Culture of violence: Activists voice concern over sale, import of toy guns

Published: June 27, 2016
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Activists say legislation needed to impose ban on sale of such items. PHOTO: PPI

Activists say legislation needed to impose ban on sale of such items. PHOTO: PPI

PESHAWAR: Activists have pressed the provincial government to impose a ban on the sale of toy guns in the city, saying it leads to behavioural disorders among children. The sale of toy guns is on the rise ahead of Eidul Fitr in various markets of the city.

Last year, rights activist launched a campaign to ban the sale of toy guns. This compelled the district administration to impose a ban on selling them. The campaign received widespread support.

This year, the sale of toy guns remains rampant ahead of Eidul Fitr. Toy guns are being sold in various markets across the city, including Peepal Mandi, Karkhano Market and Sabzi Mandi Bazaar.

Need of the hour

While speaking to The Express Tribune on Saturday, Shafiq Gigyani, a social activist and chairperson of Poha Foundation, said, “We need a [suitable] legislation to ban the sale and import of toy guns from other countries, particularly from China.”

According to Gigyani, he has launched a campaign against the menace ahead of Eidul Fitr to persuade the government to permanently impose a ban on the sale of toy guns. He urged parents not to purchase toy guns for their children.

“Instead they [should] buy gifts which portray peace and love,” he said. He added thousands of people have lost their lives in the war against militancy in K-P.

“Children need to be told guns are not a sign of power,” he said. “They must learn that the pen [has the ability] to change the world.”

Prohibited

DC Riaz Khan Mehsud told The Express Tribune they banned the sale of toy guns in 2015 ahead of Ramazan.

 

“This year, I will also issue a notification to ban its sale across the city,” he said. Subsequently, a handout was issued from his office stating that a ban has been imposed on sale of toy guns in the district.

When asked about efforts to introduce legislation to impose a permanent ban on the business of selling toy guns, he said it is beyond his domain to comment on legislative matters.

A lasting impression

Psychiatrists also believe use of toy guns can cause behavioural disorder among children and they become addicted to such toys.

Dr Azaz Jamal, who is working at the psychiatric unit of Khyber Teaching Hospital, told The Express Tribune toys guns and various violent games that were available in the market trigger aggressive tendencies among children.

He added, “Children who are exposed to toys guns and violent games are more prone to violent behaviour in their childhood. “They are likely to develop mania, bipolar disorder and personality disorders.”

Similarly, Zia Yousafzai, father of three children, said parents have also thrown their weight behind the move to impose a ban on sale of toy guns.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2016.

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