“I just need to make my gun, Mom. Don’t worry, it’s not a real gun. It just shoots bombs.”

This, Squish said to me a few weeks ago as he sat on the rug stacking markers on top of each other.

It’s not real. It just shoots bombs. No biggie.

And today, for the first time in their little lives, my boys picked up some toys, pointed them at each other and said, “Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot.”

I heard long ago that even in the most pacifistic households – the ones in which there is no TV, no exposure to pop culture, no talk or tolerance of violence – even in those homes the boy will bite his pb and j into the shape of a gun with which to shoot his sister. I did not expect our house to be untouched by the gun phenomenon.

But now the heat, as it were, has been unpacked, and I’m wondering:

Do I give them a talking to? Guns are dangerous. Guns can hurt people. Guns do not belong in our house. 

Or do I let it run its course?

Do I really think that pretending to point guns at each other could lead to pointing real guns at each other?

If I were to ban guns from our house, would they be more interested in playing with them elsewhere? And, more importantly, would they also be more inclined to keep things from me?

That last one is the one that scares me the most: being someone who doesn’t understand and shouldn’t be part of what’s going on.

So I’m keeping my peace. Over time, as they grow, we’ll have our chats. Gun safety, gun smarts, what’s real and what’s not.

But for now I’m pretty sure guns are not worth battling over. And in any case, I certainly don’t want to be the enemy, standing on the other side of the line.

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