Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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When Toys Turn Deadly

Do you ever consider the worst case scenario with toys?

What’s the worst case scenario with this toy car–that its noises will drive me insane and I will have to lose the batteries?

What’s the worst case scenario with this playdough–I’ll be picking it out of the carpet for the next 10 years?

But what’s the worst case scenario with BB guns?

This morning’s news of a three-year-old girl who was killed by her nine-year-old brother has me shaken.  He and another brother were shooting blasts of air with what they thought were empty BB guns at their sister’s head. Instead of shooting a blast of air, a BB shot into her head. She died of the injury.

I cannot imagine the horror and heartbreak in that family. The poor nine-year-old will have to live with the trauma of accidentally killing his sister for the rest of his life. The mother, faced with the loss of one baby, forced to comfort the killer, who is also her baby. I CANNOT HANDLE THIS.

I know this is a freak accident, but I can’t help it, what is WITH giving even toy GUNS to children? Yes, we teach our children responsibility. How to handle even toy weapons. Respecting firearms, staying clear of the gun safes, never to point a gun at someone, even if you are joking. But they are children. Kids don’t listen. They don’t take things seriously. They think they are the exemption. They WILL point the gun at each other. They WILL shoot each other.

I know that anything can be turned into a weapon by a child messing around. I grew up with a guy who had lost an eye to his brother’s golf club. My own toddler nearly lost an eye when his brother was swinging a wooden duck by its pull string–the scar just under his eyebrow haunts me, only a few millimeters down…

But despite these incidents, those toys aren’t meant to hurt or kill things, and BB guns are. Maybe I’m just Ralphie’s mom, but I don’t understand why you’d ever buy your kid a working gun, because even if it’s a toy, it still shoots things. You can’t have a constant eye on your children, even the best parents have to use the bathroom sometimes.


Explain it to me. What do I not understand? Why a BB gun? Do you think they teach responsibility? Do you consider them critical for a full childhood?

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Comments (5)

  1. Erica Fehrman 08/25/2011 at 8:10 pm

    I come from a family of hunters, and the main problem I see with BB guns is that people even view them as a toy. They are still a gun and must always be treated as a weapon. It’s a good choice to begin young hunters in gun safety and target practice (BB’s are much cheaper than real ammo) with parental supervision, but should be locked up with other hunting gear and not thrown in the garage with bikes and real toys.

    So sad that this happened and praying for this family.

  2. Alison Kallstrom 08/25/2011 at 3:51 pm

    Wow – what a sad story. I get so upset when I see toy guns. There are so many other great things to play with – why bring weapons into the mix?? It is impossible for a small child to understand the consequences of guns. I really feel for this family and hope it can be a lesson for others.

  3. Jennifer 08/24/2011 at 3:20 pm

    This was the first I heard of this story and it is so sad!! I can’t imagine what the family is going through and that boy will need counseling. We are a family of hunters. We don’t buy any of our meat at the store. We prefer to hunt on our land to provide for our family. Our kids are 7 and 16 months. We have been teaching the oldest one gun safety for a while now. She knows never to point it at a person. We also don’t allow her to point toy ones at people. She is very aware of what they are and what they are used for. She knows they are a tool used to kill things and not a toy. She also knows if she is at someones house and finds a gun to tell an adult. We keep them locked in a gun safe at all times and unloaded in there. We do have a BB gun that was my husbands as a child. At some point, I imagine she will begin learning to hunt, if she wants to, with that. At no time will she have that gun in her possession without adult supervision until she is much older, has taken a hunter’s safety course, and we both decide she is responsible enough to have it. I think some people look at BB gun’s as more a toy then a gun but they can still kill. I don’t think the gun itself teaches the responsibility, it is the parents.

  4. Mom of three boys 08/24/2011 at 2:39 pm

    I am with you. I do not understand the appeal of guns AT ALL. They’re used to kill things. Period. My cousin was killed when he was 12 while he and some friends were playing with a gun at his friend’s. After that, I vowed there would never be a gun in my home. There are too many tragic stories like this one. Yes, my sons still run around ‘shooting’ each other with the broom or the yard stick or whatever else they find, but as long as they’re in my home there will not be a gun. And I’m doing my best to instill a ‘walk away and tell an adult’ attitude for when they’re at other homes.

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