What’s up, buddy?
Did you know some guy killed a bunch of people who were just having a good time?
Yes, I did know that.
Does this happen a lot?
Totally, buddy! It happens all the time! Last time, there were some people at a Christmas party, the time before that were some people at a movie, then there were some kids at a school…
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Kids?
Heh-heh! Why, sure, buddy!
You mean I could be playing on my school playground, some day, and my little 4-year-old friends and I could be mowed down while hanging on monkey bars and sliding down slides?
Would you be sad?
Yes. I would be very sad.
Would you come take me home, anyway?
Well, your clothes would be bloody and your shoes might have bullet holes in them, so they wouldn’t be any use, anymore, and I don’t think I would want to have your pants sprinkled with bone tissue.
That’s yucky. Can I have some fruit snacks?
You just had breakfast.
Here ya go.
Would you forget about me if I were blown to bits on the monkey bars?
No. I’d scream and scream and make sure that everyone knew politicians and a paranoid culture killed you.
The leaders who are too afraid of their puppet-masters to change any laws in our country.
Paranoid culture – our country’s mentality that we need to carry guns around to protect us from the bogeyman.
Bogeymans are bad.
Yeah. But they’re in our imaginations. Like monsters.
Oh. Would those polish-, poly-poly-
Yeah. Would they come get my blood-splattered shoes and clothing?
Because they’re afraid of yucky stuff?
What would they do, instead?
They’d probably stand quietly for one minute, make automaton overtures to pray, pretend to be angry, and then go have an orgy with the people who pay for them to be re-elected.
What’s an orgy?
Would they try to change things so my body wouldn’t look like it went through a meat grinder?
Even if they saw my brains on the hop-scotch paint?
Nope. They care more about being re-elected than keeping little kids safe.
Huh. That’s weird. Can I have a fruit snack?
Shark Bites or Disney Fairies?
Like you need to ask.
Here’s the fairies.
What is a politician’s job?
To enforce and pass laws to maintain our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
But they don’t care if I get blown to smithereens on a playground?
No. Lots of them don’t. Especially these guys.
So they’re not doing their jobs.
But they should just do their work. And tell the truth. Like my teacher teaches me in preschool.
They’re more little than me. They’re little, scared babies.
Wow. Harsh words.
Public school, Daddy.
Can I have more fruit snacks?
Yeah. I want to see if they taste the same.
Pretty sure those little processed shit drops taste the same.
Can I get a gun?
I hope not.
In the mail?
Anyone can get a gun?
But guns are for grown-ups. Like wine.
Right. But when people are messed-up, they shouldn’t have either.
Wait, Daddy. Don’t you say everyone is a little messed-up?
Uh…did I say that?
Yes. I remember everything. So if everyone’s a little messed-up, then nobody should have a gun.
Pretty sound logic, buddy. But also some people like shooting animals.
Whoa, hold up!
Now, buddy. It’s important you realize that all your hot dogs and chicken fingers were once walking around in inhumane pens of industrial, unsanitary suffering.
That’s a downer, Daddy.
So people with guns are hunters.
A very few of them are, yes.
And the rest?
Because cable news tells them to be.
What’s cable news?
A lowest-common-denominator brothel of corporate greed. How about a third fruit snack?
Here ya go.
Do you have a gun?
Because I’m not paranoid. And I don’t want to hunt.
But are you afraid?
But you don’t want a gun?
So you’re brave. That’s what Thomas the Train says – when you do something even though you’re afraid.
Thanks. I’ve never appreciated Thomas so much.
Buddy, I’m right here. You don’t have to keep saying my name.
Will grown-ups try to keep me safe?
Well, most grown-ups want to keep you safe and keep guns out of bad guys and keep machine guns out of everyone’s hands.
Yep. Take a look at the statistics, here.
I can’t read.
What are they teaching you in that school?
Anyway, Daddy, some people want to keep their guns no matter what?
Okay. We don’t need to hear that, again. Ever.
But they think everyone should have lots of guns?
