Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gun Control Debate



My sons have always been interested in guns. Even though we've never armed them with any toy guns, they've always found creative substitutions. The toilet brush, hand weights, the vacuum, rulers, the poker for the fireplace and of course there is an endless supply of sticks in our yard. Really big sticks being preferred. One way or another, our boys have been determined to play with guns. I blame genetics. Not that it matters.

When we lived in Morocco none of their friends had guns. Hell, the police don't even have guns in Morocco. They carry whistles. Which made it really easy for me to blow them off when they whistled for me to pull my car over for traffic violations. Yes, plural. It would have been culturally insensitive to have guns there. Even though the boys fashioned their own arsenal out of sticks and duct tape. They were strictly confined to our yard which was surrounded by a 9 foot cement fence for security.

Now that we've returned to Colorado and my boys are teenagers, the gun control debate continues. In fact, it rages in our house. We were right on the precipice of allowing them to buy them with their own money and constructing a contract of responsibilities that would accompany them when the tragedy at Sandy Hook occurred.

The next morning, I was quietly sickened to see my boys innocently perusing the internet for affordable bb guns. Recent events were just too recent and I was much too raw to think about my children and guns at the same time. They didn't know that though. They also don't realize that every little choice parents make for their children isn't little at all. We're hoping we make the right one.

10 comments:

Cerebrations.biz said...

So, I should start out saying that I don't believe in them. Not that they don't exist (kind of like Santa Claus), but, that unless one hunts, by the time you "reach for it", the bad guy or gal has already provided you with their present. And, I certainly don't understand why anyone needs a semi- or fully- automatic weapon and body armor- unless one wants to be the next infamous terrorist.

And, my children have always been barred from having guns. I admit that water balloons careeming out of the window onto me were not the best sensation, but I felt better knowing that they lacked water pistols. Especially since several cops around here have killed little kids carrying water pistols....

Dangerous Linda said...

Hi, Marie:

I didn't allow my boys to have guns either but, as you say, they found their ways around it. For example, my ex once told me when he and my youngest were playing 'lazer tag' my son instructed him specifically to say "I got you!" not "I shot you!" lest I take the 'guns' away.

I appreciate the thought you are putting into this as a parent and I'm holding you in my heart as you find your way. XOXOX

Leah Griffith said...

When I was a kid we used those air rifles when we played army, or we'd pick up a stick and aim it. When my son was young he had all sorts of cheesy play guns. He had Nerf guns that shot foamy missiles, space guns that made loud noises when you shot at the aliens, western six shooters with handy holster and cowboy hat. When we couldn't find something to use for a gun we simply used our index finger, "stick em' up!" LOL!! But back then guns weren't a big deal. Every little boy had one.

These days it's a tougher decision. I suspect you will make the best choice for you and your family, and not do what other people think you should do.
Good luck with that Marie.

The Loerzels said...

@ Roy-I'm glad they're not akin to Santa. And I totally agree, it's extremeley unlikely one would have access to a gun in a moment where they need to protect themselves.
@ Linda-The other side of the coin being, if they are enamored by guns and don't learn how to handle one safely then is that in fact more of a danger to them? Hmmm.
@Leah- We had an air rifle growing up and stuffed it with mud and shot each other with it. Thus, proving mud slinging does not kill. Or does it?

Joy Page Manuel said...

For the longest time, I prohibited guns in the house...absolutely no toy guys for my son. But of course, this was too difficult to control with my hubby's huge clan...uncles started gifting guns and cousins were playing with them too. I gave in on the condition that there should be no pointing at ppl (lame but it was the manageable compromise). Anyway, I understand the predicament. Let's all just hope we are being very wise about this.

Barbara said...

It must be a cultural thing, this obsession with arms, though it is past my understanding. As children we were not allowed to play with toy pistols (I hated them anyway) but my grandmother always found a way around it to spoil her grandchildren and let them have some fun (as she thought). And we were strictly told never to point a finger at anybody. I followed my parents: no toy guns in the house but is it not strange how children will find a way to make their own out of sticks, what is the fascination with it?
The other day I heard a Republican senator speak on TV and I was shocked when he said: "If the principal had had a weapon in her office, this would not have happened!" Do people seriously buy this?

Dangerous Linda said...

@Marie:

I appreciate your dilemma. After my kids were all grown up I married a cowboy. At a family reunion on the ranch all the kids got a shooting lesson with a pistol. I was taking pictures of them and ended up being talked into trying it myself.

I was surprised by how much 'negative life spirit' I had unwittingly projected onto this inanimate machine.

Guns are not evil. Guns are tools. Guns happen to be tools I associate with killing. But, it felt good when my shot knocked the tin can off the pile...

The Loerzels said...

@ Joy-We had gifted guns to and they play with them at their friends houses (the toy variety). But, a lot of people in these parts have real guns in their homes. Thus, the need for them to know gun safety.
@Barbara-A parent in Utah sent his child to school yesterday with a real gun to protect himself. Talk about stupid.
@Linda-Exactly guns aren't evil. But, people don't kill other people with marshmallows. No, I'm wrong, killing by marshmallows just takes a lot longer.

Penelope said...

My son once gave me a small pistol to "defend" myself if necessary. I never used it, never learnt how, and was fearful the whole time I had it. Unfortunately, the precept of having guns to defend oneself/family is stronger than ever. Why have gun sales increased after the shooting in Newtown? Why can't gun lovers understand that people don't shoot people, guns do? If guns, especially assault rifles, weren't available, a lot of children in Newtown might be celebrating Christmas next week.

MuMuGB said...

The only guns that my daughters are allowed are water guns. I have to admit that i don't get why you owuld want to buy a gun, but I don't believe that I can understand, because over here, plicmen don't have guns.

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