The other day I was on FaceBook and I read an article on a gun site I follow. The article was about how people should let there kids play with toy guns and not be afraid to let them around real guns.
I made a comment that because we have real guns and we let our children around them and because we care deeply about gun safety, we do not let our children have toy guns. The rule in our house is, if you see a gun, don’t touch it and find an adult. I mentioned that I did not want to leave the detriment of what is real and what is a toy up to our children.
In return a whole bunch of people basically said if my kids are so stupid that they can not tell the difference between real and fake, they are in fact stupid and that we as parents are stupid for raising such stupid children and because we are all so stupid, probably shouldn’t be allowed to have guns at all.
I would like to share with you a little bit about one of my children. Our daughter was adopted from China when she was almost 4. When we got there, she could not walk, too weak. Could not hold a cup. Did not know how to feed herself. She is deaf and had zero language, nothing. She had never heard a word and was never taught even the most rudimentary sign. She did not even know to shake her head yes or no. She was so traumatized by her life experiences in that place, that she had completely shut down and went inside herself. Basically, all she did was rock, stack cups, and scream bloody murder.
We spent the first year she was home just trying to get her to not be afraid. Trying to convince her she was safe and that here she not only wouldn’t be hit or abused, but that she would be loved and cared for. It was a long, painful, and tiring process.
We had some progress that first year and by the time she was 5, we decided to get her the cochlear implant to help her hear. This child had never heard one bit of sound ever. My husband, myself, our audiologist, our ENT surgeon and the 2nd in charge of the entire Bethesda Navel Medical Center were all extremely concerned how hearing sound might effect this child. We wondered if the shock of noise might traumatize her further, and while we all felt it was in her best long term interest to have the surgery, our immediate concern was her spirit. We did not want to set her back in her emotional process.
I posted a video on my Face book page if your interested. Video
This is a long video(I would love to have any skill whatsoever in terms of computers, but I don’t, so I could not edit it down), about 29 minutes, but I think it is worth the time to see just how amazing this child is. Just how not stupid she is. This video is of her activation of her cochlear implant. It is the first time she ever heard any sound at all. It is about 6 weeks after her surgery to have the implant put in her head. At that surgery the doctors found hundreds of bone fragments embedded in her skull and tissue. Those fragments were caused by repeated blunt force trauma. She has had a bit to deal with.
This child, this precious amazing child, is now 7 and has completely caught up to her peers in language, and in academics. In 3 years she fought back from a very tragic life to not only overcome emotional sadness, but has excelled and blossomed into a full fledged carefree, loving, kind, funny, right on target miracle.
Guns are important. They are fundamental to keeping our safety and our freedoms. It is paramount that those that understand this fight for it and protect it and pass it on to the next generation, but it is not the only thing that matters.
I was not a gun owner when she came home, but I can tell you even if I was, teaching gun safety would not have mattered to me one flying flippin’ bit. She wouldn’t have got it anyway. My daily goal was figuring out how to keep her from having a breakdown. It was not showering or eating or sleeping and certainly wasn’t guns.
She has come a long way and now she knows about guns and how to shoot and all about safety and she mostly certainly can tell the difference between a real gun and toy one. She in fact is not stupid.
After she came home we brought home another child, a son, and while he is not emotionally traumatized, he is behind in language and like her, has other things more pressing to worry about than whether or not a gun is real or fake.
We do now have guns in our house and because we do, we feel it is important to teach gun safety. Regardless of what other issues these kids have going on, they need to be safe and aware, so we are giving him what he can handle until he is ready to handle more. Safety is our paramount concern.
Unfortunately for my children, they have had to make up for the lack of care they should have received by the people who should have been responsible enough to care for them. His lack of understanding about real guns verses fake guns is not an intelligence issue, it is a lack of responsibility issue. People failed him and it’s gonna take him some time to catch up, but he will.
Many adults lack responsibility and I feel it is very irresponsible to call a child you know nothing about stupid.
Life is not black and white. It is not absolute. For me the entire 2nd Amendment fight is about much more than just guns and the right to bear them. It is about personal freedom. The freedom to make choices that are right for you and your family and for your choices not to infringe on mine. It is about respecting the choices of others and understand that what you do may not be right for someone who is very different from you.
I will end with the statement I left to these rather rude and inconsiderate folks…
Blanket statements about children and/or their parents, or well anything, are like gun laws…ridiculous.