When Toys Turn Deadly

I know this is a freak accident, but I can't help it, what is WITH giving even toy GUNS to children?
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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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