No, this is not a rehashing of the gun violence term paper I wrote for school, it’s just a blog post about my four-year-old son pretending he has a gun and making gun sounds. Totally normal right? Boys will be boys blah blah…Except I fucking hate it, and I managed up until recently to shield Jack from toy guns to such a degree that last year when he picked up his cousins nerf gun, with a scope, he assumed it was a camera and when he pointed it at me he told me to say cheese. Fast forward to today and he’s got the nozzle from a toy gas pump shoved down the front of his pants and he’s strolling around like he thinks he’s John Wayne. He points the damn thing at me making gun sounds as I mentioned, and it’s all my fault according to my husband because I let Jack watch Back to the Future III nevermind all the Batman Jack watches but whatever dada.
My stance on toy guns is that I don’t want Jack to have them, but I can’t stop him from inventing them. And before you judge me as an oversensitive millennial parent just remember that toy guns have been known to get kids killed and if it’s not safe for all kids to play with toy guns then I don’t want my kid playing with them either. The fact that my kid is less likely to be shot by a cop for playing with a toy gun is a matter of white privilege and I refuse to subscribe to it. I’m not a fan of guns and I don’t intend on allowing Jack to have a pellet gun even. I feel that toy guns and pellet guns and real guns all have the potential to foster gun empowerment in children, especially young boys, and while you might argue that’s a good thing, I am arguing that it isn’t.
I am attempting to instill a sense of integrity in my child and as a parent and as a card-carrying millennial I have a lot of feelings about gun violence and gun empowerment. When Jack comes of age I would like for him to feel empowered to be whoever he chooses and I trust that he understands that I love him very much no matter what. For now, he can play pretend and invent toys in other toys and watch Batman and Back to the Future III and I’ll probably show him a John Wayne movie eventually because I’m not bothered by guns in kids movies and television shows as long as it’s not a terribly excessive festival of bullets and Jack might like an old western. Plus, I think I could resolve to let Jack be a cowboy for Halloween because he unlike John Wayne does not need a gun to help him look awesome.