A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I am sometimes taken to task because I lump toy guns into the same category as real ones when it comes to the 4 safety rules.

True, toy guns will likely never kill anyone unless they disassemble them and then choke on the pieces. Even more insidious and dangerous though, are the perceptions they create among youngsters who are just learning about firearms. What we learn first is what we tend to remember, and what we eventually become. If we learn that firearms, even toy firearms, are fine to use in this manner, then we tend to not take the 4 rules as seriously. As a result, as well, we tend to view death as a temporary abstract condition, not a permanent one.

There was a time that I grew up in where almost every third grade boy got a .22 rifle for Christmas. The real question was whether it would be a Savage, Mossberg, or Marlin, not whether you would get one. Often, boys carried these rifles to school, locked them in their lockers, and then took them home afterwards with no incident. Know what? We all felt safe with boys doing this too. (Of course we still sat under our desks in case the commies dropped the A bomb...)

Back then younger boys used pellet guns and BB guns to hunt song birds. I did as well. Killing your first beautiful bird is a sobering experience. The different emotional reactions to the songbird's death showed us all the differences within ourselves, and often broke up friendships. The birds did not die in vain, however. The one inescapable fact that each bird's loss of life taught all of us, is death is permanent. Thus, when we received our "real" rifle, we knew what we held in our hands, and what it could do if used improperly.

All people took more responsibility for what they owned and for what it could do back then. People took responsiblility for their possessions, and the damaged that those possessions created, if any. Parents took responsibility for their children. Yes, boys played army, but the kind of misguided nihilistic behavior displayed in this video was rare. When it reared it's ugly head among children, they shunned it themselves. They were taught to do so by parents who understood the dangers, and not by a pop culture that glorifies violence. This is why I am opposed to toy guns being used in this manner.

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Blogger Conservative Scalawag said...

I never had a toy gun as a child, unless it was one that could push or fire a projectile. Daddy made sure that I knew the rules of safe firearm handling at even a very early age. If or when I have kids of my own I will do the same. No toy guns. It encourages bad habits as well as poor shooting skills. You don't learn cheek placement, trigger control, breathing control, and sight alignment.

7:23 AM  
Blogger less said...

Curious what you think of
Force on Force training using airsoft (or paintball)?

Personally, I think as long as you
understand that you are placing the
rules on hold in order to learn
something, it is ok justified.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That boy needs a slap up'side the head; then he needs a solid lesson in firearms safety/responsibility.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I'm a big advocate of FoF training with Simunitions. It's not that I am against pointing guns at people, I am not. Using Simmunition, or even airsoft or paintball for training purpose is a good idea if you ask me.

I am against the mindset that guns are toys and all of the danger that comes with that thinking.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now in my 50's, I have no more cherished childhood memory than that predawn morning at age 9 when my Marlin single-shot .22 with the pullback hammer knob, along with a box of longs and a box of shorts, waited in the semilight of the Christmas tree.

My dad, older brother, and I spent the whole day walking, talking, shooting, and sharing...my brother loved it so much he used his Christmas money to buy an identical rifle to mine the next day; $15 brand new at the Western Auto in Clewiston, FL...

After many years as a shooter and FFL/Pawnbroker, I can safely say that I have owned/fired/enjoyed thousands of firearms, but none could ever match that old Marlin for the love and lessons it bestowed...carrying it in the crook of my arm, barrel down, safety on, walking with my beloved Daddy around the drainage canals that encircled the sugar cane fields near our home, with a sharp eye out for the rat or poisonous snake unlucky enough to cross our path.

And yes, there was that bird, mine was a redheaded woodpecker, doing nothing but what God equipped it to do, pecking and eating thirty feet up a pine. My dad wasn't with me that day; it took three direct hits of .22 shorts till he finally let go and fell dead at my feet; I never shot or even pointed a firearm again at anything that wasn't an inanimate target or didn't need to die.

My little rifle was accidentally left in my rifle rack under the decklid of the '65 Fairlane that my new wife and I traded for our first new car; a '74 Grand Torino; no, the dealership said when I remembered and returned a few days later, we didn't see any rifle, and it was gone forever.

These days, I still have an appreciation for fine workmanship, quality, and history, whether a vintage Colt, a Rolex watch, or an American muscle car, but I have no desire to possess them. The only firearms in my cabinet now (excepting the NAALR without which I am not dressed and the S&W M60 LadySmith that sleeps near my wife of 35 years) is the Remington bolt repeater .22 that became my regular plinker at age 14, and the unremarkable but very special to me Winchester 1400 12 gauge that my Dad won in a tire-selling contest and left to me when he died. But the little Marlin, and the memories and lessons it brought to my life, will live with me, bittersweet, till I take my last breath. Thanks, Xavier, for bringing these thoughts to the fore. jtc

8:42 PM  
Blogger Sterno said...

Makes sense to me.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Oleg said...

Seems to me the video was a satire of the action films and news videos.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous STxRynn said...

X, my dad was police officer in the panhandle of TX during the 60's to the 80's. He taught me the rules and how to shoot from the time I was 5. My little brother, didn't get the same level of instruction. When he was about 8, he came up with dads Chief Spcl from dads dresser. Shot a hole in the wall of my room, bounced off a hollow core door and caught my sister near the temple. The bullet barely made it under the skin. Sis was fine. Had some bad headaches for a year or so after. Really a scary day. Dad took him out back the next day and made up for lost time. They almost cut down the old stump we used for a backstop. Bro was up to speed after that. If we don't instruct our kids, then we are apt to pay the price. There is no excuse for not training our kids in safe firearm use. I made sure my kids were savvy as soon as they showed the least interest. Maybe someday, I'll explain how THAT came about. Great blog, definitely a service to the hoplo-community! Rynn

12:38 PM  
Blogger 服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat said...

No matter what, it still boils down to one thing;

"That boy needs an A$$ Whooping!"

A$$ Whooping!!!

Then and only then, he should be taught the The Four Rules.

8:23 PM  

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