Just in time for summer, here’s some advice regarding why you should set fire to your child’s collection of water pistols.
Writing for the website PopSugar, author Lauren Levy declares that no child should ever be permitted to play with water pistols because those that do may become homicidal maniacs later in life.
And like so many other people who grow up to be totally unreasonable, Levy blames her mother.
From her masterpiece on the deadly nature of squirt guns:
My mom was pretty relaxed during our childhood and only had a few nonnegotiable, never ever going to change, concrete rules. Her biggest: no water guns.
This water gun ban had nothing to do with water shooting toys in general (though with four kids running around it would’ve made sense that she didn’t want the water wars) and everything to do with her firm belief that guns are not toys. We still had all of the same Summer fun, but with water squirters that didn’t look like deadly weapons and never trivialized this important topic. We didn’t make childhood memories with an object inspired by something that kills kids daily.
That the biggest no-no in her childhood home was playing with water pistols is a bit weird notwithstanding (what about, for instance, hopping in the passenger seat of a shady van to help a stranger find a puppy?), Levy is missing that her mother’s water gun phobia was just kind of stupid on its face.
She even, without realizing it, goes on to say so:
We didn’t have a gun in our home, but I think my mom’s passionate stance on water guns is even more important for those who do. A gun is a serious and powerful object that can permanently destroy lives. The sooner people start taking this topic seriously, the safer our children will be.
Even if they’re colorful and super cool, kids shouldn’t be playing with water guns because it normalizes the real thing. Kids need to learn that guns aren’t toys. There’s nothing fun or playful about this serious topic and it doesn’t matter if it’s a water pistol or a semi-automatic rifle — a firearm isn’t a laughing matter.
Had her mother been a responsible gun owner, there’s no way that children in the home would ever conflate a harmless water pistol with the real thing.
Levy is totally right about one thing: “A gun is a serious and powerful object that can permanently destroy lives.”
That’s exactly what any responsible gun owner would teach his or her children. And millions do.
But those same folks also teach their children that a gun is a serious and powerful object that can protect and enrich lives if used responsibly; that’s why the 2nd Amendment exists.
Her mother’s irrational fear of water pistols makes one wonder whether toy cars and fake kitchen knives were also off limits. Their grown up counterparts are, after all, serious and powerful objects that can destroy lives when used incorrectly.
Again from Levy:
Each day in the United States, 48 kids and teens are shot either accidentally or intentionally. We tell kids that guns are dangerous, to never touch one if you see one, and to tell an adult immediately if you ever see one at school. At the same time, we are handing them idolized versions of these objects that we’re trying to teach them to treat with extreme caution. If a child becomes familiar and comfortable playing toy gun, what’s going to stop their inquisitive hand from reaching out for the real thing if it ever crosses his or her path?
Ever look at the stats regarding the number of children and adolescents killed in car accidents each week?
We tell our children not to take our cars, yet…
Children who play with toy guns and who are also taught just how deadly and serious the real thing is by responsible, gun-owning guardians never become comfortable playing with the real thing.
Neither do their parents.
But both the parent and the child in the responsible, gun-owning home knows that a gun is a serious and powerful OBJECT that is always as safe as its user.
And now we find why Levy is so very unreasonable:
These “toys” are also sending mixed messages and diluting the most important ones: guns are no joke. Guns aren’t innocent, even if they are “harmless” and in plastic form. These are weapons that can end lives, and as much as we want to teach our kids about gun control and safety, we contradict ourselves the second we allow them to run around with toy versions to shoot their friends.
Guns, being inanimate, are indeed innocent in the strictest sense of the word.
It’s just that some people are evil and/or stupid.
And that’s precisely why so many of us prefer to teach our children about the power, deadliness and serious nature of a real firearm. Respect it; and when you’re old enough, know how to use it…
As for water pistols… most of us would rather see those laying around the house than Transgender Barbie, or whatever the latest normalization toy of the week happens to be.
After all, we don’t want our youngsters growing up to be unreasonable freaks who are terrified of things that happen to look like cartoonish versions of things they aren’t.