Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kid's Need A Little Fire Power

Some of you may have noticed my left hand raised and shaped in the form of a small pistol in the picture yesterday, and thought to yourself - how deprived was the Hatcher as a kid with no toy gun? Well, perhaps that picture stirred feelings of guilt in the Brady parents stemming from the same realization. Because our next picture shows that the situation was clearly reconciled, and with no mere six shooter. What chance does a kid have in a gunfight with a mere pistol? A kid needs a machine gun if he's to have any chance against the bad guys. Even if two kids are using toy pistols to go after each other, everyone knows that a pair of two-year olds could be trying to have a shootout three feet away from each other and exhaust their ammo without so much as scratching the other. But a machine gun opens up some real possibility for imaginative gun play among even the smallest of kids. And they make for cute pictures.

By now Professor Vic is dusting off his copy of Bowling for Columbine and his eyes are getting bleary with rage, but they need not, Professor Vic. I won't deny the possibility that such role playing among kids in my neighborhood could not in theory have led to some potential problems down the road, but I in fact have empirical proof that the public schools in my hometown of Oaklyn, NJ do not equip students with sufficient skills to pull off a Columbine - I know this because a group of kids tried this about two years ago in Oaklyn and failed. They were apparently armed to the hilt and ready to go on a killing spree, all dressed like Neo from the Matrix. Very early in the morning the leader of the group tried to get a guy in a car to stop in front of the public school - the plan apparently was to kill the driver and take his car to begin the spree. The driver saw a pretty serious weapon, swerved out of the way of the kid, sped away and called the cops on his mobile. Year's ago the Oaklyn city planners, in their wisdom, placed the Dunkin Doughnuts only a couple of blocks from the police station, enabling a quick response to any call. The Neo-wannabes were apprehended without anyone getting hurt.

I might also add that these kids are now a generation behind me, perhaps far enough in time for them to have been deprived of some serious toy firepower. That may account for their later behavior. Because it is probably easier to get a real gun for your kid than it is a toy gun in this day and age. My brother-in-law Jay once hilariously described to me his effort to get a toy gun for his son. Toy merchants who were asked where the toy guns were looked at him like he was a sociopath (which is not true, despite his affiliation with the ACLU). And this was in Lousiana, not some pansy blue gun-control crazy locale in the northeast. Maybe if these young apprehended would-be killers had been provided some play time in their early schooling years with the machine guns pictured above, they'd be well adjusted now. It's like the logic goes with sex and public schools - you cannot prevent kids from having sex, so you might as well provide them condoms, the pill, a brochure for Planned Parenthood (just in case), the ability to meet after school in groups of two in private rooms where they can copulate without being drunk and unable to properly protect themselves, etc. etc. Same goes for guns - you cannot prevent kids from using guns, so you might as well let them spend their very early years weilding toy guns around, and maybe they'll get it out of their system.

So once again, parents, be wary of letting your kid take a toy gun to kindergarten. Unless, of course, the gun shoots out condoms.


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