DEAR ABBY: I was recently driving on a Southern California freeway. About 25 feet in front of me, a car in the other lane had an arm pointing out the window, "shooting" a gun at people. Because it was a bright, sunny day, I could see the arm belonged to a young child whose gun was only a toy.
Had this incident occurred at night, however, I would never have known it was a child pointing a toy gun. I might have thought it was an adult pointing a real gun. The results could have been tragic for the kid and anyone else in the car.
Abby, I don't think children should be allowed to have toy guns, but if their parents allow it, that's their choice. These same parents should realize that in certain circumstances -- and even neighborhoods -- those guns may not be SEEN as toys.
In this sometimes crazy world we live in, situations like this probably do occur and often with dreadful endings. There is no reason for something like this to happen. I hope parents of small children who have toy guns will prevent their kids from doing this before it's too late. -- CONCERNED COMMUTER, SANTA ANA, CALIF.
DEAR CONCERNED: On behalf of parents of small children everywhere, thank you for the warning. For safety's sake, children riding in vehicles should wear seatbelts and keep their hands and arms inside at all times. And since it's not unusual for incidents of road rage and drive-by shootings to appear on the evening news, parents should be especially careful about letting their children play with toy weapons while riding in automobiles. At the risk of sounding overly cautious, it could avert a tragedy.