garynorth.com / Gary North / February 08, 2013
It never ceases to amaze me how many articles that we can find on Wikipedia. Rare is the case when I search for a topic, type in wiki, and the first article that my search engine discovers is not a Wikipedia article on exactly that topic.
I searched for “cap pistol” recently. I got an article “cap gun.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_gun)
I was curious about the history of the toy. I grew up in the era of the cap pistol. I can only remember one time when I got a holster and cap pistol combination. I was probably seven years old. I played with it for a long time. As with the few toys of our youth that we actually remember, I wish I had saved the set. It would no doubt be worth a lot of money if it was in good shape.
I had long thought that the government intervened to prohibit shiny steel toy pistols because of the possibility that the toys would be used to commit crimes. According to Wikipedia, I was wrong.
Today, cap guns and other toy guns in the United States must be manufactured with a bright orange, red, or yellow tip placed over the “muzzle” of the cap gun, or with the entire gun made in these or other bright colors. Laws requiring these markings were made because of incidents where civilians – usually children or teenagers – were killed by police officers when the officers thought they saw real guns. While these incidents were rare, lawmakers decided that toy guns must be marked so they cannot be mistaken for real guns.
Here we have a situation in which the government is trying to protect innocent people from the government. I keep wondering: “Who would be so stupid as to pull a toy pistol on a policeman who was pointing a real pistol at him?” Is this sort of thing so common that the anti-gun voting bloc took action to kill toy pistols? I doubt it. But it makes a good excuse. The war against guns is a comprehensive cultural war.
The article said that the era of the toy pistol was from 1945 to 1965. After 1965, the popularity of television Westerns began to decline.
I grew up on TV Westerns. Anyone born after 1900 grew up on movie Westerns. Low-budget B-Westerns were the staple of Saturday matinees. They were popular with kids of all ages. The first dramatic moving picture,The Great Train Robbery, was a Western. But they faded in popularity after 1965. Why was that?