My kids know about this blog. They don't really care about it, of course, because I'm old and not cool, and there isn't anything I could possibly write that would be of use to this slick auto tune generation. However, a few days ago my husband was
playing Bejeweled working on the lap top, and when he left to go get more potato chips save the world, my son got on the computer and, for some reason, read my latest post. You know...the one I wrote last week? The one about him.
If you aren't familiar with my latest rant, my eleven-year-old son wants an Airsoft gun, and I quickly responded to his request with a great, big ol' "Hell to the No" before he could barely get the words out. The foot was down. The verdict was in, and there would be no appeal granted, but if there is one annoying personality trait that my children inherited from me, it's that they are persistent. This child went to work. He did his research. He fine-tuned his defense. Then, in an act of sheer desperation, the boy penned his rebuttal to my blog post. What sixth grader writes an essay without being coerced?
With his permission, I submit to you his plea:
"I’ve been to many websites that all lead me to believe that airsoft guns are safe. It has been proven by many weapons experts that it is a safe sport, and it is also a very active sport for kids that is fun and gets you the exercise you need everyday. Airsoft guns are not weapons that can harm anyone, and one of their main characteristics shows that they are not lethal: the orange tip on the barrel.
Airsoft is nothing like a BB gun because they shoot small plastic balls at such a minimal speed that they cannot hurt or injure unless you are not playing properly, or for example, not wearing the proper eyewear or shooting too close with one of the more accurate guns. While playing airsoft, it is a good idea that you play with the proper eyewear, which is the simple shooting glasses sold with many airsoft gun kits and many retail stores. Airsoft began in the 1980’s and no one has been fatally injured ever in the whole existence of the product.
Last year when I pleaded for an airsoft gun the answer was no, so I told you I would be more responsible and earn the trust. I’ve done many things this year such as getting my own phone, and I’ve been responsible with it. I got the internet in my own bedroom, and I’ve been responsible with that. I’ve even started playing soccer while working as hard as I can to keep my straight A's.
I have done my best at school, kept up being safe with my things, and made a promise to myself to try to be a better person. I am ready for the privilege of owning an airsoft gun. I promise to be safe with my guns, only shoot when adults are out to supervise, always wear the proper protection, and never to shoot someone or something that does not want to be shot, with that I conclude."
My first thought was "who wants to be shot" and the second was that he wasn't playing fair. He should just accept my final word and move on with his pre-teen life. That would have happened except that his friends were planning an "Airsoft Party" this week where the boys build forts and run through the woods shooting at each other. (Safely shooting at each other because they want to be shot at, right?) My husband kept feeding his hope behind my back which goes against every rule in the Parental Code section titled "Present A Unified Front So The Kids Don't Win". His closing argument against my blog post was that he had plenty of his own money to buy the gun, so it's not like it would cost me anything. (Except medical bills when he shoots his eye out)
I debated this over and over in my head. He kept calling me into his room at night to read articles on Airsoft safety. (Clearly this child will be an attorney one day.) Mothers whom I have a deep respect for as parents have let their kids have these guns. Plus, the kid wrote a paper! Lastly, I realized that if I wasn't paying for it, then it boiled down to one thing: is he responsible enough to own one?
I said yes, damn it. The boy has his gun. Now, I'm practicing another phrase, one that I really hope I don't have to use: "See there? I TOLD you those things were dangerous!"