David and I had this conversation in the car last week:
David: “Mom, we can’t have guns at school, only at home, right?”
Me: “Well, David, we actually can’t have guns at school or at home or anywhere.”
David: “That’s okay, Mom, I can just make a gun with my finger.”
Now I assure you, we do not now, nor have we ever, had guns in our home. I’m not aware that we allow David to watch TV programs that contain guns or shooting. (Of course, there is the random commercial that comes on virtually every station.)
My friend Lin, who has two boys, warned me of this years ago – that it doesn’t really matter whether you buy them toy guns or not, they’ll just use a Popsicle stick or an index finger. It’s funny and frightening at the same time.
I realize that we live in a culture of violence, and because it’s everywhere, it’s difficult to shield children from it. But I also think that males are hunters. Just as you don’t need to teach a racehorse to run fast, you don’t need to teach a male child to shoot things (or pretend to, at least.) I’m not suggesting that we give up and give every male child a gun. I will continue my prohibition of toy guns in our home.
I don’t know the point of all this. Just that it’s complex, this issue of guns.