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Richard Crowson Commentary

Guns Are Not Even Child's Play Anymore


I’m not a huge fan of guns. But I used to like them. At one time I had 2 rifles, 7 pistols (including a snub-nose .38!) and a Tommy gun. I blasted away at anything that moved. It made me feel powerful and important. I was 9. My room was protected, not by Smith and Wesson but by Mattel.

Real guns were absent from our home. My dad wasn’t a hunter so I didn’t inherit that tradition. Visits to my Uncle Curt’s farm in North Mississippi, however, fed my appetite for shooting. He’d let me plink away at tin cans to my heart’s content with his .22 rifle. It was fun for a while. Thankfully, mine was not a culture in which children were given real Uzis, as was the case in the recent horrific news story about the 9-year-old who killed her shooting instructor.

When I discovered the joys of cars, music and girls, my toy guns went into my closet. Eventually my mom gave them away to younger children. I’ve never really missed them since.

So it seems strange to me that full-grown adults now like to walk around with their real guns on display. I guess they enjoy feeling powerful and important like I did when I was 9. A couple months back I drove by one of my neighbors out cutting his lawn on a hot summer day. He brandished a pistol in its holder on his belt as he marched importantly to and fro, pushing his mower. I said a silent prayer of thanks that, as bad as the weeds may be in my own yard, I don’t have to arm myself against their aggression when I mow.

What a fearful world some folks live in. I can’t imagine being so afraid of cutting my yard, or shopping at Target or going out for a meal, that I would have to arm myself openly so my knees wouldn’t knock, tremblingly together. Poor, scared little souls. Heaven help the children in their homes.