Strobridge Elementary School in Hayward, California is hosting a gun buyback program for kids. What a great way to get unwanted guns off the street, not to mention a great way to get guns out of the hands of minors. Guns are not toys, and gun buyback programs can get unwanted guns out of homes and off the streets for a financial incentive. People participate in buyback programs because they would rather trade an unwanted gun for a one hundred dollar gift card or other incentive. The real problem with gun buyback programs is that people really bring in unwanted guns, as in guns that are pieces of junk and do not work. Like other gun buyback programs, the Strobridge Elementary School is also collecting useless pieces of plastic and metal in their very own buyback program for kids. The difference in this buyback program is that it is targeting toy guns, and children who participate are entered into a raffle to win a new bicycle.
On the surface, this program seems to be a decent deal for the children and parents in a tough economic time in that they trade one toy gun for a chance to win a new bike. The children also learn about gun safety – not toy gun safety – and bicycle safety in case they win the raffle or move to New York and take advantage of Mayor Bloomberg's new bicycle rental program. In either event, the toy gun buyback program clearly reveals another example of public education going above and beyond its job description, while failing to educate children on how to read the labels on their toy guns or learning to count their pretend bullets, they are once again melding in childish affairs.The toy gun buyback program is not about gun education but control.