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Boys and Gun Love: A Thinking Mother’s Dilemma

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Posted on Jun 10, 2014

By Pamela Alma Weymouth

(Page 3)

A few months ago, my sons met their 96-year-old great-grandfather, Vice Adm. Ralph Weymouth, a World War II naval aviator and decorated war “hero.” They asked him if he had killed people, dropped bombs, handled real weapons, and he said yes. Yet, my grandfather is also one of the founding members of Veterans for Peace. When asked what he thought about toy guns, he told my boys what he did when my father (his oldest son) asked for a toy popgun from the store. “I took him to the garage and we carved one out of wood,” he said. As they worked together, my grandfather explained the workings of real guns to my father and warned about the harm they can do. They talked, they made art, they played, and my father grew up to be an architect.

When I hear that once more Congress has failed to enact any significant gun control measures, I wonder whether this is not the real reason schools and educators and parents have cracked down so hard on gunplay—because it’s easier to tell our kids what to do than it is to tell our politicians. Should we not be directing all this adult rage toward the real source of change, the NRA and our Congress? Ironically, the Florida legislature found the time and energy to protect the safety of play for children in their state, passing the infamous Pop-Tart bill, but they were not able to get behind the concept of banning real weapons from spaces in which children eat and play. This is not a Republican issue or a Democratic one; this is a parental issue—all of us deserve for our kids to be safe. Let’s let the children play and ask the grown-ups to get to work giving a timeout to the real bullies on the playground.


Pamela Alma Weymouth’s essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Inhabitat.com, Inhabitots.com and the anthology “Mamas Write.” She teaches writing in San Francisco, where she lives with her twin sons, three hens and one Taiwanese puppy.

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