Next door and across the street are two great moms. Both Brenda and Leslie take a keen interest in the lives of their children. They are involved in their kid's activities without being smothering. They provide encouragement, support, nurturing and, above all, love.
Not only are they super moms, but they are great neighbors too! Della and I are confident that, if we were ever in need of help, both of these fine women would be there in an instant to lend a hand.
Yet for all the superlatives I could write about these two, there is one thing about both of them that concerns me: They both accept the all-too-typical attitude of "boys will be boys."
Between them, they have 3 grade school age sons and these boys spend a lot of their off-time playing with toy guns. Unlike the toy guns of my youth, the updated versions shoot real ammo (sort of like plastic bbs). The boys are supposed to wear safety goggles when using these guns to protect their eyes, but they only seem to wear the goggles about half the time.
As summer is approaching, I know the time is drawing close when I again will begin to hear shouts like, "Hey, I shot you. You're dead!"
Therein lies the problem. These kids don't understand the true finality of death. One of them, in particular, doesn't seem to get the idea that, in real life, dead means dead. It's not a temporary state. You don't get to bounce back up to play in the next game.
When I was young, we played these same sorts of games. The killing part always bothered me and so my make believe shots were to wound, not kill. Of course, the other kids thought this was really, really weird and merely added to their already perplexed opinion of me.
Most of my "friends" -- I use that term very loosely as I only had one semi-true friend -- didn't grow up to be serial killers or ax murderers, so a lot people would say that no harm came from games with toy guns. I beg to differ.
We live in an overly violent society where murder and other sorts of gun crimes are rampant. Not only do too many Americans shoot each other, but rape, domestic violence, assault and child abuse are prevalent. While childhood games with toy guns are not THE cause of all this adult violence, I can't help but to think it is a contributing factor.