My son has a new friend. NICE kid. Goofy sense of humor. Polite and responsible. Puts his dishes in the sink without being asked and takes off his shoes at the front door too. Gets along well with all my kids. I enjoy having him over.
So, I was kinda taken aback when, out of the blue, he says "I shot a goose this morning for fun."
The boys were playing a game on the computer in the kitchen while I was making PB&J sandwiches. I spun around. WHAT?!!!
"Well, not with a *real* gun," he tells me. "Just an air gun."
Mind you I have *NO* guns in the house, other than two small squirt guns. In my opinion, *any* gun more powerful than a supersoaker should not be in a house, and definitely not where a child could get their hands on it.
(I don't even know what the hell an air gun is.)
"Did you kill it?" I asked.
"No," he said, "but I did kinda hurt it." He motioned with his arms, indicating that perhaps one wing was injured.
I didn't bother pointing out that if he hurt it, he might as well have killed it because it probably won't be able to defend itself or fly or might suffer a slow painful death.
I just asked, "Why, honey? WHY?"
He suddenly looked sad. As if that had never occurred to him. "My parents told me I shouldn't do that again. They were mad at me. It just seemed fun."
"FUN"? "Barbaric" is a better word. But I'm also very sure that he's not the first boy (or girl) to think that shooting an animal is "fun".
I said, "Well, the goose probably didn't think it was 'fun'. Next time, think of how the animal might feel."
"Yeah," he said. He looked tearful, so I didn't say anything more.
This is not a deranged kid. He's not being raised by crazy parents, either (Mom's a doctor; Dad's a nurse and they've both done medical stints in Africa). These are GOOD, caring people.
But for some reason, the parents have a gun in their house and their kids (at least the oldest) have access to it.
My kids will not be playing over there until I have assurances that a) all guns are LOCKED away, b) kids have no access to the keys to said locks, and c) ammunition is stored somewhere else.
Which means, of course, that my kid may never get to go over to their house.
I pray the goose died quickly. :(
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.