As a Canadian, I simply do not understand the American fascination with guns. I don’t buy the ridiculous justification that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. The presence of a gun escalates any situation, and anyone holding a gun is more likely to perceive that someone else is also holding a gun. This weekend, we had a shooting at the Eaton Center in Toronto that left most people in absolute shock. We have strong gun control laws in Canada, and our problem right now is with illegal American guns slipping across our border.
I have never held a gun and intend to go my entire life without doing so. We teach our children that guns are a serious matter and can lead to death. We don’t allow them to play with toy guns, nor do we allow them to play video games that exalt gun violence. We believe that this sort of thing normalizes guns and the violence that often results when guns are involved. This is why I was absolutely disgusted when I learned that a shooting range in Texas plans to hold birthday parties for kids.
A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children’s birthday parties. Owner David Prince tells WFAA that the Eagle Gun Range will be available for children as young as eight years old.“The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table,” Prince said. “They’re not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there’s not enough parents we’ll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely.”[source]
Birthday parties are celebrations and I cannot for the life of me understand any justification to include a gun. Even more importantly, children that young have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality and this means no matter how many times that they are told that guns are serious, many won’t be able to make the connections that are necessary. Furthermore, having an introduction to a gun at a party
negates the idea that guns are to be taken seriously.
Gun worshiping in states like Texas is absolutely taught to children. For many, it is considered a right of passage. The right to bear arms is embedded in the American social consciousness. The idea that the founding fathers could not have conceived of the modern weapons in existence today is barely part of the discussion. A quick glance at the stats illustrate exactly how dire this problem has become.