Toys Don’t Kill People. People with Toys Kill People.

You’ll shoot your eye out!

– Mother Parker

As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I was accosted by my television, which told me that Uncle Sam wants me to HAVE A GUN!

This commercial, produced by a local Waco store called (I’m not making this up) Fun Guns, has apparently launched a campaign that is in some way tax refund-related. Thus the Uncle Sam reference. But it isn’t the mechanics of the thing that concerns me. It’s the message it sends about guns and the part they play in American society.

Anytime we attempt to start a conversation about gun control, everything goes sideways. You’ve all had this discussion, from one side or the other: Either A) the government wants to take our guns so we can’t defend ourselves when they come for us, or B) if the government takes my guns, I won’t be able to defend my family from the bad guys. In both cases, the argument boils down to one idea: protection.

I call bullshit.

The store’s name (Fun Guns) is revealing enough. But the commercial’s tagline wraps everything up in a nice, neat, terrifying little bow. Uncle Sam wants you to “get you some!” To the sound of automatic weapons fire.

Come on, folks! All I’m asking for is a little rhetorical honesty. These people don’t want protection. They want toys.

This attitude toward firearms is not manly. It’s moronic. Let’s allow that guns are necessary tools, and that hunting and even home defense are legitimate reasons for owning them. Even if that is the case, in what universe is it remotely responsible to treat potentially deadly objects in the same way one might treat a frozen daiquiri on Bourbon Street during spring break?

It’s not a matter of gun control; it’s a matter of self-control. I find it highly suggestive that even as we demand parental guidance stickers on violent video games, we hawk real-life weapons as if they were stocking-stuffers. By all means, teach little Sally to hunt. But does the pink bedazzled deer rifle really send the message you’re after?

Remember, folks: It’s all fun and games until somebody shoots his eye out…

2 thoughts on “Toys Don’t Kill People. People with Toys Kill People.

  1. Oy. I have not had the displeasure of experiencing a Fun Guns ad, but the setup is familiar enough. Everytime a gun show comes to town, I have to hold in the vomit. Do they really need to be featured like a U2 concert?

    The idea of guns protecting people from the government is ludicrous. The government will win in a fire fight every single time. Though it pains me in some cases, I can accept the culture of hunting and gun sports. But you’re right, the message of responsible ownership does not match the marketing campaigns and style options.

    The effort it would take to change not only the culture but the presence of guns in America is daunting. Given the opportunities we have passed up, I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

    1. At this point, I’ll do without reduction if only we can work some common sense into the situation. I’m from rural Missouri; I have no problem with people hunting. In theory, I have no problem with self-defense. I do have a problem with those arguments being used as a cover for a basic lack of maturity.

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