Schools don't like guns. I get that. I don't like them either. There's one kind of gun, though, that doesn't bother me: the kind little boys make with their hands.
But one dour public school in Michigan sees no distinction.
This past Wednesday, six-year old Mason Jammer was suspended from his kindergarten class at Jefferson Elementary School for pretending his hand was a gun and "aiming" it at another student.
Whether he accompanied this terroristic threat with "pow pow pow!" remains unclear. The story is still breaking. You can see a video clip about it here.
This school probably banned "The Dangerous Book for Boys" from its library, too.
Sure, times have changed. I realize that. But come on. This is a bit much.
Others look at the issue differently, of course. Indeed, some mothers are downright panicked over their sons' "violent tendencies." Here's an imploring entreaty posted by a mother on Berkley's "Parent Network" site:
I was wondering if people could offer some experience with boys and guns. I have 3 year old twin boys and everything is a gun. I mean the forks, the napkins, the blocks, etc. What is it from? What should I do? They watch some KQED and a few movies and videos. I thought I was choosing pretty non-violent stuff. I don't watch adult TV around them. We have tried talking to them about it. They don't have playdates with other kids. They get some at pre-school. But I want to raise non-violent boys. Any thoughts...thanks. (mother of future NRA member)Still verklempt? Ivillage to the rescue:
Provide kids with alternatives to gun play that help them feel powerful. Four- and five-year-olds love to be competent. Providing them with real work experiences such as carpentry, cooking, gardening can channel some of the energy being directed into gun play in a new, more creative direction.Carpentry, cooking and gardening? People. People!
Boys love guns, whether real or imagined. And their imaginations enable them to turn virtually anything into a weapon. It's innate.
Here's a clever snippet from a father's perspective, published in the Wall Street Journal:
Not only do I believe that trying to take the wildness out of boys is a doomed social experiment, but I'm certain that genetic scientists will eventually discover that males carry the Cowboy Gene. That's my name for whatever is responsible for all the wrestling in my house, and the dunking during bath time, and my 5-year-old's insistence on wearing his silver six-shooters to Wal-Mart in order to protect our grocery cart. I only pray that when the Cowboy Gene is discovered, some well-meaning utopian doesn't try to transform it into a Tea Party Gene.There are plenty of things for us to worry about. We've got some pretty big fish to fry. And little boys playing with make-believe guns is not one of them.