Guns – AK’s – Pistols – Bullets – Glock – 9mm – 38 special – Smith and Wesson

What went through your mind when you read those words? When guns come to mind the first thing people think of is criminals and war. Those are not happy topics. After delving into it, one may think safety, but what do I need to be safe from? — Still not a happy thought.

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I’m not suggesting that guns should be happy, but there’s other ways to look at this as well. Children who see a gun on TV being easily used with no real consequences, play with water guns in the summer, and even little cap guns, it seems exciting. When faced with a real gun for the first time (whether on purpose or as an accident) these children cannot fully understand a gun. No matter how much weight is in the steel, it still seems like a simple toy. Even if the idea isn’t to shoot it, why not simply aim it? Media and toys should not be the method that teaches people about guns.

I recently saw John Wick 2 and there was this scene, where Wick and his assailant are firing at each other through a grand water fountain. Mind you, this is NYC, where hundreds of people are walking around. Nice scene. True. But think if this where to happen in real life.  How many innocent bystanders may have been shot? Do you even consider that thought if you’re a child (Heck some adults never think of it)? In a movie script, we feel that the shooter (good guy) is always justified because some way or another, there will be an explanation of why the person being shot (the bad guy) is indeed bad. But they never get questioned by the authorities in the end. Accidentally shoot YOURSELF in real life and see what happens (or ask Plaxico).

Children who grow up with guns and learn how to properly use them, do not have the accidents that children who don’t grow up around guns have. They understand the severity of the weapon. They are not curious about the gun because they know how to properly use it. They understand the basic rules of gun safety, such as never put your finger on the trigger, until it’s time to shoot. Or, only point the gun towards things you want to destroy. Simple rules, that if followed, don’t cause accidents. How about something deeper, such as you are responsible for every bullet you fire.

Think of how many lives could be saved…

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It’s not realistic to expect kids in a country built on war with daily glorification of weapons to not be curious about guns. The good guy in any action flick always has the best guns or knows how to use them better than the average person (sounds cheesy actually reading that) and being the lead in the movie, this proves that he is the film’s popular guy… the role model. Who doesn’t want to be the role model. Instead of shaming children (and adults) who end up using a weapon the wrong way even though its a natural American curiosity, how about we focus those energies on actually teaching gun safety. There’s no changing the cultural norm overnight, so how about working to counter its effects.

What do you think?