Fake guns could have led to real fear

Published 12:07 am Thursday, May 2, 2013

Having a gun pointed at you can be terrifying, particularly if you think the person behind the trigger means you harm.

A busload of Ferriday school children saw the wrong end of a gun barrel Tuesday morning and had to wonder — at least for a split second — if they were in harm’s way.

The realistic, but fortunately replica, firearms only fired harmless plastic pellets.

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Practically anyone glancing at the fake firearms, however, would think they were real. Only a small orange cap at the barrel indicates it’s not a real firearm.

Sadly we live in a world in which realistic, but fake, guns can quickly instill realistic, genuine fear.

More and more citizens feel the need to arm themselves against criminals, and fewer citizens have respect for law enforcement officers. Add to that realistic toy guns and you have dangerous results.

Had the alleged actions of the three teenage boys charged in the case been committed in front of a law officer, or worse-yet, a trigger happy, gun-toting citizen, a real weapon may have been used against the boys.

The boys involved in the mock shooting may have meant no harm in the incident, but the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is throwing the book at them. Each is charged with possession of a handgun by a juvenile and simple battery.

Those are serious charges, but pointing a gun at someone — whether the gun is real or fake — is a serious matter.

Parents must teach their children common sense with regards to firearms. Failure to do so has serious, potentially deadly, consequences.