Once upon a time, children were expected to play cops and robbers, cowboys and… Native Americans, and even pretended to be soldiers, while somehow the nation didn’t break into civil war or roving street-to-street gunfights. But the national dialogue, and more accurately, one-sided lecture about America’s culture of violence is taking hyper-sensitivity to the next level.
Two six-year-olds were recently suspended from school in the state of Maryland — for showing finger-guns. Such is the case in the country that children engaging in imaginary play involving pretend guns risk getting punished.
The hysteria about firearms is thus being spread to all areas of society, including to elementary schools. Maybe it’s time to have a more adult “dialogue” on the issue, and leave kids out of it.
CBS had the news story:
There’s controversy at a Talbot County school after two 6-year-old boys were suspended while playing cops and robbers during recess and using their fingers to make an imaginary gun. [...]
This is the second time a Maryland child (sic) has been suspended for such play. Earlier this month, 6-year-old Rodney Lynch was suspended from his Montgomery County school after pretending to fire an imaginary gun more than once.
Is all of this business about thought-crime being more serious than actual crime necessary? It’s as if mental discrimination and verbal bullying and pretend violence are more serious offenses than being potentially assaulted or raped or robbed in one’s own home; and perish the thought, actually wanting to fight back with serious firearms.
It’s good that the president showed some restraint with his gun violence executive orders, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are all legal under the separation of powers. We still have to read the executive orders to find out what’s in them. But the instinct some have to criminalize inanimate objects or society and not individuals is wrong and can actually lead to victimizing innocent people, as seen with these young children engaging in naive play.
There are consequences for acting and legislating based on emotion, rather than reason and evidence. Let’s all hope that cooler heads eventually prevail.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @rogue1776