Well, the people who pay the politicians think there should be no limits.
You always say limits are good.
Yes, I do.
Like when I want more fruit snacks.
So those people with lots of guns like to kill people?
What else do you do with lots of guns?
Well, they often say, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
But without guns, people just hit each other and say mean things.
But when they have guns they can kill.
So the guns kill.
Wow. What’s in these fruit snacks?
Rainbows and brain cells.
Huh. Can I try one?
Not the Fairies.
Daddy? Can we go to the playground, now?
Do you think we’ll get shot to shit?
Well, nothing’s changed since the last time, so I guess there’s always a chance.
Well, we’ll be brave. Like Merida.
I see what you did there.
Bring more fruit snacks.
*Fear not: this is a fabricated conversation. But ain’t it absurd that having a completely honest conversation with your kids could follow a similar trajectory?
It will be a tough read for some folks but on point.
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Absurd ain’t the word. Disturbed and totally impressed by this.
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Oy vey. I appreciate this a lot.
In the future, please educate yourself before going into an NRA style, paranoid rant advocating gun control. Americans have not been able to directly purchase firearms through the mail since 1968 (all trasactions are conducted through and documented by a federally licensed firearms dealer), and people have been killing each other for thousands of years before firearms were invented. Additionally, hunters and fishers pay far more money into conservation that any other group. So really, so some research before you call out the pot.
Hey, Paul. Thank you for commenting. I appreciate some push-back. Heaven forbid I be accused of an NRA-style rant. Low blow, there, LOL. So…it looks like you can buy guns online, but still have a background check…am I right? I imagine someone could find a way to skirt upfront honesty with their profile…like a kid could buy a gun with the help of a parent, right? Obviously a 4-yo couldn’t do it, himself, but still…https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/howtobuy.php . Yes, people have been killing each other since Cain and Abel. But I’m not so sure that’s a justification for what went down in Aurora or Newtown or Orlando. Plus, for thousands of years it’s man-on-man, or the killing of a few people. But one person mowing down dozens is not “excusable” and chalked up to human nature. Instead, it’s chalked up to hatred and cowardice. Humans can do better than that. And finally, hunters and fishermen paying more for conservation? – I’m not following the logic. You mean my flippancy about hunters shooting animals and my kid’s imagined response? I didn’t mean that hunters go around shooting willy-nilly. Actually the point I was trying to make was that my kid should appreciate that all meat was once walking around and that hunters are eliminating the middle man. If you’re going to eat meat, it’s important to realize how separated we are from killing animals. Hunters who hunt for food are noble people facing the reality of the circle of life up close and personal. Hope I’m making sense. Again: thank you for responding. i love having a dialog with informed people.
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Sorry I didn’t get back sooner, didn’t see the reply. Yes, you are able to purchase firearms online, but they are shipped to an FFL holders (who is thoroughly vetted by BATF) who also documents the transaction in a logbook available for the BATFs perusal at their convienence. Granted, with the aid of an unscrupleous adult, these rules could be skirted. But considering the hassle of getting an FFL in the first place, not many dealers are going to help. There is also already a law against straw purchases.
Killing anybody is not excusable (for the most part), but if firearms aren’t available, the motivated will find a way. Ask any resistance group whether it’s the current crop of terroists or the French resistance.
Anglers and hunters pay excise tax on all ammunition, arrows, and I believe fishing gear in addition to license fees to support conservation efforts. Haven’t seen that applies to mountain bikes yet.
Glad to see somebody else is teaching children meat was a critter and milk doesn’t come from a box. With that positive force, maybe the attrocity that most slaughthouses are will end someday. (Sincerely, thank you)
I also appreciate a measured response in the face of my somewhat irritable reply. While I don’t totally agree with the somewhat paranoid view of the culture, I am suspect of more regulation when it has done little to stem violence anywhere. I truly think a resurgence of traditional family values, regardless of actual family structure, will bring less violence to the world. (When I say tradition family values, think Golden Rule sort of things, not the typical squawking of the far right haters)