A Long Island town is stirring up a debate with its latest “gift exchange.”
According to ABC 7, the Village of Hempstead is encouraging children who received toy guns for Christmas to exchange them for something else.
That something else includes “sporting goods, educational items, and other toys.”
As the Mayor of Hempstead, Don Ryan, told ABC 7, this exchange is of the utmost importance:
“Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns.”
And a Hempstead trustee agrees with his mayor. LaMont Johnson added:
“The purpose is to offer [a] safe alternative to toy guns. We don’t want the kids playing with guns. Guns are dangerous.”
Nearly 50 children were invited to the exchange.
Former New York Police Officer, Sean Acosta, who now works with the New York Toy Gun Exchange Program, explained to the children he invited:
“I want to make sure when you grow up nothing happens to you.”
Current Hempstead Village Lieutenant Derek Warner then issued a warning to the parents who purchase toy guns for their children:
“Toy guns can be a dangerous item to give your children.”
Warner explained that toy guns can put children’s lives at risk, especially because “police can mistake toy guns for real guns, especially at night or in poorly lit areas.”
However, some parents found the toy gun exchange unnecessary.
According to comments left on CafeMom’s Facebook page, many think the exchange is “ridiculous”:
Instead of banning toy guns, how about focusing on all the shitty parenting that results in ill-equipped-for-life psycho kids who become the ones doing bad things with real guns?
My 11 year old son just got a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, But he is enrolled in a Hunters Safety Course. I was 8 when I shot my first gun, my dad also made me take a Hunters Safety Course before I was allowed to go hunting.
I’m pretty anti gun and even I think this is ridiculous. Owning a couple nerf guns doesn’t make a kid grow into a serial killer.
This is ridiculous!! Just like the D.A.R.E Program kept kids off drugs.
I played with toy cap guns as a kid and never thought about shooting anyone with a real one as an adult. Geez.
Man I would piss off a lot of people. My 7yo has a shit load of toy guns. And he shoots real rifles and shotguns. But he is also being taught how to treat guns.
This is pure stupidity. If you teach children the proper handling and treatment of firearms you run less of the risk of them being curious if they find one unattended with a friend. They’ll know what to do instead of being a victim
What do you think about the toy gun exchange?