Gun control issues lead to unfair consequences for children
Posted on Mar 06, 2013 in Opinion
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the world responded appropriately in raising issues concerning gun control. However, even well-meaning attempts can go too far. Recently, across the United States, playful five-year-olds have been unrighteously suspended from school. Just what could cause schools to suspend these small children? To sum it up: playing with pretend guns.
A kindergartner in Pennsylvania said she was going to “shoot” her friends while playing with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. A six-year-old boy in Maryland made his fingers in the shape of a gun in a game of cops and robbers. In Massachusetts, a five-year-old boy made a gun out of Legos and pretended to shoot at other kids (Charter.net). In response to these perceived “threats,” these kids and many more are being suspended from school.
It is understandable that schools would want to try and have nothing related to guns after the Sandy Hook shooting. However, they are being utterly ridiculous in the matters surrounding these kids. These types of games have existed for at least several decades, and kids enjoy playing them because they seem exciting in matters such as good versus evil. But by suspending these kids for playing, the adults of this world are treating them like mini-adults instead of the children they are. These kids are not going to understand something like the Sandy Hook shooting at this point because they don’t have any experience surrounding these matters. Treating them like criminals in the making is only going to confuse them and possibly even affect them in their teenage and adult years, which could bring about the fears the adults have.
In the case in Pennsylvania, the five-year-old girl had to undergo a psychological evaluation which concluded that she was a “typical 5-year-old in temperament and interest” (Charter.net). Although adults don’t want to have any more situations like Sandy Hook, treating these small, easily emotionally-scarred children like future shooters is wrong and can damage them for life.
Theoretically, these suspensions to stop “threats” could very well end up creating real threats years later. The attempts to stop threats should be focused on middle and high school students rather than children who are still learning to read. Playing games such as cops and robbers or playing with water or bubble guns is natural for children and should not be used as an excuse to treat them like criminals in the making.