There are some ideas that are so retarded you just about need to have a Columbia J-School ticket for your brain housing group to contain them. That includes the idea that the ultima causa of mayhem in Afghanistan is that Afghan kids, unlike, say, LA Times reporters’ precious, coddled Unique and Special Snowflakes™, have mamas that let them play with war toys.

Yeah, that’s it.

Afghan boys with toy guns

It certainly can’t have anything to do with the unrelenting warfare kicked off by a Communist overthrow of King Zahir Shah in 1973, and the unstable state of war that has flowed like a red tide across the landlocked and desperately poor country ever since. It can’t have anything to do with a nation that, after successive governments by wooly-headed Commies, actual Soviet puppets, bloodthirsty mujahideen, and the Bat Guano Crazy Taliban dropped clean off the UN Development Index in 1996, and that therefore for about four generations on the Afghan scale has had nothing to offer an Afghan boy but the prospect of growing up to be killed or crippled in intramural combat like his male ancestors all have been.

(Well, he could be a chai bacha, an Afghan euphemism for a professional catamite, at least until he’s too old. That’s a role that LA Times reporters could probably aspire to).

Anyway, it can’t be any of that. 

Nope, gotta be the toy guns. So cue up the latest masterstroke that will fer-sure-this-time-forget-them-fortyleven-other-times erase the bloodshed that’s been part of Afghan life since before Afghan was a word, and get your ban on, and in 5-4-3-2-1 Afghans will start behaving just like Swiss.

Or not.

Finally, after years of outcry by politicians, parents and civil society groups, the Interior Ministry announced last month that it was officially enacting a ban on the sale of plastic firearms in Afghanistan.

At a news conference in Kabul, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said: “After this, there is a ban on the sale and use of plastic guns…. The interior minister directed police in all provinces to collect these toys and prevent their sale.”

Sediqqi said the ministry would work alongside the Ministry of Commerce and the nation’s various trade groups to prevent the import of such toys, mainly from nearby Pakistan and China.

The news comes as a welcome relief to a growing number of parents who for years have refused to buy plastic guns for their children.

“Why should I buy them weapons rather than something that would teach them something positive,” said Geran Popal, a teacher, who has repeatedly denied requests by her three children to buy them fake weapons for the Muslim holiday.

Zuhra Bahman, who last month had started an online petition calling for a ban on the “the manufacturing, import, advertising and sales of imitation weapons in Afghanistan,” also welcomed the news.

Yeah, online petitions. A major factor in Afghan power politics, especially petitions started by women community organizers, the traditional bedrock of Afghan society. Amazing thing is, the guy writing this article has an Afghan name. Did he get a complete cultural brainwashing at UC Irvine or something?

“I am very pleased, this is people power at work,” said Bahman, the mother of a 3-year-old girl.

Bahman, who has studied child development, said that further legislation or a presidential decree should be directed at other imitation weapons, such as plastic knives and hand grenades.

Calls for such a ban have met with resistance, mainly from other parents, she said.

via Afghanistan’s growing toy gun problem has gotten so bad the government finally acted – LA Times.

At an age when most American kids are still being driven to school by mommy and are completely unable to solve personal problems without helicopter-parental intervention, many Afghans are engaging in the national pastime, mayhem. We’re not entirely sure one childhood pathology is superior to the other.

The LA Times, on the other hand, is.

And by the end of the article they’ve tied it to their real agenda: a ban on real guns.

“I find it pathetic that Afghanistan has banned toy guns but not disarmed 99% who shouldn’t own real ones,” tweeted Roya Aziz, an Afghan American who spent eight years in Kabul.

A U.S. raid in June on a weapons cache belonging to Jan Ahmad, a strongman in the northern province of Parwan, stirred a debate in the nation.

Those who supported Jan Ahmad, including Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of the Afghan government, said the raid, conducted by a foreign army, violated civil rights and the sovereignty of the Kabul government.

Critics of the anti-Soviet, anti-Taliban strongman saw it as the first step in the disarming of militiamen and other powerful figures maintaining illegal arms stashes.

They’ll never figure it out: arms are downstream from culture. In Afghanistan, it’s logical and even necessary to band together with those of your family, tribe, race or ethnicity is a necessity in the absence of a strong national government (and the absence of a strong national government is guaranteed by the preference of Afghanistan’s powerful neighbors, and by the lack of a strong national identity compared to those ties of family, tribe, race an ethnicity).

This isn’t the first rodeo with banning toy guns. This link is to a photo with a caption indicating that the Germans, who probably have more national experience with gun confiscation that anybody, having at one time done it from the Pyrenees to the Crimea and everywhere in between, were confiscating toy guns in Kabul in 2003. To “prevent children to get used to playing war games.” How’s that working out?

