This post on gun control is one I wrote in relation to a different mass shooting not the latest tragedy in Las Vegas. The message, however, is still the same: when are we going to take guns out of the hands of our children?
Yesterday morning we woke to read of ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING in the US. At midday, we read President Obama’s praise of Australia’s gun laws. By evening, two people were shot and killed in a Sydney street by a teenager. I won’t pretend to know about gun laws but here is my suggestion to help keep guns off our streets: take them out of children’s hands.
Sure, we can pat ourselves on the back for Obama’s recognition of our laws but we have more work to do in curbing Australian gun culture, starting with the youngest in our society. We need to minimise killing as a form of play. We need to stop giving replica guns as toys.
Guns are not toys. Guns are not toys. Guns are not toys.
I know this is difficult. I get it. I currently have two boys in the backyard using a vacuum cleaner nozzle for a blaster. I’ve taken them to laser tag, got drenched with water pistols in summer and recently purchased bow and arrows (with plastic sticky heads) from a sword-wielding Medieval Faire. My problem is with the normalisation of killing for play. It really bothers me. It’s such a mixed message.
How can we be horrified by real-life shootings then hand a toy replica of the very same killing machine to play with? It just doesn’t make sense. Even though they are colourful, plastic, romanticised and character aspiring – they are still guns, and guns, the real ones, are not toys they kill a lot of people.
A quick search of the word ‘gun’ in the toy section of our major chains produced over 130 results. Admittedly, most were tiny pieces in Lego packs but then there were the Nerf collection of gender/colour based guns and crossbows, and other toys like the ones above.
I wonder what results we would see if (like education of our planet and environment, education of abuse and domestic violence, education in race, gender and equality) we were to collectively shift the norm in children’s play to remove killing machines?