Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Come On Store and Bodega Owners, You Can Do Better Than That!

Toy pellet gun being sold in bodegas and stores that
are now being brought to school by students 
Over the past couple of days I've had to levy consequences to a few students who decided to bring this toy pellet gun to school. Not only did they bring the gun, it was loaded with the little hard plastic pellets that come along with the gun.

The consequences were swift and serious. The parents of each child was called along with the police and  five day out of school suspensions were issued. The parents were totally unaware that their children had purchased this toy let alone brought it to school with them. They were less than pleased when they had to surrender their identification information to the police along with their child's name to be filed on a police report. The children had no clue of the danger they were placing themselves in by carrying the realistic looking toy gun. The police described how some children and adults go as far as to paint the little orange tip on the end black, making the toy look even more real. Conversely, you have some perpetrators who paint the tip of their real guns orange to make police or victims think that it is a toy gun.

When the children were asked where they obtained the toy, they all named various local stores and bodegas hence the title of this post asking the store owners given our current atmosphere with gun violence, can't you do any better than that? It's my understanding that these toys cost anywhere from $1 to $2 in these little bodegas, corner stores and dollar stores. I say again to the owners, can't you do any better than that? Is it that much profit to be made from selling the "guns solve everything" mentality. These same children who will become comfortable shooting these hard plastic pellets, will be the same children who will become teenagers and adults who are comfortable with shooting real bullets, not to mention, the little plastic pellets can take an eye out with ease and give a pretty good sting if you are hit with it.

One of the police officers who visited the bodega to encourage the store owner to drop this product shared with the owner that these same pellet guns that she is selling could one day wind up being used to stick up the very same bodega that the kids purchased it from. Good point!! We are becoming our own worst enemies.
When are we going to wake up? Parents please pay attention to what your children are doing because the life you save may be your child. Something to critically think about. I invite you to listen to me live Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. ET on www.gobrave.org and follow me on Twitter @thinkcritical01.

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