The US has wasted, now, 15 years of effort in building cross-family/tribe/racial/ethnic institutions, including mad efforts like trying to build an Afghan National Army organized by American diversicrats to “perfectly represent Afghanistan” by counting ethnic beans. “Oh, that kandak is short Hazaras, transfer some Hazaras in from this one.” The third-raters that become American personnel officers can’t manage American personnel effectively, so you can imagine how their failure-prone policies do when imposed on a radically different culture and set of motivations.

Telling an Afghan who lives in a village that is his because its previous owners were ethnically cleansed out of there in 1998 or 1987 or 1898 under the Taliban or Soviets or Abdurrahman Khan, that Diversity is Strength, and getting him fired up about the American national pastime of racial beancounting, is about as effective as telling him his sons ought not to have toy guns, when a couple of years from now they will be firing real ones in actual combat — regardless of what overall trends occur in Afghan history.

This entry was posted in Lord Love a Duck, Unconventional Warfare on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

15 thoughts on “LA Times ID’s Afghanistan’s Problem: Toy Guns!

Neil S.

Yet another festering example of how insulated from reality many Americans (and white LA residents in particular) are. The comments following the article are uniformly directed at how Afghanistan represents the NRA’s dream for America. Even accounting for the typical newspaper commenter having the IQ of a bag of doorknobs, the fact that a large segment of the public believes that toy guns are responsible for the prevalence of violence in Afghanistan is absurd.

This guy (and most of his readership) are being Ugly Americans of a different flavor than usually intended: applying the reality of the Beltway or Hollywood to a Bronze Age culture.

Slow Joe Crow

This strengthens the case that LA is cloud cuckoo land. From what I know of Afghanistan, kids playing with toy guns is a major step forward from them being drafted as Taliban cannon and issued real guns.

Boat Guy

This, coupled with the recycled stupid trotted out by the Usual Administration Shills in reaction to a racist murder in Virginia just amplifies the level of willful inanity among the chattering classes.

Good call on the root causes of “ANA” failure.

Hognose Post author

Yep. A unit of Pashtuns would fight. As the GEICO ads say, that’s what they do. But a unit of Tajiks or Hazaras would fight, just to show the Pashtun. Blend them together and you lose all cohesion. Chalk and cheese.

Boat Guy

” Chalk and cheese.” Aye.

Fuel Filter.

To Neil S:

I was born (’51) and bred in L.A. And the Times has long ago been abandoned by anyone there with half a brain; thus the inbred Leftist comments.

Way before I left LA for San Diego (’72) I had quit that rag.

For decades the Times has been suffering from NYT penis envy.

Neil S.

Agreed: this article is tuned just for their readership. It’s what they want to hear because as Hognose says, this is the type of Special Snowflake overprotection parenting that the current LA arugula crowd can identify with. Even though anyone with a basic knowledge of any culture outside liberal America could tell you that this is a silly premise for an article, the LA Times readership can’t. And their votes count as much as ours do.

Boat Guy

They are suffering from “envy” to be sure; but i rather doubt it is the envy you refer to…

Just speculating…


*slaps self on forehead, dramatically* Of course! The solution is so simple! Why I just couldn’t see it through the NRA mind control ray-*ZAP!*-well, gotta get back to crazy bitter clinging irrational opposition to Our Enlightened Betters.


“…news conference in Kabul.”

Like any of the tribes give more than lip service, at best, to the mayor of Kabul.


At least the kid on the left has adopted some sort of firing stance and is attempting to get on the sights. Little man on the right needs some coaching. What are those? ACRs maybe?

Back when they could be I had a fairly decent looking Chinese plastic toy copy of an M16. A fond memory from my childhood was my dad teaching me how the real ones worked. More importantly, it taught the fundamentals of firearm safety too. Maybe it’s just my country boy background.

Cap’n Mike

Why are they stopping at outlawing toy guns?

Why don’t they out law the real guns also?

The Taliban would all have to go home.

The war would be over tomorrow.

The LA Times has the solution to everything.


From the Pyrenees to the Crimea and everywhere in between, except Switzerland. Oddly enough, the only European country that had a generally armed population in 1939.


Even after all the Hinds and BMP’s have left, maybe the Marxists won after all if in such a war torn country they bear a remarkable resemblance to NY City Marxists? At least the unicorn statist disarmament crowd really knows no bounds.

Talking about the Mujahideen, here is a worthy essay of insurgency warfare verses 4th generation warfare.


Not for nothing does Patterico refer to the LA Times as the Los Angeles Dog Trainer.