After the Colorado shooting I posted this on my blog and ever since my blog got wiped out due to my own fault I have never re-posted the old ones. And now I think is the best time that I start doing so.
Here’s why I think the issue is not just about gun control but rather more on making our kids understand what guns are for and when it is proper and not proper to use it.
Guns and Kids
Here’s a fact: our son Marcus never owned a toy gun even until now. The things I’ve learned from experience, magazines, books, stories from friends, and especially the news have made me decide then that I will never ever allow my son to play with guns. I know that this is unfair as I am quite sure that I have had the leisure of playing with toy guns when I was his age; but yes, I have resisted buying him any toy that resembles a firearm. I was strict up the point of reminding friends and relatives that they should not give toy guns as gift for Marcus – water guns included.
I am, however, beginning to have a change of heart. I am starting to realize that boys will be boys no matter what and at some point of their lives they will start to get interested in guns. Some factors, either internally or externally, will get these young guys to be fascinated with firearms. Aside from us parents who own a gun, they will also regularly see soldiers, policemen, and security guards who will likely take the role of ‘heroes’ and thus be emulated. Not to be forgotten is the ever influential media – from print to TV – wherein our sons would see guns being advertised, used to enforce the law, or even to carry out a crime.
So how should we deal with this reality? Personally, I now think that no amount of isolation would prevent our little boys from one day playing with toy guns with other kids because whether we like it or not, they will.
It is therefore crucial that at an early age our children must be aware what guns are for and the unnecessary harm it can inflict if not used properly. Guidance is key. As much as possible spend time with them as they watch TV as even the well-meaning cartoon shows would have characters who would use a gun or an arsenal of explosives to blow their foes to smithereens. Likewise, it is important that our kids identify the real thing from the replica – a law requires that any toy gun should have a red or orange tip.
Responsible gun ownership is also imperative. Other than proper handling, guns should be stored properly. Despite their tiny fragile hands, kids already have enough strength to pull the trigger of a gun such as what happened in October last year when a 3-year who accidentally shot herself after she got hold of her neighbor’s gun. It was that incident that prompted me to lock my gun case at home.
With the recent Colorado Theater tragedy, the heated debate on guns and ammunitions acquisition and possession will surely come back to life. But while different countries have their own gun control laws, the role of parenting on this issue cannot be undermined. Whether one lives in Kentucky where anybody can been seen carrying a weapon in public or in the Philippines where ideally only those with a permit to carry (PTC) will be allowed to bring their guns outside of their residence, our kids should know that guns in the wrong hands or state of mind will spell trouble and usually the damage it will cause is irreversible unlike those Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny shootouts.
I got Marcus his first camouflage GI helmet (cheap one) but did not buy him a toy gun. He said he’ll settle for a sword but I know that he is just being sarcastic. Soon Marcus, soon.
Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Rainy Sunday. Marcus is out. I think it’s time I clean my gun.)
posted on July 22, 2012