture).

Still I would be careful about the gun thing-people get kind of nervous. Toy guns now are in colors so that people in the dark see that it's fake.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

The problem is that I haven 't yet been able to find a toy gun. I would take one in purple, to match the child's dress. I did not see a single toy gun at (no pun intended) Target today, and will have to spend more of my precious time looking for a toy gun. Oig.

1:16 PM  
Blogger TwosTools said...

If it were a warmer season, you might find a water gun that you could use. But definitely look to getting something in color. Or cut out the shape in flat cardboard and cover it in foil so it's definitely known to be fake.

As you know, police and others claiming self-defense are legally permitted to shoot first, ask questions later if there is any thought that someone has a gun, real or fake.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I don't think they make authentic looking toy guns anymore; there has to be some part of it that is fluorescent so that the authorities can clearly see that it's a toy and not a menace (God, there's a subplot for a TV thriller: the bad guys take their guns and paint them bright orange so that the cops assume, from a distance, that they're toys...). I just want to find =something.= And most of the toy stores in our neighborhood are so PC they won't carry guns. Toy swords, being somehow picturesque and medieval, are okay; guns, no. This confounds me, maybe because I know too much about the havoc an edged weapon can wreak.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Derryl Murphy said...

Dollar stores, if you've got 'em. We went looking for a ray gun for Brennan's alien the other day, and found loads of police-type guns.


3:45 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Got one at Walgreens, finally. It just amuses me that at a toy store you can buy plastic nunchuks and shuriken and headsman's axes and...but not guns.

10:33 PM  

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