(Toy) Gun Control
By banning toy guns from his home, one dad learns that the reaction from his sons and the national gun control debate are eerily similar
Last Friday, Vice President Biden met with video game companies to discuss violence in video games. (“That is like meeting with Hot Wheels about car safety,” read one Tweet.) Wednesday, President Obama announced 23 executive orders related to gun control, and asked Congress to move forward with its own gun laws and research on the effect violent video games have on our youth. The Entertainment Software Association, which represents video game publishers, released a statement following Obama’s announcement. “The same entertainment is enjoyed across all cultures and nations, but tragic levels of gun violence remain unique to our country," said the ESA.
And that’s what it comes down to. This is a uniquely American dilemma.
Consider for a moment America’s favorite things. Sports cars. Fast food. Contact sports. Guns. Americans love these things, but they can be dangerous when abused or treated too casually. Misuse or excess leads to obesity, injury, health problems, and death. We need to teach respect and caution. Children will get that message only if parents fight for that message. McDonalds has boosted the nutritional value of their Happy Meals. The NFL is working to curb head injuries in youth football. What will the gun lobby do?
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.: Jackson and I sit at the kitchen counter; CNN is on in the neighboring living room. “Hey bud, you can have your guns back tomorrow,” I say. He sports an overexaggerated grin. So much has happened since the gun ban was enacted: drawing, skateboarding, scootering, a trip to the playground. “I bet you forgot about your guns, didn’t you?” I ask. He doesn’t miss a beat. “No. It was pretty hard to stay away. Because, man, I just love that tommy gun.”
I walk into the living room, where a gun debate is in full swing. A gentleman in a necktie shares his passionate views on preserving our right to bear arms. I look from my son to the gun advocate, and from the gun advocate to my son, and it was hard to say which was which.