13 March 2010

Friendly fire

When I was a kid, I played with guns. Not actual guns, but water guns, toy guns, stick and finger and rubber band guns. Hell, my brothers and sisters and I shot bottle rockets at each other. We carried on the tradition of being children growing up in the middle of nowhere, the tradition of a world before school shooting and terrorism. And now, I have my own son, who seems intent on carrying on that tradition... Despite the fact that I would rather he didn't.

I am not a fan of guns. When a child points his obviously-play rifle at me and says "BANG," something inside me wilts and I fear I will never get it back. And now my son is doing it. I understand why, somewhat. My dad hunts with a muzzle loader. Cam watches Bugs Bunny cartoons, which are filled to the brim with guns, dynamite, and falling anvils. Last night and this morning we watched WALL-E, and as Cam was quick to point out, Eve has a gun.

Is it hypocritical of me to allow him to watch these cartoons and yet scold him when he points his finger at someone in Wal-mart in the act of "shooting" them? I don't think allowing him to play guns will turn him into a mass murderer or anything-- but the thought of him play-shooting me still makes me squeamish. Is it even more hypocritical of me that I don't mind him dealing a killing blow with a sword, but guns are off-limits?

Is it silly of me to try to ban what is, for better or worse, a part of our culture? Should I compromise to no shooting at people. Or should I just let him play, knowing that he doesn't mean anything by it and that there will never be an actual gun in my house that could hurt him/others?


  1. I'm sitting right next to you on this fence....

  2. I'd let him play. He is young enough now that the real consequences of guns is not in his understanding. When he turns 5 or 6 you'll have a better time explaining to him that it wouldn't be polite to point and shoot at people in public. America lives in a gun culture. I believe that for us to remain free we must retain the right to bear arms. Central to that idea is the practice and teaching of safety and proper use. There are far to many people out there today with guns, who don't respect the damage they can do. Sounds like you've got the right concerns. X.


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