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Political correctness is damaging young boys:
Research by Penny Holland, academic leader for early childhood at London Metropolitan University, has also concluded that boys should be allowed to play gun games.
But you can bet kids will continue to get suspended for as little as drawing pictures of guns.
Remember this the next time someone complains about a Republican war on science. Yet another reason to get the government out of the schools.Posted by Rand Simberg at December 31, 2007 08:40 AM
I don't know. is this really the right tack? it seems to me that touting this study only makes us more vulnerable to the politicization of science, not less.
I think there is nothing wrong with boys or girls playing with guns. but that belief is not contingent on what the latest study says in the subject.Posted by a.w. at December 31, 2007 09:47 AM
For those interested in this topic, a book I would highly recommend is "Killing Monsters: why children need fantasy, super heroes and make-believe violence" by Gerard Jones, 2002.Posted by John F. MacMichael at December 31, 2007 09:52 AM
'their "natural instinct" to stop boys using pretend weapons'
Was that "natural instinct" evolved in the Neolithic or the Palaeolithic?Posted by Bob Hawkins at December 31, 2007 11:19 AM
Here's another gem from the PC feminist nazis. I believe they really do hate Men.Posted by CoInkyDink at December 31, 2007 12:52 PM
When I was 10 - 21 years ago - my parents allowed the school psychologist to include me in a study being done by the local university, on violence in television. They didn't tell my parents exactly what the experiment was, but I was a bright kid, and they told me secretly that it WAS an experiment.
They put us in a group of 8, and let us watch an hour of "The A Team." Then they ushered us into another room filled with toys.
After a couple of minutes one of the girls let out this low moan. She'd just found the pistol they'd planted under a stuffed animal. It was a Beretta 92, just like the one my dad had. He took it to the range every week, and I got to help him clean it. I dropped the magazine, it was loaded - I later found out it was loaded with inert rounds, but I didn't know that at the time.
So I picked it up, rotated the takedown lever, slid the slide off, took out the barrel and stuck it in my pocket, then put the slide back on and put it down. It told the other kids it was safe now but they shouldn't touch it. Then I went and tried to get out.
The door was locked, so I knocked. I didn't know it, but they'd been watching and had seen everything. They were in a panic and didn't know what to do, so they didn't open the door. Finally I went and got the gun, and used it to pound on the door while we screamed for help.
That got them to open the door.
Don't know what other people think about this, but I support the idea of not letting children, I guess mainly boys, play with toy guns. What I would do instead is have them fire real guns, pellet guns at a young age, higher caliber guns at older age, and do this under the strictist of adult supervision.
Recently, my neighbor who is politically liberal as the day is long, permitted his sub-teen boys and some neighbor kids play outside in the snow with some realistic-looking guns, and the kids were hiding behind snow banks and staging ambushes and having a grand old time, but they were wearing safety goggles, suggesting that they were firing some kind of soft pellet or dart at each other, and here I am outside shoveling snow in my driveway without those safety glasses.
Yeah, I played with toy guns as a kid and all of that, but the older I get the more I am of the mind that any kind of gun, even if it is shooting a foam dart or soft pellet or a blob of paint, should not be pointed and discharged another person. The only place for pointing and shooting anything at another person is if you mean to make that person dead because that person is a deadly threat to yourself or others you are protecting.
If children, especially boys but girls too, have a desire to shoot any gun, it should take place on a firing range or in the shooting of game or nuisance animals that destroy property, and this should be done under the direct supervision of responsible adults.
If you think of our origins in tribal hunter culture, the taking of life in hunting or in battle was the role and responsibility of the adults in the society, and this actions were often group activities, where including children in the hunt was part of their initiation into the adult world, an initiation that could take place as young as 10 or 12 years of age, and this initiation followed very strict rules layed out by elders.
