Gun free SA urges parents to educate children on danger of guns
17 September 2018|07 Muharram 1440|EWN News
Gun Free South Africa says children who play with toy guns and replicas of real firearms don’t understand that there’s a high risk of death and injury, should a police officer or civilian retaliate.
The distinction between a real and fake firearm is difficult for many to make.
It’s become an all too common occurrence for criminals to use fake guns in committing offences, prompting a Cape Town community crime fighting body to call for a ban on the sale and production of toy firearms.
Some replicas could pass off as the real thing with victims or even police officers none the wiser.
Eyewitness News spoke to a senior South African Police Service member about how difficult it is to tell the difference between a replica and a genuine firearm.
Gun Free South Africa’s Adele Kirsten says it’s not a given that children who play with toy guns and replicas would go on to use real firearms.
“The problem is that we live in a context with high levels of gang violence that kids see every day. There’s a divide between reality and fantasy becomes much more porous. It’s in the context that we live that it’s not healthy behaviour.”
She says children need to be made aware of the real dangers that come with handling toy guns and replicas.
“If kids think playing replica guns… as a cop or civilian with firearms, you may shoot someone if your life is under real threat. You don’t know if it’s a real gun or not when in fact it’s play-play.”
Last week, police arrested a 15-year-old pupil from Eldorado Park in Johannesburg for allegedly threatening his teacher with what’s believed to be a toy gun.