EDITORIAL: No replica for life

Last Thursday’s police incident involving a group of four teens at Robert Bateman secondary ...

Last Thursday’s police incident involving a group of four teens at Robert Bateman secondary contains equally large levels of foolishness and good fortune.

The four showed up at the house of another young man in the area of the school, apparently intent on a fight. The target called police, suggesting one of them may be carrying a gun, and that they were headed toward Bateman.

A plainclothes officer happened to be in the vicinity and saw what looked to be a handgun on one of the suspects, who made it into the school before they could be intercepted.

Police responded accordingly, locking down Bateman and several other schools in the vicinity while they investigated.

The four men involved were arrested that afternoon, but it was not until Saturday that detectives found the gun hidden in the school.

It turned out to be a replica BB gun – easily indistinguishable even at very close distance from a real, bullet-firing, lethal handgun.

Had one of those teens been seen by police while pointing that replica at someone – or at an officer – that teen may well be dead today.

Public condemnation of the police would have been merciless.

But, a huge measure of luck was in the teens’ favour, following their monumentally stupid decisions that day.

It serves as a huge lesson to anyone else who thinks that toting a replica handgun in public is not begging for a situation that could go terribly wrong, terribly fast.

This incident – among many involving very realistic-looking pellet and BB guns – raises the question whether these weapons should be banned entirely, or at least licensed.

There’s no replica for life.

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