So if the only contact kids get with gun play is with real guns with some grumpy old guy hollering at them that guns are not toys and that the guns will be taken away at the first infraction of some arbitrary rules, that is the way kids should be taught about guns and about the adult social structure. With all of the concerns about real guns out on the streets and confusion with realistic toy guns, I cringed seeing those kids with those toy guns playing on the street and wished I had the authority to take them to a practice range and teach them safe handling of real guns.Posted by Paul Milenkovic at December 31, 2007 01:07 PM
Not to mention cap guns and toy guns in general build bad 'muscle memory' that must be unlearnt for good trigger control. They teach you to jerk the trigger.
Cap guns are 'El Snatcho's' friend.Posted by Mike Puckett at December 31, 2007 03:41 PM
Bob - Can we split the difference and call it the mesolithic?Posted by Jay Manifold at December 31, 2007 04:38 PM
Oh great Jay, be a moderate then.Posted by Mike Puckett at December 31, 2007 09:18 PM
Young boys are by nature violent. They must be taught to be non-violent in the proper situation. Small boys sans this training are little more than monkeys with speech. The problem is that they are now removed from any kind of "violence", as if it doesn't, nor will it ever, exist in their lives.
I'm always amazed at the leftist hand wringer view of the world on this gun and violence issue. How is it that they're whole evolutionary vision is that man is evolved from animals. Then they turn right around and deny the animal in all of us. Especially young boys.
Guns or no guns, here is the bottom line. And it counts whether you believe in evolution or creation. A man's job was to create a family, protect that family, feed that family and teach his sons to find their own cave, hunt their own food and restart that cycle. Somewhere during the late 20th Century, it became distasteful to teach young men to do these things.
The handling of guns was, and is, just a small part of that "pussification" of the American male.Posted by Steve at January 1, 2008 10:58 AM
This is where I note the irony that the most ardent social conservatives are more accepting of key elements of evolutionary psychology than their "reality-based" opponents.Posted by Jay Manifold at January 1, 2008 01:54 PM
"pussification" of the American male.
Wow, little boys that play with their little guns grow up to be as afraid of 'p&ssy', as they are afraid of God, commies, goat herders, librals, taxes and ... well, is there anything that an@l little boys who play with guns aren't afraid of? I can't think of any. A p&ssy with no brain, perhaps?Posted by content at January 1, 2008 06:50 PM
""pussification" of the American male.
Wow, little boys that play with their little guns grow up to be as afraid of 'p&ssy', as they are afraid of God, commies, goat herders, librals, taxes and ... well, is there anything that an@l little boys who play with guns aren't afraid of? I can't think of any. A p&ssy with no brain, perhaps?
Posted by content at January 1, 2008 06:50 PM"
They say that Syphilis untreated causes mental disorders.
I think this puts content into the proper context.
Apparently, he should have been more afraid of that tainted p&ssy.Posted by Mike Puckett at January 1, 2008 07:58 PM
I'm not saying that toy guns make boys less afraid. No more than playing with toy a bow and arrow, or a sword or any other historical weapon would have down through the ages. Anyone who derives bravery from a weapon is a fool. My point is that training little boys to FEAR guns as evil is wrong.
To return to my earlier point about evolution or creation. We know that men once lived in caves and once hunted with weapons to eat. They are then by nature, or necessity users of weapons. You can try to squash this in young boys, but it won't happen. They'll point their finger and shout, "BANG", if mommy and daddy won't buy them a toy gun. Or they'll pick up a stick and do the same thing.Posted by Steve at January 2, 2008 08:18 AM
the older I get the more I am of the mind that any kind of gun, even if it is shooting a foam dart or soft pellet or a blob of paint, should not be pointed and discharged another person. The only place for pointing and shooting anything at another person is if you mean to make that person dead because that person is a deadly threat to yourself or others you are protecting.
The US military disagrees with you.
Although, given the cutbacks in aggressor training, we seem to be heading in that direction.
