A husband and wife in Pennsylvania were harassed by police earlier this month after someone at their son’s school spotted a toy gun during a school-related Zoom call.
Sheila Perez Smith recounted the incident on the Todd Starnes Radio Show. She said that her 7-year-old son had just completed a Zoom class when she received an email from the son’s teacher. Apparently, another parent had spied the toy in the background and had called the police.
“Another parent had been very uncomfortable by the fact that the gun had been in view of the zoom call,” Smith told Starnes. “It’s such an innocent thing that someone used to make a judgment and an accusation.”
A few hours later, police knocked on her door and asked Smith and her husband to step outside.
When Smith’s husband explained that they didn’t own a real firearm but that their son had been given a toy, the police weren’t satisfied. According to Smith, they lectured the couple and told them that young kids shouldn’t even own toy firearms.
“I said, this is a toy. No one is unsafe in our home. Everyone is safe and well and healthy,” Smith said. “They took it very seriously as if there was some sort of chance we had weapons in the home.”
“He essentially lectured us on child safety and the fact that our children are too young to interact with any guns and weapons,” she said.
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Smith told Starnes that even though they weren’t cited, the incident left their children terrified.
“They were scared their parents were going to go to jail that day for something that was completely untrue,” she said.
“What really troubled me was the fact that someone made a claim, an accusation with zero facts,” she continued. “It was completely bogus, and it left our kids really scared.”
This isn’t the first time busybody do-gooders have gone after toy “firearms.”
In 2018, Hempstead, Long Island, held a toy gun buyback for local school children in which they could exchange their toy guns for different kinds of toys.
“Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan as reported by WABC.
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“The purpose is to offer safe alternatives to toy guns. We don’t want the kids playing with guns. Guns are dangerous,” added Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson.
As GunsAmerica news editor S.H. Blannelberry pointed out at the time, events like this instill an “irrational fear of firearms.” The same could probably be said of the police visit to the Smith home.
“How about instead of indoctrinating kids to have an irrational fear of firearms, including toys that resemble firearms, we teach them actual gun safety?” Blannelberry recommended. “And when each child is ready, we teach him or her the tenets of responsible gun ownership? Education, not fear, is the answer.”
GunsAmerica reached out to Smith for a description of the offending toy firearm but has not received a response.