Last week was a hoot with Americans firing their shotguns into space and off back porches. We could not, however, follow Shotgun Joe’s advice this week. Good steel doors are simply too expensive to ding up with buckshot. Besides, if the bad guy is on the other side of the door I do not need to waste expensive ammunition trying to shoot holes through it. The only thing I have to say about the Vice President’s armed self-defense advice is where are all of those people who were afraid that Sarah Palin might end up only a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Do you feel safer now? Sarah can shoot a rifle. Joe can only shoot off his mouth and he is a lot more dangerous for our country when doing that than is any law-abiding armed citizen.
Now, children are getting themselves into trouble over guns. If only they had followed Shotgun Joe’s advice, they might not now have these horrible blights on their records.
A 5 year old girl threatened to shoot another child with her Hello Kitty bubble gun. She was interrogated by the school administration for three hours, without her parents being notified. She was probably water boarded. Ultimately she was suspended from kindergarten for 10 days for making a terroristic threat – a bubble gun terrorist threat. Not to be out done, an 11 year old 5th grade girl was suspended from school for 30 days for having a piece of paper that happened to look like a gun. She was searched and humiliated in front of her classmates for bringing a gun to school. A 6 year old was suspended from school after pointing his finger and saying pow. A 7 year old boy was suspended from school when he threw a pretend (nothing in his hand, nothing up his sleeve) hand grenade. He threw it at some pretend bad guys in his effort to save the world. Another terrorist leaning 7 year old was suspended from school because the pop-tart he was having for breakfast took on the shape of what appeared to be a gun. His teacher flipped out imagining I suppose the amount of strawberry pop-tart mayhem that may have ensued. She is not doubt a hero.
Call me crazy and dangerous, but one of my proudest days in the fourth grade was going to school with my Lone Ranger duds on, including my six-guns and a silver bullet. Can you imagine the terror I caused? Except for the fact that Bucky was the Rifleman and Bobby was Zorro the rest of the kids may have been intimidated. Fortunately for them, they were all under the protection of Sgt. Saunders and the squad, from the Combat television series. Some days we would have ferocious battles out in the school yard against the pretend bad guys. We always killed them all and saved the town or country, whatever was at stake. Hi Yo Silver!
When we were not shooting up the bad guys, we were playing tackle football with no pads, we were playing basketball on the outdoor court, or we were playing king of the hill and whisper this one – dodge ball. But we called it war ball. I learned some valuable lessons during these intense 15 minute periods. I learned that leverage and a low center of gravity was important if I was going to knock Grant over. Grant was much bigger than me. I also learned that if I cupped the dodge ball between my palm and wrist, I could whip the ball hard enough that my targets hands would clap together just right after the ball hit them. Never in the head though.
I do not know how any of us survived this brutal period in our lives without growing into psychotic killers. Well, yes I do. We were encouraged to get outside and run around like kids should. We were allowed to use our imagination and not fear our shadows. Our heroes were the good guys. They were clean and honorable. They were not tattooed body pierced athletes or rappers with their britches on backwards. They were not two and half stupid people nor were they Will or Grace. Instead of dutifully taking our doses of Ritalin, we burned out that pent up energy by being kids.
Our children are the future of our nation. What we are allowing the public education system and pop culture in general to inflict on them is unforgivable.