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Monday, March 17, 2008

Kids with toy guns outside my window

I'm sitting here at work listening to 10-12 year old boys play fight with silver 9mm replica toy guns. When I was a kid I watched old western tv shows and had lots of fun playing with cap guns. Maybe I'm getting old, maybe I have a bias against the ghetto version of the Wild West. But somehow it just seems more jarring in a neighborhood that reported 175 gunshot victims between ages 7 and 24 in 2006.


wilsonian said...

In a Swazi slum, outside the Manzini city dump, children were "playing sex" with each other. In a community with 99% HIV rate, kids were modelling the most consistent adult behaviour they saw.

Makes your role all the more important, when kids either see or hear about violence all the time.

Lee Y said...

A difficult issue, given that we don’t want to cut off a child’s imagination or opportunity to pretend. Truth is that so many of our childhood games were politically incorrect or represented willful violations of the law: cowboys and Indians (pc?), exploring unknown territory (trespassing), cops and robbers (theft and disrespect to authority), in short we did a lot of stuff as kids that if carried out into adulthood would land us in a heap of trouble. The issue is one of who are those individuals that will teach a child the difference between imaginary play and acceptable behavior.

Growing up I remember playing the video game CONTRA…somehow I understood that it was not cool for me to go into the jungle and start shooting people with machine guns.

Just a thought.