Husband and I had a long talk last night about guns.
When son was born we decided that we would not ban guns since that would only make them verboten and therefore irresistable. After all, both of us had tiny cap guns when we were little that we used to play cowboys/cowgirls or train robbers with. And neither of us have violent tendencies (ok most of the time I don't). We agreed that we would not let our kids watch violent shows or own x-box games and felt that would curtail the "bad" gun fantasies. And finally, I read (ok skimmed) Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make Believe Violence and it made sense.
We were so naive.
Maybe if son had been a Beta boy the scenario would have gone down as we envisoned. But he doesn't roll like that. We watched open mouthed, as the innocent cops and robbers playacting we thought would happen had morphed into son trying to take out the mailman with his laser gun. So we put rules around the play. "You need to ask the other person if they want to play a game with the guns, but you can't just shoot people!" and we told stories, "Police don't want to shoot people they say, 'put your hands up we are taking you to jail so you can be reformed and raise our taxes!'" And yet somehow poor little Caillou had become target practice for our little sharpshooter. And our house was turning into a police state with me yelling "Don't shoot your sister!" much too much.
Yesterday was the final straw. Son and I went to the dollar store to spend money that he earned doing some chores yesterday. (He put away his laundry and "helped" clean the house with me) He immediately gravitated towards a semi-automatic toy machine gun and started telling the store owner how he was gonna get it to add to his collection.
I went to bed last night dreading the fallout that comes with denying any toddler his or her obsession only to be woken by a wonderful surprise. Husband tackled it without me! Son informed me that the army came this morning and took all the guns. If he sees any more guns he should send them to the army immediately. Yea! They are g.o.n.e. and never evah coming back! Had I done this task I would have been splitting hairs with son all day. "So. Mommy. Buzz Light Year has a laser gun. Does the army need Buzz?" But because it went from daddy's mouth to son's ears it became a simple truth. No guns, nope the army needs them.
And mom's with daughters, please try not to judge. We all have our parental hand wringers. I have a hunch there are a few girl moms dying to throw away their kids Bratz dolls before their daughters end up on the pole someday.