Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gun Play

I meandered over to the park late this afternoon to enjoy a little fresh air. Four youngsters, perhaps 10 years of age, sat on the side-by-side slides loading hard plastic pellets into their orange-tipped -- though nevertheless real-looking -- toy guns.

I asked the boys if they planned to shoot their toy guns in the park. They said no. I told them I was glad to hear that because the hard pellets could really hurt someone if they went into an eye.

One of the youngsters then said, "If someone does a drive-by, we're going to shoot them back."

Ugh. I've got such a pit in my stomach over this comment. The park isn't a dangerous place, but clearly this kiddo is tuned in enough to the possibility of gang violence that he -- and his friends -- have incorporated that reality into their play.

I saw the kids again a couple minutes later, but didn't see their guns. I can't help but think they may have hidden their "pieces" in their waist bands.

I'm not sure if I should chalk this up to acting vigilante, posing gangsta, or mere play. I'm also curious to know if there are any laws or even recommendations about using toy guns in public areas. It sure seems like the kind of thing that could scare other kids and parents from the park.


  1. Our cat has one of those pellets in his side, permanently. When I asked the vet what that weird lump was, he recognized it immediately. "It's pretty amazing, though," he said. "Usually air guns will kill cats, either by puncturing an organ or breaking a rib. The entry wound heals over quickly and the internal injury leads to peritonitis and kills them. It's an ugly death. Your little guy was awfully lucky."


  2. This makes me sick as well. The truth is that these pellets can hurt people and animals as well. They shouldn't be in kid's hands, period.

    I see kids come in all the time using karate kicks. I'm so afraid that a sibling or a child will get in the way of these and get hurt. We have to be on top of what is going on in our room. What happened to "don't be loud in the library?" Care givers often are too busy talking themselves to be telling their children to be quiet, let alone not to be doing karate kicks.

    Sorry Pride and Meg, this topic really gets me going. Believe me I could go on and on...

  3. I would like to draw your attention to item #13 that is on the City Council's agenda for the April 5th council meeting (posted on the City's webpage under City Clerk). Being so supportive of crime fighting and quality of life issues, I am sure the author of this blog would find this concerning. If so, I hope you utilize your talent and post something on your website for our community.

    Thank you,
    One of your followers.

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