P_ussyfication* is a poor choice of word, in my experience a lot of this applies to your average untrained/uneducated/uncultured (in relation to weapons) female as well:
I'm not sure exactly what Edward Wright says the US military disagrees with but it would be astonishing news if the US military does not subscribe to the core general principle of not targeting your weapon unless ready to fire and kill. And then only after that concept has been thoroughly cultivated adds exceptions as warranted (training etc. it's all about context). I won't believe otherwise unless someone starts quoting their manuals and training material as saying otherwise (it would be an extraordinary claim etc. and how the hell would they be supposed to reconcile such an approach with standard NATO regulations and procedures of which they are a part?).
* Content filter.Posted by Habitat Hermit at January 2, 2008 04:37 PM
I'm not sure exactly what Edward Wright says the US military disagrees with but it would be astonishing news if the US military does not subscribe to the core general principle of not targeting your weapon unless ready to fire and kill. And then only after that concept has been thoroughly cultivated adds exceptions as warranted (training etc. it's all about context).
Yes, it's all about context, and you seem to have missed the context entirely.
Paul said, "I am of the mind that any kind of gun, even if it is shooting a foam dart or soft pellet or a blob of paint, should not be pointed and discharged another person."
In this context, there is no "core general principle" that soldiers should not point a foam dart or soft pellet or paint ball at someone unless they are "ready to fire and kill." When the military wants to kill someone, they do not use simulated weapons.
But even ignoring the context of this discussion, have you never heard of holding someone at gunpoint??? Soldiers (and police officers) point their guns at prisoners all the time. It does not mean they are about to kill them.
Posted by Edward Wright at January 2, 2008 05:22 PM
Blanks and MILES Gear. Simmunitions.
The military is all about you pointing your weapon at another servicemember and firing it......IN THE PROPER CONTEXT!Posted by Mike Puckett at January 2, 2008 05:29 PM
If you have a better word, spill it.
I don't say, "feminized", that assumes that all "females" are anti-gun or pacifistic. Trust me, too many women, my wife included, are too good a shot for ALL females to be anti-gun. Many of her sisters find the anti-gun, anti-boy atmosphere to be silly and over done.
If you're offended by my usage, sorry. But back in the olden days, when I was a wee lad, any young boys who acted the way the PC crowd wants boys to act now, were called "pussies" by their peers. So I use the word in that context.Posted by Steve at January 3, 2008 03:18 AM
I agree with Paul. As an adult, I worry about my own handling of firearms, because I wasn't trained from the start to give them the proper respect that I should. My step-daughters however did receive such training from a great-uncle. I actually trust my kids with firearms more than myself.
However, I have had military training and taken my own firearm training. In none of my training was it ever suggested that a firearm should be pointed at anyone without the intent to kill. Sure, I have seen soldiers and police take down a person with a firearm pointed at a threat AND NOT FIRE, but that's a level of rational thinking that goes beyond simplistic black and white context. If the soldier or police officer isn't prepared to pull the trigger (like may have happened here), then they need to be trained some more or end up dead. Yet the fact that they don't always fire doesn't mean absolute reluctance to do so.
Perhaps Ed should read Bill Whittle's essay. One wonders if he will make the connection that Boyd didn't shootdown his opponents in training, yet the Air Force did manage to improve the kill to loss ratio. Lucky for him, Bill clearly explains the connection.Posted by Leland at January 3, 2008 08:57 AM
I have had military training and taken my own firearm training. In none of my training was it ever suggested that a firearm should be pointed at anyone without the intent to kill.
None of your training ever explained the difference between a real weapon and a simulated weapon, or a real weapon with simulated ammunition? Or that the rules of engagement were not the same for both of them?
Perhaps you were in a non-combat MOS or went through military training at a bad time, but what you say is not true of the military in general.
Here you have it, from the Amry's own website:
Weapons Training. Cadets take part in combat simulations with paintball equipment and learn the ins and outs of an M16 in Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) training.
