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Diatribe: Guns Are Not Toys.

05/02/2013

MyFirstRifleI grew up in a household where we were taught that “guns are not toys”.  My father enjoyed hunting for pheasants, etc. and he kept at least one shotgun in the house.  When he would clean it before a hunting trip he would let us watch and he taught us to respect the gun.  “Guns are not toys.”  We were never allowed to point anything at anyone’s face.  Not even squirt guns or “cap guns” because you never know when something might happen and the gun might fire.

“Guns are not toys.”

As a pre-teen, I got a BB gun.  While other kids in the neighborhood might shoot at squirrels or birds, I only shot at targets.  Usually a tin can on a stump sort of thing.  One day, I remember I was sitting on our covered patio around which my mother had hung a string of patio lights as a functional outdoor decoration, when I got the bright idea to take a shot at one of the lights as it hovered in the breeze.  I took aim, squeezed the trigger, missed the patio light and shot out a window in the back of the house frightening my mother beyond words.

“Guns are not toys.”

There’s one less child in Kentucky this week as a two-year-old girl has been shot and killed by her five-year-old brother who was playing with a gun.  The little boy picked up the gun, sold as “My First Rifle”, from where it was kept in the corner of the house and it accidentally fired when he began playing with it.  The children’s mother, who was home when the shot was fired, rushed her daughter to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“It’s a Crickett.  It’s a little rifle for a kid.  The little boy’s used to shooting the little gun. … Just one of those crazy accidents.” – Cumberland County, KY Coroner Gary White

“Guns are NOT toys.”

This was not a “crazy accident”.  Frankly, I’m disgusted by the fact that weapons of any kind are manufactured and marketed in a variety of vibrant kid-friendly colors and designs.  The company’s website implies the rifle aims to “instill safety in the minds of youth shooters.”  Furthermore, what reasonable adult parents a five-year-old child that is “used to shooting the little gun”?  It seems to me that these parents wanted their little boy to learn how to kill.  They didn’t give him a pellet gun, a cap gun or even a BB gun … they gave him a rifle.  He’s only five years old.

“Guns are NOT TOYS.”

Lawmakers across the nation have been vigorously debating legislation concerning the availability of weapons, bans on assault rifles, background checks, etc. in an effort to control gun violence and deaths in our nation.  How can we expect to keep guns out of the hands of those who might harm us when we give them to our children as gifts?

“GUNS ARE NOT TOYS!”

My parents, and many other like them, were right to teach us that “guns are not toys”.  We didn’t play with knives, we didn’t play with matches and we didn’t play with guns.  Some things, we were instructed, were for adults only.  I’d wager that the parents of these children call themselves “responsible gun owners”.  Let’s see if they take any responsibility for the fact that one of their children murdered the other.

UPDATE 05/02/13 – The “Kids Corner” page, as well as the rest of the Crickett company’s website, has been disabled.

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6 Comments
  1. “Just one of those crazy accidents.”
    Which never would have happened if guns weren’t marketed as toys–and I’m talking real guns that are painted and named to appeal to motherf**king children–and if children didn’t have access to guns.
    Say it again, D&O: GUNS.ARE.NOT.TOYS.

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  2. I 99% agree with you. Until the last line. That poor boy didn’t murder his sister. His idiot parents did. He was just the one holding the smoking gun, so to speak. He will live the rest of his life with the guilt and blame of the most idiotic choice a parent can possibly make. Let’s not call him a murderer on top of it. (I know you didn’t mean that he’s a “murderer,” but the word “murder” by definition is the premeditated killing of another” and we can all agree that is not what happened for that kid.) God help that little boy because his life and stability have a long road ahead.

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    • It’s VERY sad that this little boy will live the rest of his life knowing that, because of his parents’ ridiculously poor decision, he shot the rifle that took his sister’s life. You make a good point … perhaps I could have used the words “killed” or “killer” instead of “murdered” or “murderer” (either way his little sister is gone because he shot her) but, at the time, the focus of my disgust was on the parents and not the little boy.

      I sincerely hope the boy is removed from that dangerous home. Perhaps we haven’t heard the end of this story.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

  3. Good post. We are debating the wrong issue. The gun control issue is over what happens everyday. This is not an isolated incident. This happens every day in America. I use this example all the time, but if you add up all of children/ teen gun deaths in the top 23 countries in the world, the US has 87% of them. Saying it a different way, for every 100 children gun deaths in the top 23 countries, the US is home to 87 of them. That means the other 22 countries are home to 13 of them. Background checks and training are musts in this country. And, I would add that you need to renew your license just as you do your driver’s license. We cannot outlaw stupidity, but someone has to speak up for the children in the US. Thanks, BTG

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  4. I played with toy guns as a kid. And I pointed and fired. Didn’t we all? This poor little boy. He is 5 and his life is as over as his sister’s. What a tragedy.

    The gun culture has a whole lot to answer for.

    Like

  5. I really can’t understand parents who don’t teach their children what is safe & what is not. This whole gun controversy drives me up the wall!

    Like

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