My brother carries a gun. He uses it for his job as a border patrol agent. He protects people and stops drug dealers and makes our country safer. I’ve come to a point where I’m glad he carries a gun but I haven’t always felt that way.
I grew up in a family of girls with 3 sisters and one brother. There was a lot of estrogen in that house and every so often a burst of manliness from my brother left us all scratching our heads. Why did he want to “hunt” our dollies when they were happily having a tea party? Why was he always turning our toys into vehicles or weapons? Why did he get so CRAZY sometimes?
I didn’t really understand my brother until Magoo was born. As I watch Magoo barrel through developmental stages like a bulldozer, I suddenly realize how NORMAL my brother was. If anything he was a little repressed in our house of femininity. In some ways I think his choice of profession is his attempt to firmly declare his maleness and perhaps erase the years of forced doll play and viewing of Anne of Green Gables. He’s great at what he does and is recognized as a leader by his peers. I’m proud of him.
But guns … I’ve never liked them so much. And Magoo is OB-SESSED. Any item in Magoo’s hands can quickly transform into a gun, laser beam or nunchuck. He’s a sweet little melon-headed boy who loves to grin and battle bad guys.
I’ve discouraged friends and family members from buying him violent toys and discouraged Magoo from pointing his Sprite bottle / rocket-propelled grenade launcher at people. “We don’t shoot at people, only at things and animals if we’re hunting.”
Then last week we rode Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland and he became enamored with Captain Jack Sparrow and his friends. He wanted to be a pirate. He wanted to engage in firefights with the enemy. He desperately wanted the green plastic pirate gun that makes shooting noises and projects a small skull and crossbones on anything you aim at. And much to the shock of his aunts, uncles and grandparents I bought it for him.
So he’s upgraded from homemade weapons to toy guns and he’s having a blast (no pun intended) shootin’ up the town, taking aim with one eye squinted shut and hunting tigers to protect Laylee. I certainly don’t want him to have his own gym bag arsenal or to think we think it’s okay to go around shooting people for fun but I don’t think one toy gun will be his ticket to a life of crime. In fact nearly every man I know was once a gun-toting little person. I don’t know any gang members or prisoners on death row so I’ve decided to chill out on this particular moral high ground.