And if that's not proof enough for you, here are Youtube videos that show ROTC cadets firing paintball guns at one another:
If you or Paul want to continue arguing that soldiers are taught never to point paintball guns and other simulated weapons at one another, go ahead. We can use the amusement. :-)
It is rational thinking based on training and knowledge of the rules of engagement -- and it contradicts your simplistic black and white rule that "a firearm should not be pointed at anyone without the intent to kill."
Perhaps Ed should read Bill Whittle's essay. One wonders if he will make the connection that Boyd didn't shootdown his opponents in training, yet the Air Force did manage to improve the kill to loss ratio.
One wonders if you can read simple English without distorting its meaning, Bill. Boyd DID point his guns at people in training without intending to kill them. That's WHY the kill ratio improved.
In the 1960's, the US military DID have the kind of regulations you suggest. American figher pilots were not allowed to get one another in their gunsights. Because of those rules, American pilots went to Vietnam poorly trained, and the US loss rate was unacceptably high. Boyd helped CHANGE those rules and create realistic training programs like Reg Flag and aggressor squadrons.
I'm not sure what you think Boyd did, but HE certainly understood the difference between real weapons/ammo (which you never point at your friends) and simulated weapons/ammo (which is MEANT to be pointed at your friends).
Confusing simulated weapons with real weapons is not "proper respect for firearms." It is simply ignorance.
Posted by Edward Wright at January 3, 2008 12:07 PM
But since some of the stuff applies to girls and women as well you could end up talking about "the pussification of girls" which is just plain weird ^_^
One might as well add the proper use and handling of knives and axes as another example. Not teaching children that is the same thing: a ridiculously overprotective attitude that ends up being counterproductive, simply stupid.
I'm done taking anything you write seriously. If that's being unfairly harsh because you have a mental problem or if despite your name English isn't your primary language I apologize in advance; otherwise you can sod off for all I care.Posted by Habitat Hermit at January 4, 2008 03:53 AM
During the paleo-, neo-, and mesolithic, there was no such thing as a pretend weapon. They hadn't the technology to make fake rocks and sticks. I'd suspect kids got promoted to 'adult' once they'd grown smart enough to pick effective rocks and sticks, and strong enough to use them well.
As humanity got its act more and more together, more and more elaborate, toys and simulations came to pass. A girl playing with a doll was practicing motherhood. A boy with a small, weak bow, shooting at a tree, was practicing the hunt. (Blunt arrows were probably used. Real arrowheads were dangerous and expensive.) Warriors, both young and old, practiced hitting each other with wooden or whalebone swords. The general idea was to learn the actions without major consequence, so they'd do things effectively when it came time to do so in earnest.
Today there are entire stores filled with practice items - dolls, Tonka toys, Super Soakers, little kitchen sets, little tool sets, pedal cars. But we still grow up at the same rate, and want the Real Thing once we near puberty. That used to mean adult-hood for most of our history; it no longer does, but that doesn't stop a twelve-year-old from realizing a cap gun is bogus.
Guess what? I hit puberty during the Fifties. Promptly got a gun - several, really. I'd plink cans, and in the fall, bring home ducks and pheasant. They are not only edible, they can be tasty! And the custom continues: for Christmas, our family get-together featured venison bourguignon courtesy of the nephews.
Consider it a salute to hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, learning to learn to do. Over those years, 'ineffectual' gradually was replaced by 'pretend'. As these things go, I'd suggest it's unwise to tamper with 'pretend' unless we mean to tamper with 'do' as well.
In a dangerous world, holding many unpleasant people with guns and attitude, I'd REALLY recommend not tampering with our ability to use weapons, nor our ability to learn how to do it. Because the people who don't like us might not be willing to disarm at the same time.Posted by Dr. Ellen at January 6, 2008 01:27 PM
Hey Steve, you want to see some really surreal cognitive dissonance, see this thread on PZ Meyers' blog.Posted by Robert at January 13, 2008 11:30 PM
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