Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"you'll shoot your eye out"

Every pacifist mother dreads the day her child starts playing with guns. I've heard several stories about parents who try very hard not to introduce guns to their home and hope their kids never see the things. Inevitably, these stories end with the parents finding their kids pointing sticks and saying, "Bang!"

At first, I avoided the topic with Graham. I called the squirt guns he encountered, "squirters" and didn't answer his questions when he saw one on TV or at the store. I wanted to wait and approach the topic with knowledge and sensitivity.

Especially in light of the recent tragedy in Arizona.



I'm afraid the time to stop avoiding it is drawing nearer. Last night, Graham pointed a long stick toy thing at me and said, "Bang! I'm going to shoot you and kill you!" Ah, music to my ears. Not really. So, I said to him, "Do not shoot people. Guns are not for shooting people." Of course, his response was, "Then what are guns for?" Out of nowhere came Papa Tony who exclaimed, "They're for hunting!"

Hunting? Good answer, but, I mean, well, I don't exactly love the idea of shooting animals, either. I even sort of put a curse on one of my friends back in middle school when he got his first hunting license. He stated his opinion on hunting: that he liked hiking and being outside, that it made him feel one with nature, and that the animal population needs to be thinned out from time to time, that it's natural. I stated my opinion: killing is killing is killing and I don't like it and I could never do it and I just like to look at deer, not shoot them. I said some sort of mumbo jumbo to him like, "I am going to hope and pray that you never, ever have to go through the experience of killing anything." We stayed friends, and all through high school he hunted like crazy and never did kill anything. He blamed the curse.

I haven't talked to him in awhile, now. I wonder if he ever did catch a deer...

"What's hunting?"

"It's when people go out in the wilderness and shoot animals, like deer, and then eat them. Sometimes the people camp, too."

"Oh! Let's go hunting and roast some marshmallows!"

The rest of the evening I listened to my boys pretend to shoot animals.

Perhaps I need to whip out my magical cursing powers once again?

And no, you don't need to point it out to me that I successfully avoided talking about guns with Graham, yet again. I realize this. Right now, he is young. His main prerogative in life is to play and to pretend and sometimes that involves pretending to play with guns. The time will come when he will want a bb gun and Tony will have to reveal his top secret experience with bb guns and I will have to ramble something about shooting his eye out.

For now, we'll just pretend to hunt.

Just one more thing to add to the list of things I never thought I'd do as a parent.


  1. Back when I was a young hippie, I made an anti hunting remark to your Uncle Terry. He took me into his living room, handed me a book, said,"Read, hippie". It showed photos of deer in every stage of starvation, not a very pretty sight. I said "Oh, I see. If we don't get'em God will, and he doesn't even need a gun." You know the rest of the story. Ol' Dad put a dinner or two of elk steak and venison on our table. And,if you recall, Hank and you used to consider jerky as your favorite candy. And if I remember correctly, you put some tasty Snake River cut-throats on the menue. But now the fish are starting to get even. They load up on mercury, let us eat them, we die, and feed the worms. And what do fish love more than worms? But, concerning guns and children, Grahm is old enough for ya'll to start stressing to him what to do if he is exposed to a situation, say at a friends home, and his buddy wants to "show him something." You here about all to often. When he gets older ya'll can give him your views on gun control. Your's, "Throw 'em all in the ocean." Tony's, "Hit where you are aiming." The movie that photo is from is Tracy's favorite holiday movie. Loveandmissyou, Dad

  2. I have been the same way with Carson and guns. There just seems to be something a little too harsh about a 2-year-old chasing you while yelling, "Bang!"
    On another note: your post with your appetizer pictures ... I am still drooling! What a domestic diva you are! I had to look up the recipe for cookie dough dip, and I think the instant I am done writing this comment I will go make it. The hardest thing for me during pregnancy is resisting cookie dough (raw eggs and what not). If this dip is as good as I think it's going to be ... you are so officially my new favorite person! (You were already way up there on the list, anyway!)

  3. By the way you don't catch a deer. I asked Russ that once when he and Sean went hunting. They had a good laugh at me!
    Love your blog!