You’ll shoot your eye out

thWhen my son was young, I wouldn’t let him have toy guns.

He made everything into a gun.

Play dough, utensils, etc.

He drew pictures of guns and soldiers

He watched westerns and military shows.

He read books about wars and snipers.

He wanted a BB gun.

I said no.

I was afraid he would get hurt.

I heard about a kid when I was younger that shot another kid by mistake.

The boy had found a gun hidden in a closet and they were playing with it.

He pointed it at the other kid, and it was loaded.

I didn’t think my son needed a gun.

I finally broke down one summer and let my son have a super soaker.

He eventually bought a paint ball gun as he got older with his own money.

I held fast to the no BB guns rule.

When he turned 18, he could buy his own BB gun if he still wanted one.

My son played video games, and excelled at first shooter play.

I monitored his games and the ratings.

He was naturally a good shot.

He went to Scout camp and won medals for shooting.

I still didn’t want him to have a gun.

I never wanted a gun in my house.

I have taught many little boys who idolized guns, watched violence both real and fantasy, and feared cops.

They all made everything into a gun whether or not they were allowed one to play with a toy one.

I allowed violent role play in my classroom, or on the playground.

1463434_1517130698546979_4618161023862365337_nThe orange safety cap that designates it as a toy or BB gun is removable.

Kids take them off to make them look more real.

Play guns should not look real.

Kids use to play Cops and Robbers, and Cowboy and Indians.

Kids today still play shooting games.

Now they play on Xbox and PlayStation, and it is more realistic.

They play in groups online.

They strategize and congratulate over kills.

They have no fear of guns.

They idolize violent heroes.

Kids today are more leery of police than seeing them as community helpers.

Boys I taught ,when they saw the cops go by on the playground, would yell “cops- run” or get quiet and hide.

I had officers come into to read books to them because they didn’t trust cops.

They wouldn’t talk to the officer for the longest time.

When they finally did- they said ” My Dad got arrested.” “My uncle is in jail.” “A guy got shot on my street.” “My parents got into a fight.”

The officer sat there mouth open, book down, listening to these little ones talk about guns, killing, violence and jail.

Cops were their enemy not the savior.

There was no trust with the uniform.

The death of a 12 year boy recently in the news saddens and scares me.

He shouldn’t have been waving a toy gun ,without an orange safety label , around on a playground and scaring people.

It looked real- toy guns should not be life like.

It is a shame that people rush to assume that kids are violent now.

The cops should have been informed by the 911 operator who reported that the witness “Didn’t know if it was a real gun or a toy.”

Some kids think some cops shoot first, ask questions later.

Some cops think some kids are delinquents.

There is miscommunication on both sides.

No one wins.

There is a need for more education and training.

It is time for more patience and much needed understanding.

Boys aren’t making it to Manhood.

60e115073a78b883b0f71a125f5c4314c882109ae88f871397bbeafa611b4121I don’t worry about kids shooting their eye out anymore with BB guns.

A Christmas Story reminds us of the innocence of children, and the dangers of toy guns.

I worry about kids being shot for  being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I worry about kids being shot for holding a toy gun, for their putting hands in their pocket, or walking away from a cop talking to them.

I worry that police are so scared of boys that they get an itchy trigger finger.

I worry that they don’t ask questions first, don’t use other non violent techniques to disarm and subdue, and that they think about recent kills in the media before they confront people.

I worry that the little ones I taught will end up dead, or behind bars.

I pray for the sons, brothers, cousins.

Mine, Yours, The World’s.

It takes a village to raise a child.

It takes one wrong choice to end one’s life.

THINK. PRAY. EDUCATE.

Every life matters.

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About Mel Black Bynum

M. Bynum is a Writer, Muse and Visual Artist.

Posted on 11/25/2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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