Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gun hormones

A friend recently wondered out loud if there is such a thing as a "gun hormone". (It's caused by the the "Y" chromosome, of course...) We talked about how little boys can make anything into a gun -- a waffle, a stick, a bunch of Legos, and little girls seem to not particularly care about guns at all. Little boys love playing war, and little girls love playing house.

(Yes, I know these are generalities! Bear with me...)

We watched this amazing little boy- vs. little girl difference first-hand with our older daughter. She LOVED dinosaurs. We would buy them for her at the dollar store and she ended up with quite a collection after a while. She played with them in families and gave them names. Boys would come over, drag out the dinosaur box and have meat-eater vs plant-eater wars. She was horrified. I didn't teach her to play 'house' with dinosaurs... she just did it!!!

Over the years, I've come to believe that the most important thing is to teach kids, particularly urban and suburban ones, that guns are 'tools' to be used according to rules. They are not toys, and if they are used incorrectly, there are consequences.

Kids in the rural areas seem to 'get this'. Or kids whose parents hunt and have weapons for that purpose. What bothers me (and I suspect many of us) is that guns, particularly handguns, get equated with a coolness factor. There is no consequence if someone is shot 'dead'. If they are treated like 'tools' then they are not focused on much for entertainment, other than the usual boy fascination with them... You can let them mock-play with guns, and continue to talk about how they are 'tools'. And not over react.

It was interesting watching pacifist friends who were quite vocal about giving 'non-violent toys' as presents, and then watch their kids fight over who got a box as a car or whatever... Just too funny and sad at the same time. Call it sin nature, or whatever you want, we are bent on exercising dominion over each other... and always wanting to be best and first and coolest.

I'm glad Jesus understands this weakness...

From our home to yours...

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