Toy guns

Art Buchwald

May 09, 1991|By Art Buchwald

ONCE AGAIN I know you'll think that I made this up -- but I didn't. It was in the newspapers.

The U.S. Customs Service has banned the importation of toy M-16 rifles because they look so much like the real thing. Apparently, as far as the government is concerned, some authentic guns are not as much a threat to the citizenry as toy ones.

The reason behind the ban is that the fake M-16 looks so real that police can't tell the difference. Officers have been shooting people carrying the toys. Also, fake guns are being used more and more in "armed" robberies by criminals who can't afford a real gun.

Clyde Heston, president of the National Toy Gun Association and ZTC Charlton Heston's third cousin, was indignant over the Customs order.

"The Constitution provides that every child has a right to bear toy arms. When you confiscate toy guns at Customs, you are preventing law-abiding children from owning them. The bad kids are going to buy them in the school yard, so you won't stop any toy gun stick-ups."

"Is the NTGA going to give PAC money to Congress to fight the ban?"

"You better believe it. We even have the NRA on our side because they know if Customs seizes toy guns today, it will grab real guns tomorrow. I've asked my cousin Charlton to do the commercials," Heston said.

"He will say, 'Toy guns don't kill people. People kill people who carry toy guns.' "

"What is the Toy Gun Association doing to keep them out of the hands of the bad kids?"

"We are calling for much stiffer penalties for children who use their toy guns to shoot at their sisters and brothers."

"You're not talking about capital punishment, are you?"

"Not yet, but we intend to make sure that those who misuse their toy guns for other than cowboys and Indians are severely punished. We don't want kids just sent to their rooms. We'd like to lock them in and throw away the key."

"Mr. Heston, are you planning to go to court over this Customs seizure?"

"Of course, we are. Our members expect us to fight any loss of their arms. The president, the Democratic leadership of both houses of Congress and the attorney general are against gun control. They have no choice but to support us in the fight against toy weapon confiscation."

"What are you calling your lobbying effort?"

"Stand Up for America -- Toy Guns 'R Us."

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