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I am not sure what point Mr Blackwell is trying to make in comparing cars to guns. Gas ovens, computers, hammers and bathtubs are all very useful but can also kill and injure people. But we have not enshrined the ownership of any of those into our national laws, culture and psyche.

In the US we have a particular relationship to guns that many other cultures do not have. I teach college classes with perhaps half of the students from Africa, Asia, Latin Am and former Soviet countries. The rest are US students, mostly lower-middle to middle class.

Yesterday I mentioned in passing that I have a friend whose pre-teen children have their own guns (true) and the whole family is into range shooting. The kids from other countries thought I was making it up, like a tall tale about a family of yee-hah rodeo cowboys or spy kids. They cannot comprehend why anyone in their right mind would actually hand firearms to minor children and teach them to shoot.[1]

Several US students are from the opposite end-- what's wrong with teaching a child about guns and letting them shoot? It's part of being an American. The African students talk about the abuse and trauma of child soldiers. The Asian students ask why you would want a gun in your home to begin with. The Latin kids say you hire an armed guard if you are worried about protecting your kids from kidnapping. I find myself mediating an argument between people from different planets. It is hard for me to be neutral when I am so wary of guns around children-- even if your kids are very responsible and trustworthy, their friends may not be![2]

The same parents who gave a gun to their 10 and 12-year old kids would not let them drive the family car or stay home alone for a week. They do not think they are mature enough to vote in elections or watch x-rated videos, or to experiment with drugs and alcohol. They would protect them from anyone who tried to recruit them as soldiers. But it is okay to entrust those children with the power of life and death, even under supervision..... :o
 1. I know-- what could possibly go wrong? Kids never have tantrums or imagine stuff that is not true, do they?
 2. Look at the middle school bullying that drives some kids to attempt suicide. Look at the hazing rituals that high school students engage in. Look at the drunken parties that happen when parents are not at home. Add easy gun access. Hilarity most definitely does not ensue.
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screwtape i like the different perspective November 24, 2013, 09:56:45 PM