In what seems to be a fit of common sense, the people of Swabi have demanded a ban on the sale of toy guns in a bid to limit the exposure of violence in their children’s lives. The government would be smart to grant this request, as the concerned parents are not unjustified in seeking this, amidst all the attempts of the manufacturers to make the toys as lifelike as possible, added to the very real problem of the glorification of violence and even terrorism across many mediums that are accessible even to kids.

The more chilling issue of terrorists using children as soldiers is also obviously on the minds of the parents as they attempt to protect the innocence of their children from the beginning, instead of allowing access to violence now and paying the price later. Most terrorist outfits attempt to brainwash minds at an early age, using them as expendable suicide bombers to wreak havoc in our country, and if there were attempts of a national movement to shun violence, with provisions for keeping children from exposure to it, the fight against terrorism would benefit greatly in the long run.

Even with this ban on toy guns however, the real problem is nowhere close to being resolved. Stopping children from buying toy guns at a young age does nothing to prevent access to the real ones. Age is not even a factor in the gun markets all across KPK, from Dera Adam Khel to Peshawar to illegal retailers spread all over the country. Criminal records or background checks are of no consequence either, for that matter. At this moment, literally anyone in this country can get their hands on a gun, provided they have the money to pay for it. And that is the real issue. This is a national problem, and the real issue will always be gun control. Unless the government and the security forces can get a handle on illegal gun manufacturing, banning toy guns will be of no use, if a year later, those children can buy the real thing.