Are you pro-gun or anti-gun? What about for your children? My father was a hunter and I had many uncles and cousins who were hunters. I even had one uncle who was a trapper, he was called Trapper John. Yet, because of a horrific gun incident in the family just a few weeks after our wedding, I was against having guns in our home. Our compromise was a locked gun cabinet.
Our first child, a son, was born two years later. We decided guns would not be a part of his playthings. As a pre-schooler he turned every elongated object into a gun. Every stick was a gun. Every straw was a gun. A baseball bat could serve as a gun. Even a piece of toast could be bitten at until it was the shape of a gun. I had lost the battle against guns.
It was either the water guns or the small wooden rifle which broke the barrier. We used the wooden rifle to talk about gun safety and to hunt imaginary rabbits in the living room. I am not opposed to lawfully hunting game for food. I greatly appreciate anyone sharing their venison with me. I have less arthritis pain when I eat wild caught, free- range meat.
Water guns became larger and larger holding greater and greater amounts of water. Undoubtedly someone would eventually grab the hose and the water play escalated into a battle.
For the cooler months Nerf dart guns were harmless and lots of fun. Googles were required when our sons delved into rubberband guns. The entire family room would be transformed for these battles. All three boys and their sister would play outside with the lazer guns. These games would spread across the yards of several neighbors. Lazer guns could be played a night, which was an added bonus for our aging children.
As teenagers and young adults they loved playing with air soft guns and paint ball guns. They still do. There is an element of competition and excitement involved in this play. On the plus, side this play also includes running, exercise and fresh air.
Our youngest son, who is 10 years behind his next closest sibling, did not play with guns quite as much as his older siblings. But he did have every one of the types of guns previously listed. He also designed, built and sold some pvc guns for shooting marshmallows or Nerf darts.
I do sometimes wonder if we had had 4 girls and 1 son, rather than the reverse of that, if gun play would have been less of an issue. I don’t know the answer. Testosterone did reign in our home.
There is a huge difference in a play gun and a real gun. A real gun is a weapon and a tool. It must be treated with respect and caution. Always assume a real gun is loaded. Safety lessons should be repeated in any home for all the occupants where there are guns, even those locked in cabinets.
I am not sorry I lost the gun battle. All my children have a very healthy respect for guns. We all appreciate our U.S. Constitutional Second Amendment rights to bear arms. It is the criminals who are not lawful or respectful of human life.