March 02, 2018


This morning I was listening to the radio and the question was asked, "Would you hesitate to buy your kids toy guns now?" The radio show was referring to recent gun violence. This caught my attention because I have a teenager and 3 toddlers. As a parent, I can not imagine my son leaving in the morning for a typical high school day and not returning back home. I could not imaging losing a child to gun violence, a school shooting or a gun accident. 

On the other hand, I had the opportunity to spend time with a Vietnam Vet recently. He spoke about how after soldiers returned home from the war, they were not welcomed home by American. He is one of several Vietnam Vets that tells the story of getting off the plane at the airport and being "spit on" by the public. These soldiers were treated very unfairly. Many were drafted into the war and went to fight for our country. I think about all the soldiers we have sent into battle to defend our country. I think about all the Heroes that carry guns such as soldiers and law enforcement as a part of their jobs.

I remember growing up in the 80s. We played toy guns. We played cops and robbers. We pretended to be our favorite cartoon, TV and movie Heroes and Villains. We all had weapons. This was part of our creative play, pretending, using our imaginations. My teenager grew up doing the same and my toddlers do now. Who doesn't want to be Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, The Flash? The Greatest Superheroes fighting against the Greatest Villains of all time!!!!

Kids don't just to pretend to be Superheroes, they pretend to play soldiers! Army, Marines, Air force, Navy. They pretend to be cops! They play with TOY GUNS and other weapons!!! TOY GUNS, pretend play and kids using their imaginations is NOT the enemy folks!!!! We have been doing it for decades. I would never take that experience away or deprive my children the opportunity to use their creativity.  

However, as parents, teachers and adults, we have a responsibility to educate our children about gun safety. We should teach them to honor their heroes, to understand what soldiers have sacrificed, to understand police protection and to remember the fallen! I would go as far as to say, the worst the thing you could do is to give your children no exposure and let them learn every thing from movies, the internet and their peers as teenagers.

School shootings are not a result of kids that grew up playing toy guns with parents that educated them about the power of guns and gun safety!

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