[twitter]Zacharie fired a gun this weekend.
We were wandering the midway of the Taber Cornfest and the ruralness of the occasion got to me. He asked if he could try the game where you have to shoot the star out and I said yes.
What the hell was I thinking?
I’m fiercely ideological when it comes to guns, except apparently, when I’m not.
I’ve written pieces about how the boys turn everything into a gun, I’ve chastized gun ownership culture, I’ve railed against their use. I absolutely hate them.
Guns serve no purpose other than to kill animals or people. Zacharie loves animals, we all love people. Why would he want to hold a gun?
Still, he asked, and I said yes. Then I took a turn.
I tried to spin it on its head. We were exploring the Canadian Badlands on our own for this weekend, so we could really have deep conversations. I tried to have him understand why I don’t like guns and explain reasons why anyone would ever want to hold them. I tried to tell him how dangerous they were and how they’re weapons built for destruction.
Except, he and I had just held one and fired it off for fun. He had just tried a gun for sport, and I had shown him that they can be used for target practice.
It was a terrible lapse of parenting judgment. Being a parent, however, means sometimes you change the rules because that’s just what you do. I subscribe to the laws of Ad Lib Parenting, meaning I mostly make it up as I go along.
I’m not so naive as to think that guns will never be a part of his life experience. Eventually violent video games will find a way into our own. He may become an Olympic biathlete. His deep empathy for animals may wane, and he might enjoy hunting.
For now, though, I want to cling to that naive child goodness as long as I can. Still, I changed the rules and we fired a gun. I talked about the ramifications of weapons, and used it as a learning experience.