Hard to imagine why most people reacted to CU-Boulder's dire warnings about Nerf guns with either eye rolls or guffaws. The weapons, which fire spongy ammo designed not to hurt children, are clearly risky -- as CU-Boulder police chief Joe E. Roy emphasizes in an op-ed penned for the Colorado Daily.
First of all, Roy insists, Nerf guns haven't been banned -- or at least the ban isn't new, since any gun, toy or real, is verboten on the CU campus. And the cops didn't announce that they'd be targeting Nerf-gun wielders. Rather, they said they'd treat any emergency call about a gun as if the weapon was genuine, even if the "Nerf" descriptor preceded it.
Besides, these babies are potentially more deadly than advertised. Here's how Roy puts it:
The facts about Nerf guns on campus have been understated in the reporting of this story. In 2007, Alfred University in upstate New York underwent a two-hour lockdown after a faculty member reported a student with a weapon that turned out later to be a Nerf gun. A similar report prompted a police response at the University of Maryland last year.
Thankfully, there were no accidents with deadly consequences in either of these incidents.
Complicating all of this are two dangerous trends: one in which Nerf guns are painted black to look like assault weapons (ow.ly/JnCC) and another in which real guns are painted to look like colored toys (ow.ly/JnDi).
See, you smart asses! Who's laughing now?
Oh: You're still laughing? Well, stop it or you could get shot! By something!
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