Archive for June, 2018

The Next Thing to Destory: Toy Guns

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

UK Independent:

Prince George was pictured playing alongside Princess Charlotte and The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday, but not everyone was happy about the four-year-old’s choice of toy – a pretend gun.

The Duke of Cambridge was playing in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, on Sunday afternoon.

And, while Prince William took part, Kate and their children – minus Prince Louis – had fun in the sun.

Images from the event captured Prince George playing with a toy gun, knife and handcuffs…
:
…the images have subsequently sparked a debate on Twitter with many calling the decision to let Prince George play with a toy gun “disappointing.”

“Sad to see George playing with a gun when the whole country has a gun/knife crime situation,” one person wrote.
:
Another added: “This isn’t okay anymore… My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA but my British side agrees.

“No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real.”

Via The Daily Gator, via Pirate’s Cove.

Like many who are going to be reading this, I think this is just fine; in fact, I take some level of personal offense against the whole thing, since playing with toy guns was a normal part of childhood back when I was in it. So since I’m on the normal side of this disagreement, let me take a closer look at the abnormal. We have: People who are genuinely concerned about the gun violence problem, and think this objection of theirs might have something to do with stopping it, or slowing it. And then there are cultural-reformers who wish to manhandle the borders of the Overton Window, dictating to the rest of us what we are to perceive as mainstream and what we are to regard as fringe-kooky. They’d like to bulldoze anything gun-related into the gutter…and it isn’t about stopping or slowing violence.

For them, the world’s children are just yards on a battlefield, in the midst of a protracted culture war. The generations-long, cold civil war.

This isn’t even about guns. For a child that age, guns have nothing to do with danger, or violence — much of the fascination has to do with remote control. I can stand over here, and change the state of that object, clear over there. This might be a curious thing for someone to bring up about it, but we should be discussing that aspect of it more often because far from being merely harmless, that’s an important part of a child’s development. Children have a need to become accustomed to achieving direct effect on the world around them; getting comfortable with the idea of engaging action, as a leader, on an individual level, and seeing that action translated into a consequence. Later on they can become acquainted with the concept of irreversible investments, and point-of-commitment. What you do today, you cannot undo tomorrow. From that, comes the understanding of responsibility.

Now some of these gun-grabbing helicopter-moms mean well, but starving kids from having these experiences is not the right way to go. It is a sort of neglect taking place. And it’s being encouraged from several different levels in our evolving, global society, in such a way that it seems to me some of the proponents must be aware. I don’t like to think in terms of “conspiracies,” but there are many conspiracy-ingredients here. There is motivation. Political agendas that, for any aspiration of success, require a ballooning of that sorry segment of the populace suffering from this atrophy. The sad sacks who know how to identify problems, but can’t comprehend how they, as individuals, could make anything better through their direct action, and so must take to the streets to do something called “protest.” About everything.

No, I’m not saying use guns to solve problems currently addressed through peaceful-protests. Did I say that? No. My point is, at this age the brain is all tied up in a frenzy, developing itself. We talk so much about empowering kids, elevating their “sense of self esteem” and so forth. This is where kids learn about thinking-globally-acting-locally, as the saying goes. How to do stuff for themselves. How not to become complaining bitter bitches about every little thing, waiting for some magical Deus ex Machina to come along and make it all better. You know…how not to be that guy that, when you’re planning a hiking or camping trip, you want to leave this squealing little whiner behind, or lie to him about which trailhead or what date. It is the first step to becoming a productive citizen, ready to live a full, rich life.

We place such a premium value these days on outrage. Well, I’m personally “outraged,” to a very limited extent, by the question. Perhaps “bored” is a more accurate term. But I see some danger in it too.