What would the crackpots in California say if they saw that in their neighborhood?
Toy guns made to look like the real thing would be banned in California under legislation announced Friday in Sonoma County, where a sheriff's deputy last month shot and killed a 13 year old boy after mistaking his replica AK 47 pellet gun for an assault rifle.
The bill, to be introduced by five lawmakers, would require pellet and other toy guns to be brightly colored or translucent so they are easily recognized. Federal law requires the replica guns only to have an orange mark on the tip of the barrel.
Look, that's a horrible, horrible tragedy. I can't imagine the pain the parents must be feeling.
At the same time, let's think for a moment: a 13-year old carrying a toy AK? Instead of determining whether the deputy was at fault, the state wants to ban all toy guns?
When I was in first grade, I was green with envy over a single toy owned by my next-door neighbor and best friend. His parents had bought him a Johnny Seven OMA.
In the sixties, the Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army) was the ultimate toy firearm. It integrated seven distinct weapons (thus the Johnny Seven) into a single chassis:
| * Grenade|
* Anti-Tank Rocket
* Armor-Piercing Shell
* Anti-Bunker Rocket
| * Repeating Rifle|
* Tommy Gun
* Automatic Pistol
All of the firing mechanisms were attached to the main rifle assembly - the pistol inserted from the bottom to provide the rifle grip (the pistol also held caps for authentic firing sounds). The main ammunition included various sized white bullets that would "shoot" from the barrels via spring-action. The rockets and grenade also fired via spring-action. The weapon featured a working bipod that provided stability for the various rockets and grenade. The stock could be removed to shorten the weapon while in Tommy Gun mode. The toy when fully assembled is over three feet long.
Decades later, I still remember the Johnny Seven and how my parents would never spring for one.
But I'm not bitter.
Honestly, though, if a kid was walking around with a Johnny Seven these days, they would call in a SWAT team and a hostage negotiator. And Chuck Schumer would hold a press conference to get more face time on TV.
Man, how times have changed.
Update: More Toys That Would Be Completely Illegal Today.