Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gun Range Hosts Birthday Party for Eight Year Olds

'S&W Pre 34 22/32 Kit Gun 1950's' photo (c) 2006, Stephen Z - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As a Canadian, I simply do not understand the American fascination with guns.  I don't buy the ridiculous justification that guns don't kill people, people kill people.  The presence of a gun escalates any situation, and anyone holding a gun is more likely to perceive that someone else is also holding a gun.  This weekend, we had a shooting at the Eaton Center in Toronto that left most people in absolute shock.  We have strong gun control laws in Canada, and our problem right now is with illegal American guns slipping across our border. 

I have never held a gun and intend to go my entire life without doing so.  We teach our children that guns are a serious matter and can lead to death.  We don't allow them to play with toy guns, nor do we allow them to play video games that exalt gun violence. We believe that this sort of thing normalizes guns and the violence that often results when guns are involved. This is why I was absolutely disgusted when I learned that a shooting range in Texas plans to hold birthday parties for kids.

A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children's birthday parties. Owner David Prince tells WFAA that the Eagle Gun Range will be available for children as young as eight years old.

"The age limit is eight years old. You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table," Prince said. "They're not gonna be left unattended. Parents are gonna be one-on-one, or if there's not enough parents we'll have range safety officers here to show them how to do it safely."[source]
Birthday parties are celebrations and I cannot for the life of me understand any justification to include a gun. Even more importantly, children that young have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality and this means no matter how many times that they are told that guns are serious, many won't be able to make the connections that are necessary.  Furthermore, having an introduction to a gun at a party
negates the idea that guns are to be taken seriously.


Gun worshiping in states like Texas is absolutely taught to children.  For many, it is considered a right of passage.  The right to bear arms is embedded in the American social consciousness. The idea that the founding fathers could not have conceived of the modern weapons in existence today is barely part of the discussion. A quick glance at the stats illustrate exactly how dire this problem has become.


If this kind of violence didn't effect people who live outside of the borders of the U.S., it wouldn't bother me to the same degree.  With the proliferation of guns, combined with the lax laws, it might already be to late for the U.S. to gain any kind of control. Considering the effect of the American fascination with guns is having on other nations, is something U.S. citizens and politicians pay lip service to at best. This is one of the drawbacks of sharing a border with America and from this comment, “We are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the U.S.,”[source] clearly president Calderon of Mexico feels exactly the same way. 

American laws are not applicable outside of the U.S. thank goodness; however, your inability to get guns under control is damaging to those of us who share a border with you. The media is constantly filled with the idea of American exceptionalism, but what really sets you apart is the degree of violence which you have normalized and absolute arrogance.  Teaching children as young as eight to glorify guns is ridiculous and the end result of this can only be death.  When your laws begin to effect the safety of others outside of your borders, then we can no longer afford to simply shake our heads and silently judge.