I’ve written about them before. About my own distaste for them and my fear over my little boy getting to “into” them. I’ve even written about how I willingly took to the land of laser tag and *gasp* enjoyed it.
But yet, here we are talking about guns again. Because I clearly still have some issues with them. Like when my son goes and hangs with his uncle – my older brother that lives with us up on the 3rd floor – and watches as he plays some sort of cowboy shoot ’em up video game. The kid couldn’t have watched more than fifteen minutes total until I pulled him, kicking and screaming (okay, it was more like whining and moaning), down for bath time.
In the time it took me to fill up the tub, two things happened.
He had taken his purple and pink doll stroller (his doll stroller!!), folded it up, and turned it into a rifle. I stood in awe, speechless for a few moments. My gaping mouth drew his attention, and he looked over to me, his face splitting into a huge grin “awesome, huh?”
No, not awesome at all, really. I rubbed my temples.
“Please go put that away and get ready for the bath.”
With a sigh and a shrug of his shoulders, off he went into his room, where I foolishly assumed he was getting ready for his bath, due to the absence of the “bam! bam! bam!” noises that had been sounding out previously.
However, I walked into his room to find him hard at work:
Despite being proud of his lovely artistic skills, I was a bit flabbergasted again. This is a kid that until a 1/2 hour before, had never sat down and watched a violent video game, and less than 30 minutes later he’s practicing his shot with a stroller and dry erasing gun fights.
And there are still some people who don’t think violent video games impact children.
Now, does that mean that I think he’s going to become some sociopath who offs real turtles in his spare time or turns to a life of crime? Not at all. But it definitely gave me pause and reminded me how impressionable these spongey children of ours are.
Later on in the evening, during his bath, we had a long chat. I asked him why he liked guns so much and what was interesting about them. He didn’t have a clear answer beyond “…they’re just awesome.” I explained to him that I thought superheroes who protected people from guns (without using any themselves) were pretty awesome, which he thought over for a bit and seemed to agree with.
I knew I wasn’t going to change his mind about his love of guns, and I didn’t really try to. I just wanted to explain to him why I’m so uneasy about guns. And while I’m still in a muddled headspace when it comes to boys and guns, at least I know we can talk about it and he’s receptive when I explain my trepidations. And, in the meantime, while we don’t have any actual toy guns in the house, the stroller, a drumstick, or even a stalk of celery seem to suffice in the meantime.
Am I alone in this uncertainty, this trepidation? Talk to me folks – ease my mind, commiserate, or tell me to lighten up. Just assure me I’m not the only one trying to figure this firearms thing out…