So two guys who just love the Constitution and their own interpretation of the 2nd Amendment wrote a children’s book promoting the open-carry of firearms.
This illustrated book follows the adventures of Brenna – a “typical 13-year old” – whose parents just happen to open carry firearms for “self-defense” while they are out and about on a Saturday running errands.
On the website – which I won’t link to but you can look up – this book is touted as the Number One Best Seller in the Children’s Government Books category on Amazon. A crowded and prestigious category to be sure.
According to the Internet – which knows all – liberals are “up in arms” – ha! – over the concept.
And while I have my own issues with the premise of using a children’s book to make the least among us feel even more vulnerable by cultivating a sense that behind the counter of every Starbucks and around every corner there is a threat to be vanquished via the brandishing of a weapon – my issue with the authors’ targeting of children to promote their agenda is that they obviously do not understand the insidious nature of children.
Made more obvious by the four simple rules the book’s authors purport to be promoting in regards to the safe open-carry of handguns.
Rule Number One: Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
Good rule. I’m with the authors on this ONE HUNDRED percent.
I would go even further and say treat every firearm as if it is a one-night stand with herpes – but that’s a lesson for when the kids are a little older.
I’m willing to give the authors the benefit of the doubt on Rule #1.
It’s Rules #2 through #4 where I have difficulty maintaining my obvious unbiased and level-headed approach to firearm safety.
Rule Number Two: Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Here’s where I doubt the authors’ familiarity with actual children.
Kids are ready and willing to destroy most things – from inanimate objects to the neighbor’s cat.
The whole point of being a kid is to create intricate and imaginative landscapes – and then have the unmitigated joy of engendering their destruction. And this destructive behavior doesn’t end with their own creations. From that Lego Collector’s Edition of the Millennium Falcon to your paper crèche of The Last Supper, if it can be created, a child can destroy it – with willful abandon and no hesitation.
And what is more fun than destroying inanimate objects? Destroying nature.
When my kids were small we bought one of those butterfly garden kits. A fun and educational experience where young children get to nurture a living creature from its earliest moments of conception; watch it transform magically from caterpillar to chrysalis and emerge as a beautiful, fragile butterfly. Ostensibly, children watching this entire experience of metamorphosis would then revel in these beautiful creatures as they timidly unfurl their wings and take flight.
Except my children.
Mine took their newly hatched butterflies out of the terrarium and used them in a live action Jurassic Park game that involved attempting to extract each butterfly’s dinosaur DNA – the end result being a miniature butterfly-version of the Jonestown massacre on our kitchen floor.
My point being that kids like to see what happens when something is dropped from on high; run over; smashed with something heavy; or, blown to bits. It’s in their nature.
Children also have quick tempers and anger management issues – making them willing to destroy just about anything in their path when it suits their mood. They are tiny little despots wielding enormous power that must constantly be kept in check – picture Kim Jong Un if he had unfettered access to the Cartoon Network and fruit snacks.
And also by their nature, children live without the knowledge of consequences, regret or recrimination.
Mine cried when they realized the butterflies would not reassemble themselves ala the Transformers, and continue to provide hours of amusement. But given a fresh set of butterflies – with or without our gentle reminders that all living creatures are sacred – more carnage would have followed.
So I am not so willing to believe that promoting access to a firearm with the caveat that they shouldn’t aim at what they don’t want to destroy will prevent children – particularly those of the age most likely to be influenced from a picture book – from pulling the trigger.
Rule Number Three: Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Kids generally don’t see beyond what is directly in front of them – if they even see that.
Ask any elementary school teacher who has held up forgotten items of clothing in front of their class in a desperate attempt to empty the Lost and Found bin at the end of the year and received twenty-six blank faces staring back, blinking in unconscious indifference to items that are embroidered with their names.
So asking those same kids to recognize and judge the distance between say their main target and Grandma standing just off to the left of the line of fire seems, at least to me, somewhat irrational.
Rule Number Four: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire.
Ever give a kid a helium balloon and tell them not to let go?
What happened next?
Better yet – ever potty train a boy?
What happened when he turned his head to look at you?
I rest my case.
Look – I realize it is pointless to get into a debate about the true intentions of the 2nd Amendment and whether or not individuals have the right to walk around with a deadly weapon strapped to their hip when women still get booted from restaurants for breastfeeding in public. I reserve the right to disagree – and be disagreed with – in regards to these points.
Let me just say, I’ll take breasts over bullets any day of the week.
I just think that trying to dumb down the concept of the open-carry of weapons into a picture book aimed at kids whom we would not allow to operate heavy machinery (or even the television remote lest they be unduly influenced) seems at best idiotic – and at worse, reckless.
We hide the poisons. We put prescription medications in cabinets beyond their reach. We lock up the liquor. We make them wear helmets and strap them into seatbelts. We put parental restrictions on the cable. We educate them on the evils of smoking and drug use.
And, despite all of our efforts and attempts to scare the shit out of them, kids still get poisoned, overdose on prescription medication, drink and drive, get thrown from cars in accidents, watch porn, smoke like fiends and get high.
So why would we advocate the open carry of a deadly weapon at any age – but especially to those so easily influenced?
Life is dangerous enough.
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