Tuesday, February 21, 2012

But I Thought Guns Were Easy For Criminals To Get...

From February 20, 2012 CBS Detroit:

DETROIT (WWJ) – State lawmakers are currently reviewing legislation that targets the use of certain toy guns. A planned proposal before the Senate would make it a crime to possess a toy gun that has its required markings removed or by having a real gun that is made up to look like a toy.
State Senate Republican Rick Jones said that this has become a major problem, especially within the gang community. “People are taking imitation firearms that look real, cutting off the orange end and then threatening people,” he said.
In some cases, gang members have been shot to death by police for pointing modified toy guns at the police.

There is only one thing more stupid than pointing a gun at a police officer: pointing a gun at a police officer that won't fire anything more serious than a stream of water.


  1. Since misuse of non-firearms as firearms is pretty dangerous to life and limb, why does it need to be outlawed?

    Are they trying to save these criminals from themselves? And where is the presumption that this would reduce the forbidden behavior?

    Michigan's law already contains a good rubric for self-defense. If any reasonable person would conclude that there was a threat of death or severe bodily injury, then lethal force is allowed.

    A reasonable person usually concludes that a gun-shaped object wielded as a gun is a threat to life and limb. Whether the object is an airsoft painted black or a real weapon.

    Worse, the parents of otherwise-law-abiding children would need to worry that their children might get in trouble for blacking over (or accidentally knocking off) the orange tip on a toy gun.

  2. Why do we want to cut down on the supply of modified toy guns? Don't you have to be irredeemably stupid to point something which looks like a gun, and isn't a gun?

  3. So, let me get this straight: certain criminal elements deliberately modify their guns, so that toy guns look like real guns, and real guns look like toy guns...and the solution is for yet another law to be passed, to criminalise this behavior?

    Yeah, a criminal intent on murder, kidnapping, robbery, or the like, is going to follow the laws on orange-tipped guns! Because these things aren't obviously morally wrong, but "gun deceit" clearly is, and gang-bangers are obviously immoral because they don't follow this: They must be punished!

    I happen to have a clear plastic gun on which the barrel has been broken off. Thus, the stupid orange plastic tip is missing. This law is going to be a crime.

    That, and all this "orange tip" business illustrates just how stupid this original law is: by introducing the orange tip on the tip of a gun, we've done nothing to make it possible to distinguish between a real gun and a toy; rather than create this stupid rule, we should have been broadcasting the fact, loud and clearly, that if you give someone a reasonable belief that you might shoot him, he has the lawful authority to kill you in self defence.

  4. Epsilon Given is right. We always "need" more and more strict gun laws because the initial law sent us down the wrong philosophical path, much like the Ptolomaic system for describing and understanding the motion of the planets required more and ever more complex epicycles to effectively predict the motion of the planets.
    It will take a Kepler to cut through the crap so that if one points a toy gun at someone and that someone reasonably fears for his or her life, it is excusable self defense to shoot that person.
    I guess the rule is, "stupidity and bad laws require more laws that turn out to be just as bad and just as stupid."