Toy guns aren’t needed at THON

2013 was a record year for the Penn State Dance marathon. Hats off to all of you.

Thon is growing, and this event helps define Penn State. The excitement, energy and love that goes into this weekend is remarkable.

My concern is this: Should the young participants at THON have toy guns? Many pictures in newspapers and on the Internet displayed the children and their guns. We all know that tragic accidents can occur when kids and guns are combined.

We have all seen the horrible images of what guns can do when in the wrong hands. Every day this community is reminded of the tragic loss at Columbine to Sandy Hook.

Read the newspaper or check the Internet, and every day children have toy guns that are taken to school and then the child is suspended.

Should plastic toy guns be put in the hands of a small child? There’s no way to predict what could or would happen. Most schools do not permit toy plastic guns. I ask myself why PSU thinks that a toy gun is a good toy to promote THON.

No matter how many gun laws are proposed or passed in the next decade, kids are at risk. We all know plastic guns can hurt no one. Should a small child in our society pretend to aim and shoot? If they have no toy gun, many use their voice for the bang and their finger to aim and fire.

It doesn’t really matter if it is marshmallow, bubbles or just plain water, but it is still a gun.

Guns kill people, even if it is in a kid’s imagination. Ask yourself if toy guns should be used at next year’s Penn State THON.

Margaret Thatcher