I’m not a big gun fan. I’ve never understood hunting — I think if your favorite past time is shooting something just to watch it die and your favorite scene in Bambi is when his mother bites it, there’s something seriously wrong with you. And please don’t write to me about how you do it for the meat — just admit that you like killing stuff. That’s like the CEO’s of companies that produce everything overseas saying they’re doing it to “help the local economy and provide affordable products here at home.” Just admit that you’re greedy — we all know you’re greedy. Quit pretending to care about people. It’s annoying.
But back to the guns. I know target shooting is fun, but no one needs semiautomatics to do that. And we all know the statistics about how safe it actually is to have one in the house for “protection,” especially with kids. So as far as I can see, there’s only one good reason for having one around: worldwide biological disaster. Because you’re going to need something to fight off the zombies.
You may be shocked to hear, however, that my son plays with guns. He has guns that shoot lasers, guns that shoot green balls, guns that shoot suction-cup darts, and a gazillion guns that go with his Legos and Star Wars people. He likes the “idea” of shooting stuff. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that barring a psychotic break, he’s not going to become a serial killer as a result of playing with these toys (although they may cause me to have some sort of psychotic break, but that’s an entirely different story).
Anyway, the reason I’ve been thinking so much about one of my least favorite topics is because of a recent story involving a kid who got in trouble for bringing a gun to school. A toy gun. Now, I’m all for keeping weapons out of schools, but this stuff has pretty much crossed the “rational thinking” line. In keeping with their “zero tolerance” policy, the principal called the police when a 7-year-old brought a Nerf gun to school.
|The toy looked similar to this one.|
Granted, I don’t know much about guns so I may be wrong, but I don’t think the real ones come in these colors. The kid apparently faces misdemeanor charges and could receive counseling for his horrific behavior. I’m thinking after this crap, he’s going to need counseling — to explain why grown-ups are so crazy.
I started thinking that maybe people were just particularly tense and freaky because of the recent Arizona shooting (hell, I’m tense and freaky). But while I was googling, I found this story from a year ago about a 9-year-old who was suspended for bringing this to school:
That’s right. He was suspended because of a Lego gun. He was going to a friend’s house after school and had brought some of his Legos for them to play with.
Now, maybe I’m naive. Maybe both of these boys are just time bombs waiting to go off. But I’m thinking, no. I’m thinking they’re the victims of adults who are completely incapable of seeing any kind of gray area. Adults who apparently don’t have anything better to do with their time. And what really scares the crap out of me is that these are the people who are educating our kids.
And then it dawned on me. What this really is, is domino bullying. Administrators feel bullied to follow this regulation and meet that standard. Then they bully the teachers. And then all of them, with their balls cut off and their autonomy striped, go and bully the kids.
So where does that lead? To kids who feel there’s no justice in the world. To kids who feel confused. And powerless. And worst of all, cynical.
And if you ask me, those are the kids who we should really be worrying about.