2008-06-17: Citizen article: Toy guns fuel climate of fear

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2008-06-17: Citizen article: Toy guns fuel climate of fear

Postby wrm » Wed, 2008-06-18 11:59

From: "Rudi"
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 19:21:25 +0200
Subject: [SALGO] Citizen article: Toy guns fuel climate of fear

Nearly missed this one as it was not available online but only in the print
edition. It appeared as just about a full page article on page 8 of today's
Citizen. Judy whatsherface is the "expert" referred to in the article. An
expert on bullshitting people maybe?

Below is my OCR'ed version of the article.


The Citizen Tuesday 17 June 2008
REPLICAS: Plastic firearms used in growing number of crimes
Toy guns fuel 'climate of fear'

FREE State police have arrested two men for holding up a shop in Ladybrand
using a toy gun in the latest incident in which replica firearms have been
linked to a crime. Police spokesman Sergeant Tandi Mbambo said yesterday
that the suspects had fled after being overpowered by the shop owner and his
partner on Friday. They were later arrested by police, and have been linked
to other robberies.

"Toy guns are not a laughing matter," said Judy Bassingthwaighte from
Gun-Free South Africa (GFSA). "Replica guns are frequently used in violent
crimes throughout SA, and only add to our climate of fear:' GFSA was the
driving force behind a proposed ban on the sale of replica weapons in
January last year, after a man was arrested for sexually assaulting women in
Cape Town using a toy gun.

Bassingthwaighte believes that toy gun manufacturers are behind the growing
market in replicas.
"Many are made under licence from the gun manufacturers, and are exact
copies of real guns. "About 25 people are killed every day in gun violence
in SA. It makes no sense that toy guns are allowed to contribute to our
dismal crime rates:' she said at the time.

SNIP: 'Every day in SA, 25 people are killed in gun violence, It makes no
sense that toy guns are allowed to contribute o our dismal crime rates,'
expert says,

Talk of such bans traditionally raises the hackles of gun manufacturers and
toy companies, but the subversion of children's toys by those with criminal
intent is nothing new. Earlier this month, two Johannesburg housemates were
arrested for staging a "robbery" at a Total garage in Hillbrow. Police
spokesman Captain Bhekizizwe Mavundla said one of the women pretended to rob
her flat- mate, working at the garage, with a toy gun. Their game was
unmasked when CCTV footage caught them chatting before the robbery.

In February this year, Metro Police Constable Jason February apparently
committed suicide and four of his colleagues were arrested after they
fatally wounded a man brandishing a toy gun at them in Lavender Hill, in



- The history of toy guns begins with the cap gun - invented by shotgun
manufacturers who retrofitted their factories after the American CMI War.
- In 1886, the first BB gun was created,
- In the 1950s, the toy gun vaulted into the mainstream when the
swashbuckling, dual-holstered cowboy of the Wild West boosted sales to
almost $300 million over the decade.
- In the 1980s, anti-gun activists levelled their sights on BB guns
- Toy guns didn't become a target of federal lawmakers until the late 1980s,
when the Federal Imitation Gun Law was passed, requiring manufacturers to
modify their toy guns to make them appear less realistic.
- In 1992, the US Department of Commerce issued regulations requiring toy
guns to bear a solid "blaze orange" plug at the tip of the barrel or be
coloured entirely white, bright red, orange yellow, green, blue, pink or
purple. - CNN

SA not alone in fake firearms debate
THE debate around toy gun sales is not unique to South Africa. In the US,
which sports tough federal restrictions on sales, it has become a flashpoint
in a verbal firefight between various political groupings and lobby groups.

Last month, Tennessee Congressman John Debery proposed further legislation
aimed at curbing sales of realistic-looking replica weapons, amid derision
from right-wing political groups.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, American police departments
reported the seizure of 31 650 imitation guns over a four-year period during
crime- related incidents. National Rifle Association spokesman Ashley
Varner told rightist groups the gun bans were "silly" and "wouldn't
eradicate the human element of crime" or "get criminals off the street".
The battle has been raging since at least 2000, when police officers shot
and killed budding actor Anthony Dwain Lee - who starred in Liar Liar and
ER. Lee was shot while holding a rubber toy gun at a Halloween party in
California, according to news network CNN. In April 2000, undercover
narcotics officers also killed two suspected gang members in New York, who
had tried to use fake handguns to rob them.

Photo of 3 H&K sub-machine guns with caption: REALISTIC. Soft airguns,
designed to look like 3 variations of the Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine
gun, are shown here. A rising number of people have been shot while trying
to use replica guns to commit robbery.

Photo of Sig with caption: COPY. The box for a soft airgun, designed to look
exactly like the 9mm Sig Sauer P230, is shown here.
[x]No Guns [x]No Rights [x]No Future [x]No Way
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon, 2006-01-30 08:02
Location: Cape Town

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