IN far too many families, BB guns or other pellet weapons are regarded as toys. After all, many of the parents in these families grew up in an environment in which presentation of these “toys” to a child was considered a rite of passage.
It’s a dangerous rite of passage, judging from some recent incidents:
Last week, a 15-year-old was arrested on a preliminary charge of criminal mischief for allegedly shooting at a school bus with a BB gun. Earlier, two other teenagers reported they had been shot by BBs after being approached by two other youngsters who had made reference to a BB gun.
In late February and early March, Columbus Police Department received more than 15 reports of vehicle windows being damaged by BB fire.
Last summer, a Columbus teen allegedly shot another youth multiple times with a BB gun.
Although there were no life-threatening injuries that resulted from any of these incidents, the damage that can be caused by such “toys” is significant.
There have been cases of individuals who were blinded after pellets were fired into their eyes.
The owners of those vehicles targeted by a BB shooter earlier this year certainly incurred some unexpected expenses in getting their vehicle windows and windshields repaired.
Even more frightening is the potential for escalated situations involving a BB gun. Some of these “toys” easily can be mistaken for much more dangerous weapons, and that could lead to a situation in which heavier firepower that can kill might be employed.
BB guns are to be taken seriously, especially by families. Strict care must be exercised before one is to be allowed in a house, and the individuals who have them should be held to high standards of responsibility, both in the handling and storage.
If the BB guns are in a home, they should be kept in a secure environment, accessible only to adult members who will determine when and where they would be allowed to be used.
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