Bob vs. Toys
Bust Bob's Chops

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© 1999 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

New character in Bloom County: "Bob the Cat," who is pretty much exactly like Bill the Cat.
On May 13, 1999, Bob Levey said:

"At some level, violence was being legitimized for these boys. At some level, they were getting a powerful message: 'Mommy thinks it's okay for me to blow other kids away in Turtle Park on a nice spring Monday.'"

Let's talk about toy guns.

Toy. Guns.

Guns that are toys. Toys. Not real. Like dolls. Toy babies. Not real babies. Fake.

What is the point here? Hmmm. TOYS.

A toy gun is not a real gun. It is fake! It is a toy! No one is going to get shot with a toy gun, no matter how many sound effects it has. It's not real! There's no bullets! Hello!!

Oh, thaaaaat's right, toy guns carry a "message." That using a fake, plastic, toy gun has the same effect on your target as a real, metal, bullet-shooting gun. Kids apparently are too stupid to figure out the difference between them.

Come on! Who really believes their children are so clueless?? Who, reading this, did not know the difference between a toy gun and a real gun by the time they had access to the real ones? Anybody? Hello? Hello?

The notion that kids are too stupid to understand that toy guns are just toys is one of the most preposterous theories ever foisted on the public. That some of the public actually believes this only proves that people get stupid with age.

This whole anti-toy-guns thing is an attempt to dodge responsibility. Yes, a handful of children grow up with no appreciation for social values or even life. Yes, sometimes they kill in cold blood and claim they didn't know any better. Can this really be blamed on a toy gun?

Oh please. This is the result of poor or nonexistent parenting, or mental instability. Little can be done about the parenting -- by the time bad parents are identified, the kids are already messed up. Maybe they can be rehabilitated. Maybe they rot in jail. Either way, the damage has been done and toy guns had little to do with it.

If a kid has a mental condition, or simply cannot grasp the difference between life and fiction, he must receive special care. He must be watched over. If he cannot understand that people don't bounce back like cartoon characters, then he shouldn't watch cartoons. Don't ban cartoons just because one kid in 10,000 thinks he can ride on a rocket, slam into a desert outcropping, and walk away!

And if a kid really, truly, does not know the difference between real guns and toy guns, and it cannot be explained to him, then he must be kept away from toy guns! He is a danger to himself and others. But do not ban all toy guns because of a handful of "special needs" children. And do not assume that children who play with guns now will grow up to be psychopathic killers later. It is rude, and there is no basis for such an assumption. Making such an observation to the parents of the kids will likely get the observer a fat lip. A well-deserved one.

Parents, your kids aren't as stupid as some of you think they are. The sooner you grow up, the better they will.