It seems some criminals at least have found a new way to put their intended victims off their guard for just long enough to get within striking distance.
Police caught a felon painting a shotgun to look like a toy in a Spokane motel room Monday, according to Spokane Police Department in a news release.
The suspect, Elijah B. Zon, also was in possession of three black-powder guns, methamphetamine, heroin and ammunition.
He was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail.
. . .
They found Zon in the middle of painting a double-barreled, sawed-off shotgun green and yellow with an orange tip to resemble a toy, according to the news release. Pictures display a shotgun painted on one side.
“Officers throughout Spokane County and across the nation come across real guns that are made to look like replicas,” the news release stated.
There's more at the link.
Police officers of my acquaintance have seen the same thing, although not quite so garish or covering so much of the firearm. It's not uncommon for the tip of the barrel of a criminal's gun to be painted orange, so that the weapon resembles an Airsoft toy. You can imagine the advantage this gives the criminal if his residence is raided by the police. Their automatic assumption used to be that a toy gun was precisely that - a toy - and that it presented no threat. They can't assume that any longer.
Similarly, if you're confronted by a young criminal waving something like that shotgun, you can no longer assume it's a toy. It may be a deadly threat. Certainly, if I see something like that, I'm going to take every precaution to safeguard myself and my wife. Tragically, that may expose real kids, with real toys, to real risk . . . but then, criminals don't care about such niceties.