There are two stories making the rounds this New Year's Eve that have me shaking my head. One is tragic and the other is just...silly.
The first one is the story of a two year old that shot and killed his mother in a Utah Walmart. Horrifying. So many lives ruined in a second. It raises so many questions: Why was the gun in her purse? Why was the kid left alone with the gun and purse? How did his two year old fingers manage to pull the trigger? What was she so afraid of in that little podunk town that she felt she needed to be armed to go to Walmart? Did she get the gun for Christmas?
See the story here.
I don't want to get into a gun debate. I really don't. My husband is a former Marine. He has massive respect for what guns and more importantly, bullets, can do. We don't have a gun in the house, but if and when we move to the country (which we are thinking about in the future), my husband has already said that he would want a rifle; nothing crazy, just something for protection in a remote area where the police response time is decidedly slower than it is in the suburbs. I know that he will be responsible with it. He is that kind of guy. I am no fan of guns myself, but I have no problem with responsible gun owners. Where "responsible" becomes "irresponsible" becomes a bit more blurry for me, but that is a discussion for another day.
I have been reading the debates about this incident. The most ridiculous arguments are being made by some who are bragging about how savvy their own two year old's are with guns. They are saying things like "They know not to touch a gun, ever". I even saw a guy compare his having guns and teaching his toddlers about them to electrical outlets. "We teach them not to touch those! This is the same thing!". Really?
Not the same, not at all. Yes, we teach our kids to stay away from hot pots and electrical outlets...and guns, and accidents still happen. As much as we parents are on top of our little ones, we still need to use the bathroom from time to time, or answer the door, or check on another child, or make dinner, or, or...so many "ors" in life. Two year old's (and five year old's and ten year old's and teenagers and young adults...) don't make the best decisions. Sure, they may have been told a thousand times that running into the street after a ball is a no-no, but how many do it anyway? The answer is: ALL OF THEM. At one time or another, every kid puts themselves in some kind of dangerous situation. Hopefully, usually, there is an adult nearby to save them from themselves.
While I certainly hope that these parents of gun-savvy two year old's are correct; which I highly, highly doubt, (sorry, THEY ARE TWO!) what I hope more is that they never learn whether they were wrong. I hope they never have to second guess their actions because of a tragedy. I also fervently hope that they are more responsible than that mom in the Walmart. However you feel about guns, I am fairly certain that we can agree that a loose, loaded handgun in a purse within reach of everyone around you, not just your kids, is a bad idea; really, horribly, sometimes tragically bad.
I am thinking about this family today and hoping that they can find some peace in the coming year.
The other story making the rounds is about...drumroll, please...Playdoh. It seems that in an attempt to design a kid friendly, fake cake making set, the manufacturers made one part look like this
I mean, okay. I see it. The person that designed it is either totally incompetent or a total, toy making genius. After all, it is getting attention.
What I don't get is how this ruined anyone's Christmas. People are actually saying that. "It ruined Christmas when our daughter opened this present!", they are saying, hands held to throats in horror.
Seriously? In what world does this ruin anything? Sure, it looks like a tiny penis. My question is: Who cares? It's not a tiny penis. It's a tiny, Playdoh part that happens to look a bit like a tiny penis.
Penises do not ruin Christmas. They just don't. Parents who make a big deal over nothing, do.
Why these two stories together, you ask? What does one have to do with the other? The way I see it, with all the horrors in the world, including a two year old shooting and killing his mom, tiny plastic phalluses are the least of our worries; or at least, they should be.
Are we really that far gone as a society that we are so desensitized to violence that we shrug it off, but anything that even resembles a penis has to be blurred out for our viewing (like they did here)? What does that say about us? Penises, real, fake, purposeful or not, are not the problem. Our twisted view of what is bad or wrong, is.