Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Boys and Guns

What is it with boys and guns?

When we started having kids...back in the time I like to call, "When We Knew It All," the little kid gun debate was big. Like, parents were taking a stand saying that they would never, ever buy their kids guns. Not even water guns or Nerf guns. And, also, you would get in big trouble at school if you brought any kind of gun, like for show and tell.

And I'm talking PLAY guns...not real guns.

And, side note: if your son sneaks the hand-made wooden pop gun with his name burned on it...the one we, his parents, bought him in Branson...to school in his backpack, it might earn him a trip to the principal's office and that play gun might get taken away and never, ever given back...and that might be something he will remember to.this.day. Approximately 18 years ago.

Just sayin'.

He's not still bitter about it.

So before anyone writes anything ugly or calls to report me to the politically correct police, let me just say that we TRIED. We really did. But my boys...they made guns out of sticks, and out of those little wooden easels that you put frames on. Once, Logan even gnawed a piece of toast into the shape of a gun and all I heard as he went around the corner was "pew pew pew" as he shot the army men he had hidden all over the house.

My husband, he was a big believer in letting our boys be boys when they were little...you know, rough and tumble, pee off the deck and play army-man in the back yard.

And Army men have guns.

And do you know who ELSE has guns? Hunters. Especially hunters in Arkansas. And there has never been a deer or a duck yet that will walk itself into the back of your pick-up truck, no matter how diplomatic you are in your conversation.

Not only that, baby gotta eat.

We did not buy our boys guns, starting out...but they did have army men. You know, those little green, plastic army men. Logan, especially, LOVED playing with those. Logan also asked for a Army helmet for his birthday one year, and Jim went to a store that sold real Army stuff and got him one. And a canteen thing and an Army belt. And that's how Logan died...FROM SHEER HAPPINESS!

Just kidding.

But we...Jim...taught them about gun safety and respect since he may or may not own a few of them because ARKANSAS. And I taught them that we don't point *play* guns at each other and we don't even point our fingers at each other when we make our fingers into guns...because that's not nice. And because that might get you sitting on the log at Mrs. Curtis' Christian Preschool during recess.

Don't ask me how I know this.

And then Star Wars happened...and all three of my boys went NUTS over Star Wars. They had ALL the figures and ALL the space ships and ALL the light-sabers and ALL the guns.

And there was no stopping them.

Oh, they know about real guns. They've used guns for hunting and for shooting cans off a log down at the farm. Of my 3 boys, none of them have ever pointed a gun at a person...or shot out a window at the Piggly Wiggly.

Not trying to start a debate or make any sort of political stand...just saying that life with boys in the South is...different.

*And I know that gun violence is a serious problem in our society...I get that. I go to malls and to church and to gas stations and banks and restaurants...and all 4 of our kids have gone to public schools. Gun violence is a real fear of mine as a Mom, and there is just nowhere safe when an angry or mentally ill person picks up a gun. There's just not.

Around here, most people have guns legally and behave responsibly. People aren't riding around in pick-ups shooting at people...or cats. Around here, guns are for hunting...and the guys, and some girls, hunt. Deer, ducks, doves, squirrels, turkeys. Some of our schools even get out a day for hunting. Oh, they call it something else, but everyone knows it's Opening Day of deer season and none of the high school boys will be in class. There are also times in the fall and winter, when our guys pack up and head "up north" to hunt things like elk and pheasant.

And even tho Jim taught our boys about guns and safety and rules...and even tho I taught our boys about manners and respect and not to point gun fingers at each other...this happened just the other day:

Jim was laying in the recliner. He had been sick the day before but was feeling a little better. Clark was sitting in the chair next to the recliner, and I was in a chair across the room. Logan walked in with his gun fingers and goes, "pew pew pew" and shoots toward Jim as he walks thru the room. Clark joins Logan, "pew pew pew" and they are both pretend shooting at Jim and at things in the living room...and generally being loud and annoying.

Seriously? They are 22 and almost 18 years old...GROW.UP.

And then these words came out of my mouth and I couldn't even believe what I was saying...I said, "Boys...STOP...it is making my heart sad that you are PRETEND SHOOTING AT YOUR DAD WHEN HE'S SICK."

From the kitchen I hear Logan say, "hush, Momma, or you're next."

Clark immediately chimed in, "already got her."


"For the entire fullness of God's nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him..." Colossians 2: 9-10a


  1. This made me laugh SO HARD. One day (a year or two ago), my now 8 year old boy sat with us during the church service. Usually, our church has the service at the same time as the Sunday school for kids. Anyway, he joined us one Sunday and before church started, he started pointing his fingers at lights and shooting them. I nudged my husband so he could fix matters. His suggestion to our son, "It's not nice to make guns in church. What I do is pretend that my eyes are lasers and then I use those to shoot out the lights. You should try that." I don't know if they ever grow out of it. :)