On Feb. 5, a 10-year-old boy was arrested by police officers for bringing a toy gun (visibly a toy and not a weapon) onto a bus. His family and friends and numerous members of his community are outraged. They are crying “enough is enough,” and I have to agree.
When I read the story about the 6-year-old girl getting suspended from school for talking about a Hello Kitty Bubble Gun to her friend on the playground, I thought “Has this world finally lost all common sense?” Let’s hope not, but it’s not looking good, folks.
When my brothers were young they filled our yard with dirt mounds covered in green army men. Many of the green army men carried firearms and most of them met their demise by small firecrackers planted among the dirt mounds. It was a brutal event for these little green men, but it was also a way of life that most young boys enjoyed. To my knowledge it did not generate leagues of cold and calculated killers.
I have yet to read anywhere that Hello Kitty Bubble Guns are used for tactical training purposes. Maybe that’s part of the secret weapons we are not privy to. Who knows?
I think we are making pawns of our children for political purpose and taking away the innocence of youth. It is time to let children be children and to stop this crazy over-reactive behavior of a few that is causing these poor children to feel ashamed and guilty for being children.
Who doesn’t know the classic line in A Christmas Story where the young boy is repetitively told, “You’ll shoot your eye out,” in regards to his desire for a Red Ryder BB Gun. Most everyone in my neighborhood either had a BB gun or a big brother who had one. We would spend the day tracking through the woods with a packed lunch on adventures that usually led to a few mosquito bites, a couple scratches that were mended with a band-aid and rubbing alcohol and a good night’s sleep.
It is remarkable to me that we provide children with an endless array of video games with the most graphic of details regarding guns and war — even if you as a parent don’t provide these, one of your child’s friends’ parents probably do — and then we chastise them when they just want to play.
Shame on all of us. Children are overwhelmed daily by news through the Internet, social media and television — outdoor play time is replaced by TV and computer babysitters. We are over-stimulating their young minds and giving them no reason to just go outside and play! Maybe we all need to take a deep breath and re-start that part of our brains that reminds us how we used to play as children. We turned out OK, right?
Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.
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