Writing for the stolidly [sic] anti-gun miamiherald.com, the
Exposure to guns and violence is not good for optimal child development, nor is it good for public health. Research shows that repeated and excessive exposure to aggression and gun violence through movies, TV and video games increases the probability of children behaving aggressively toward others later.
Children witness acts of gun violence, including murders, thousands of times during their development, possibly making them numb or desensitized to killing. For example, in popular video games children can act virtually as perpetrators of gun violence. They may come to accept violence as a way to resolve conflict, imitating what they see in media and identifying with violent characters.
And yet tens of millions of American children grow-up to be law-abiding citizens. Gun owners, too! How in the world does that happen?
I reckon it’s something to do with context. You know, children learning the difference between good guys and bad guys, appreciating the difference between fantasy and reality. And, through parents, friends, teachers, religious instructors and their community, assuming a moral code. But what do I know?
From a public health perspective, children should be restricted from guns unless they are in highly supervised settings with adults, such as a target practice at summer camp or part of a competitive team. Increased efforts should be made to limit kids’ access to guns. High-powered semi-automatic guns should not be allowed for use by children under any circumstance.
As Nick recently pointed out, the real goal here is civilian disarmament. Elitists consider civilian gun ownership a scourge on humanity, or, if you will, a roadblock to utopia. They want to stop gun ownership before it begins. For the children! To that end, enter the straw man . . .
Parents should be asking how to optimize their child’s development. Do you want to help them be successful soldiers, effective killers? Or do you want to help them gain academic skills, become socialized, learn to follow rules, have fun and make and keep friends?
A 13-year-old is just beginning to understand who they are. They are making sense of biological changes as they mature, learning to function more autonomously from their parents, identifying with their peer group, making meaningful relationships and developing special skills and abilities through sports, music, dance, reading and other activities.
Rather than teach violence as a means to solve problems, parents should focus their children on cultivating restraint, good judgment, kindness, generosity and respect toward others. Limiting exposure to virtual displays of gun violence through TV, movies and video games is a good policy for effective parenting. Providing children access to combat simulators and actual shooting of machine guns is not. And guns at home is a recipe for disaster. Instead, surround your child with positive influences that will enhance their development.
All you need is love! Unless it isn’t. And guess what? That’s the world we live in. A world where criminals, crazies, terrorists and yes sometimes the government seeks to take away our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. A world where safe and effective firearms skills should be taught early and often. For the children!
The more we teach our children that creative problem-solving and kindness, rather than violence, is the answer, the better our society will become as a whole.
Either or much? Because you can be both a kind, problem-solving American and a citizen ready, willing and able to unleash ballistic violence when necessary. At least that’s what I teach my children.