Children in New York who received “dangerous” toy guns for Christmas were encouraged to swap them out in a government exchange program.
Village of Hempstead children were urged to turn in their imitation firearms – including water pistols and Nerf guns – in exchange for other toys, sporting goods and educational items at the Long Island Toy Gun Exchange Program announced earlier this month, according to WABC-TV.
Mimicking so-called gun “buyback” programs that target real firearms, the event encouraged children to trade their toys for more politically correct items in the propaganda effort to shape young minds.
“Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns,” Village of Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan told participants.
“The purpose is to offer a safe alternative to toy guns. We don’t want the kids playing with guns. Guns are dangerous,” Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson said.
Former NYPD officer Sean Acosta, who supplied the more acceptable toys for the exchange, spoke to Hempstead schoolchildren at an event announcing the program earlier this month.
“I want to make sure when you grow up nothing happens to you,” he said.
Hempstead Village Police Department Lt. Derek Warner warned that parents giving the toy guns as gifts could be endangering their children’s’ lives, adding that the toys could be mistaken for the real thing.
“Toy guns can be a dangerous item to give your children,” he said.
The program is not new as a yuletide effort to discourage children from playing with toy guns was launched in Hempstead in 2015 by Manhattan philanthropist Jean Shafiroff after a series of shootings involving children.
“It has to start at a young age,” Acosta told Newsday. “If we can get them to say, ‘It’s not cool to carry these toy guns,’ then maybe when they get older, they won’t ever carry a real gun.”
Local officials touting the program apparently never made the distinction between illegally-owned weapons and the law-abiding gun-owners who own and use firearms. Political commentator, talk radio host, and spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, Dana Loesch blasted the move on Twitter.
They’re TOYS. Let kids be kids, it’s also a good opportunity to teach responsibility. https://t.co/Ts03ScuYBT
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) December 21, 2018
Twitter users also blasted the program aimed at indoctrinating the young.
They had a toy gun give back in Hempstead, NY. What is a pink water gun going to do to someone? Welcome to Communist New York. https://t.co/jz5d25GnIv
— Deplorable Chuck 🇺🇸 (@NYGfan4ever) December 21, 2018
The Christmas season, a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, singing familiar carols, gifts under the tree … AND A WATER PISTOL AND NERF GUN TURN-IN PROGRAM?
Μολὼν Λαβέ 🇺🇸
— Dennis Robbins (@TheNewsGuy) December 23, 2018
Imagine being a parent, buying your child a toy and then making them give it away for your virtue signal.
— Rod Rescueman (@RodRescueman) December 24, 2018
More liberal-progressive mind-control indoctrination. Should they also turn in baseball bats and their fists — which are used more often in assaults than firearms? https://t.co/vuzFQPRd6K
— James Canby Landerkin, Nationalist, ⭐⭐⭐ (@JamesCanby) December 24, 2018
What will happen with things like toy gun turn-in is that when boys stop playing like boys and are taught to be afraid of guns. Our military and law enforcement will greatly suffer as young males will grow up afraid to carry a gun. More propaganda to weaken and bring America down
— Mark Hippel (@Mark_hpl82) December 23, 2018
Insidious anti-gun indoctrination is a genuine threat to the future of the #2A. Programs, like toy gun turn-ins, are clearly designed to condition impressionable children against America’s legitimate gun culture and firearm ownership at a young age. https://t.co/cEwpChq5lm @NRA
— Support NRA-ILA (@SupportNRAILA) December 23, 2018
You can take my Nerf from me when you pry it from my cold dead fingers
— Terry Newberry (@tnewberry51) December 24, 2018
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