If Your Daughter Wants A Pink Gun To Kill Zombies She Is Too Young To Own A Gun
In the wake of the horrific, accidental shooting of a gun instructor by a 9-year old girl, there have been some disturbing stories in the news about gun owners and how strongly they feel about their children owning and learning to use firearms. I understand that if you have firearms in your home, you would want your children to be comfortable around them and aware of their power in order to cultivate a healthy respect for these weapons. What I do not understand is how making them pink, frilly and adorable will help anyone. I think this “cuteification” of guns does nothing in the way of getting young girls to respect their power and if anything, downplays how very serious they are. If your daughter wants a gun because it’s pink and can kill zombies, she is too young to own a gun.
In this Daily Mail article, several young girls from around the country are profiled holding their pink rifles and telling the interviewer why they want a gun. Most of the answers had to do with protecting themselves against zombies, dinosaurs and sharks. That sounds like a person mature enough to own a .22 caliber rifle, right? Good Lord. These guns, called Crickett rifles, are geared toward children between the ages of 4-10. Please, someone explain to me why a child that age needs a REAL gun of their very own. The article also details an incident of a 5-year old boy in Kentucky who accidentally shoots and kills his 2-year old sister with one of these kiddie guns. They don’t sound like something that belongs in the hands of a pre-schooler.
Maybe it is a good idea to wait until children no longer believe in zombies and dinosaurs before allowing them to own a weapon that could kill people. Giving a 6-year old girl a pink rifle makes it look like a toy and I refuse to believe that something so enticing to a small child could possibly be taken seriously and handled with respect. I do not dispute a family’s right to own firearms– my own father has taken up sport shooting in recent months and owns several of his own, which my children have never even laid eyes on and stay locked up at all times. I do dispute the irresponsible exposure of weapons that look like toys to impressionable young children who may decide one day to play with it instead of being respectful of it’s very real power.
I do feel sad for the little girl who accidentally shot Charles Vacca with an Uzi while out for a supervised training session with her parents but I do not feel sad for her parents. This young girl had no business handling a gun of that caliber and I think allowing young children to own guns at such a young age gives parents a false sense of that child’s abilities. I have no doubt that the girl who killed this instructor owned her own weapons, probably since she was in kindergarten if the portraits in that article are any indication of how gun culture works. I strongly feel that this family did not have the respect for the power of firearms and a child’s ability to handle them. Trivializing guns to the point of making them Barbie-like for little girls only contributes to the problem of their power not being taken seriously enough.