Boys and Guns

Jonathan Turley, GW law professor and father of two boys and one girl, had a great essay in yesterday's Washington Post about letting our kids play with guns.  A social liberal who is no big fan of guns, Turley nonetheless lets his boys play with toy guns (his daughter has no interest), and has interestingly found himself a social pariah at the playground and other places simply because his boys were playing Buzz Lightyear.  Like many a good liberal, Turley actively tried to keep his boys from becoming interested in guns only to find that before long they were “shooting” each other with celery.  The Y chromosome is a powerful thing.  Among the most interesting parts of the article is Turley's catalog of some of the extreme over-reactions to boys playing with toy guns.  Here's a couple:

· In Arkansas, an 8-year-old boy was punished for pointing a cooked chicken strip at another student and saying “pow, pow, pow.”

· In Georgia, a 5-year-old student was suspended after he brought a plastic gun the size of a quarter to his kindergarten class.

Other than water guns, David has never had too much interest in guns.  He does love a good light saber battle though (he would make a fine Jedi Knight).  Somehow, I think he'll end up okay.  Anyway, its a great essay that touches on developmental psychology, gender differences, and crazy zero tolerance policies.  You should read the whole thing.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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