If the student suspended for the cafeteria knife or the two boys suspended last year for a Boy Scout camping utensil set (which contained a “dangerous weapon” – the knife) weren’t enough, now a SIX-year-old Michigan student has been suspended for making a gun gesture out of his hand and pointing it at other students. While some of the other students were said to be “uncomfortable” with the gun gesture, rather than suspend the little boy, I would have suggested that they show them how to make gun gestures with their hands as well and point back. After all, a friendly game of “cops and robbers” or “Cowboys and Indians” never hurt Opie Taylor (or me and my brother and all our friends for that matter)!
Of course today, Cowboys and Indians is no longer appropriate because they aren’t “Indians” as Columbus mistakenly thought – and we’ve been trying to correct that for nearly 600 years. They are “Native Americans” and that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Besides, since kids aren’t allowed to play with guns any more and any cowboy in his right mind wouldn’t be caught DEAD without a gun … well, actually, that’s the problem, a cowboy without a gun was kind of like someone in the Wild West holding up a huge sign saying, “Go ahead, just shoot me. I don’t have enough sense to carry a gun to hunt wild animals, protect myself from rattlesnakes, shoot coyotes that try to eat my cattle, etc. so perhaps I just want to be shot.” So Cowboys and Indians is out.
And even playing “Cops and Robbers” isn’t appropriate any more. You wouldn’t want to stage one group of kids against the other, after all, and the “robbers” might be mislabeled. After all, it’s not politically correct if their attorneys aren’t present and they are innocent until proven guilty so no shooting until … well, no shooting. They should be able to languish in jail at taxpayers’ expense for the next thirty years and then allowed out on parole, again at taxpayers’ expense, when they’ll be able to get a “fresh start” on life, but be way too old to play cops and robbers any more. The “cops” aren’t supposed to use their guns unless absolutely necessary and if you face reality, it’s really no fun when you just run around the yard yelling, “Stop, or I’ll shoot.” Just SHOOT the robber! You already KNOW they’re the robbers because you’re playing cops and robbers!! What’s the harm in letting kids be kids? And whatever happened to um, let’s see… imagination?!? It’s PRETEND play. It’s not supposed to be real!
There is something to be said for letting children play pretend and get it out of their system, but here’s another thought. Even though we do have checks and balances (such as a trial by jury of our peers and innocent until proven guilty), I would say that a lot of these old games were great for several reasons. Here are a couple. First off, they were definitely pretend and the kids knew that. We could use more separation between reality and pretend in today’s world. Second, there were definite good guys and definite bad guys (who would vary from week to week depending on who wanted to play which role). There was one side or the other. Kids KNEW this and they picked sides! Today everyone is soooo concerned with being politically correct – saying things the right way, doing things the right way, and not offending anyone that we sometimes have a difficult time figuring out who is who any more.
The teenager who walks into the high school carrying a concealed shotgun under his trench coat is doing something BAD. He is a BAD GUY. The six-year-old who pretends to make a gun with his hand and points it at his classmate is doing nothing bad. He is not a bad guy. I’d say he is mostly likely a bored six-year-old who would MUCH RATHER be outside playing cops and robbers than sitting inside a classroom listening to his teacher drone on about some politically correct lesson related to civil rights or evolution.
OK, I guess I should admit here that I could have just said, “There was a boy suspended from public school for making a gun with his hand. If you’d like to read the article, go here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588183,00.html?test=latestnews”
But I didn’t. It’s just SO frustrating that I wanted to – in this case – vent a little. I could go on and on forever about how RIDICULOUS this is. If anyone wants to say how boys shouldn’t use guns or how was a good decision on the school’s part to prevent the future possibility of violence, we could discuss that. We used to say we’d NEVER let our boys play with guns and we’d NEVER own a gun ourselves. Well… you know what they say. Never say “never.” Biblically we’re admonished to train children in the way they should go. I obviously believe this means to train them toward following Christ and share the gospel, but I also believe this means training them based on the examples we see in the Bible of proper behavior of men and women – taking care of the home, being frugal with money, being of godly character, and YES, even learning to use weapons and being ready and willing to defend their homeland, their property, their families, their values, their right to worship the Lord, their children or anything else that needs defending. Learning to stand up for what is right – and knowing the difference between right and wrong – is something that is just as important to learn as the ABCs or 123s! It’s going to be difficult to train young men to stand up for what is right and have the skills to do so if we continue to raise effeminate boys who grow into men with no bearing on how to be manly.
Sonya Haskins, author of Homeschooling for the Rest of Us
P.S. The only way to be sure that this doesn’t happen to your children is to teach them at home!! : )