I fought the gun and the gun won

Like most earnest and well-educated parents I decided that when I had children we would be “gun-free”. No shooting toys period.* (Except water guns because those aren’t about killing, they’re about laughing. And Nerf guns because, well, I don’t know. They’re just different.)

I’ve always preferred my boys to pretend to kill and maim each via hand-to-hand combat. You should be able to look someone in the eyes while you hurt them. Thus swords and knives were always fully acceptable. Bows and arrows are OK too. (Yes, I am aware that it’s possible to shoot someone with a pistol while staring at them. And it’s possible to kill someone with an arrow from really far away. We thoughtful parents don’t operate in grey areas, OK?)

My husband is a gentle soul who doesn’t care much for roughhousing or video games so York and Finn were raised in a kindly manner and were always fine with the no-gun rule. Violence is just not something they were really exposed to. They didn’t even try to make guns out of Legos or toast. I patted myself on the back for being an exemplary mother.

Everything was smooth sailing until Finn turned eight. Grandpa was in town and took Finn shopping for his birthday. They got back from the toy store with seven guns and a machete.

I may be a pacifist but I am not a meanie. The guns stayed and things have gone downhill ever since.

This year York and Finn will find these airsoft beauties under the Christmas tree (they’ll love you forever, Grandpa!):

The slogan for this Thompson M1A1 is “the gun that changed the world.” Yep, tell that to the Indians.

*For about the first three days of parenthood I actually thought it would be possible for our children to be raised with only wooden toys. The naïveté of new parents is so hilarious. We did manage to stay Barbie-free until about three years ago, though.

| Filed under Bad Things, Christmas, Funny

7 thoughts on “I fought the gun and the gun won

  1. Ha! I am the same way. Started off saying no guns. Then I caved on the Nerf guns, then on the "not very realistic" looking "cap gun" from the museum store purchased by a grandparent, etc…

  2. Okay, Jennie, so my 3 year old who's OBSESSED with guns came in while I was reading this post. Immediately he pointed at the picture of the gun on the screen and said, "What's that gun called?" "Um, looks like Thompson M1 A1" I replied. "I'm going to make that gun with my blocks! I love that gun!" he responded. He's in the family room now, making a replica with his Trio blocks.

    Thanks a lot. 🙂

  3. Ah, guns are a part of our house too. From under one Bennett has turned everything he can find into a gun or sword, I just say it's "a boy thing." That is a cool gun, I'm sure Bennett would LOVE one for Christmas.

  4. Seven years later, we're still gun-free. They got a space laser gun at one point, and then, at another point, it ended up in the trash. Lightsabers? Sure.

    According to your timetable, however, we only have another year of gun-free. Meh.

  5. "You'll shoot your eye out!"

    Never have guns not been a large part of our lives. Daddy had a gun before they my little gents were even born. Son One goes shooting with his daddy and Son Two makes guns out of pencils. It's just in their genes to be big gun fans.

  6. We managed to stay Barbie free until last year when my daughter turned six and several of my in-laws staged an intervention by taking her to Wal-Mart to buy Barbies. Sigh.

    She actually hardly ever plays with them anymore; I think I should just buy her a ream of paper and a bunch of scotch tape and let her have at it.

    I don't think my kids even know what to call guns–they always call them 'shooters'. They watch a lot of superhero cartoons and read comic books, but there actually aren't that many guns involved in those.

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