It’s innocent, right?

July 24, 2012

I had the subject of guns on my blogging “to do” list and then this horrific tragedy happened in Colorado. I thought no better time than the present to address my concerns about guns. I try to avoid political topics while sometimes bringing up controversial parenting issues. I really hope that I get some feedback on this matter.

For Drew’s birthday, he received water guns. Water guns are certainly an innocent age old toy. I have never supported guns but also never really thought about how I would handle guns, even innocent water guns, entering my house. Part of me wanted to just keep them because it potentially could be an innocent enough water toy but the larger part of me felt that it may become a slippery slope.

Fortunately I came across water eliminators, which are a much nicer alternative to water guns. Drew made a couple mentions of the water guns he got at his party, but I just explained to him that we don’t keep guns in our house and the water eliminators can be just as much fun. Crisis diverted?

We recently went somewhere that they were making balloon animals. Innocent enough, right? Well Drew came back with a balloon “gun.” It made me realize that no matter what I do, Drew as a boy will still have an interest in guns. I can try to shield him all I want but this topic is certainly not over.

As a parent, it will always be our responsibility to teach our children about our values. And although I understand that that is my job, I’m not always so sure how to go about doing so. It is an important value to me that there is no place for guns in our lives. It is an important value to me that guns only bring heartache and tragedy. And as much as I try to preach that to my children, they are just words. I’m not sure how to convey the gravity of the situation.

And when our safety is threatened, the intensity becomes worse. I remember very clearly the day that the Columbine shootings happened, it was one of those JFK assassination kinda things for me. The thought that we aren’t even safe in our schools shook me to the core. It was the first time I realized that life was so very fragile. This tragedy at the movie theater is no exception to those feelings.

I pray that my children lead a sheltered life where their safety, their innocence is always maintained. But I am realistic and know that it is impossible to expect that will be the case. So all I feel like I can do is preach my beliefs, stand my ground on my values, and try to encourage open communication. But at times it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle when interests in guns is such an inherent boy coming of age thing. I can’t help but think if more people tried my approach, maybe we’d have less of these devastating tragedies. But then again, who am I and what do I know?

4 thoughts on “It’s innocent, right?

  1. As long as we teach children that it is acceptable to use guns in the pretend world, they will think it is okay to grow up using real ones in the real world.

  2. I too tried to resist guns for Ben, then gave up about the time he turned 5 or 6. It is almost impossible to avoid them with boys. Other boys will have them. There probably isn’t hardly a 10 year old boy in our town that doesn’t own a nerf gun. Then there are video games with guns. Unfortunately they are so prevalent in our culture that it gets darn near impossible to avoid them. Good Luck! I finally gave up.

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