I recently read a story in the news that reminded me of an early post of The Film Geek's (Poor Priorities) talking about gun culture. He illustrated an incident of an 8-year old boy accidentally shooting and killing himself. On a kinda flip side of that is this story about an 8-year old boy who is now a murder suspect in the shooting and killing of his father and another man. It worries me that children are encouraged to know about guns, have contact with guns, and use guns and these two stories reflect my anxiety about such an issue.
As a kid I loved playing with guns. I had authentic looking cap guns that simply made the "bang" noise and that was O.K. with me. I got to feel like a cowboy and no-one ended up dead. I fired water pistols and that was great too. I soaked my friends and in return I would get soaked. With no trip to the hospital (or morgue) needed. I would play laser tag, picking off my "enemies" with beams of light. Running around crazily pointing the heavy laser gun and enjoying hearing that "bleep bleep" knowing I'd scored a hit. If I would go back in time and give that 8 year old Allclick a REAL honest-to-goodness gun I have no doubt there would be trouble by midnight because I doubt I'd be able to fully appreciate that I was holding a lethal weapon (just like that time I met Mel Gibson).
At this current point in time there is apparently a rush on gun sales (Dallas News, Sign On San Diego) due to the election of President Obama. Apparently there is some debate about whether or not he will make it more difficult to buy guns or even restricted the selling of "assault weapons". I am not sure I really see the logic behind the mass buying, though. Either you currently own a gun and so buying more guns isn't really a priority (especially when the economy is so bad and you really should be buying things like food and paying off those credit card debts) or you currently do not own a gun and you have managed to get this far in your life without one. The Slate published a pretty interesting look at this issue suggesting that it is really the press who are spooking us about the increase in gun sales.
I'm frankly, much more spooked at the thought of everyone owning a bunch of guns around me, than my access to such a weapon. I can barely trust other people to make decent judgements when they are driving, or shopping let alone their decisions about welding lethal weapons.
Summary: Guns bad. Except fake guns.