Monday, March 2, 2009

Tons of Guns

"I got mines I hope you [got yourself a gun]" Nas - "Got yourself a Gun"

I'll be honest I don't listen to or really read the news. The reason being is because it's usually all bad news. So I can appreciate when ClnMike does his Good News Tuesdays. But last week I came across an article about a young 11 year old boy that killed his pregnant step mother with a gun. Well the twisted part is that apparently the gun used to kill the 8 month pregnant step mother was a youth 20-gauge shot gun that was given to the child. Just 2 weeks prior to this tragic event the boy won a turkey in a shooting competition. I just don't understand what some parents are thinking these days. This tragedy could have been prevented so easily. But now a woman and her unborn baby are dead, a young boy is facing life in prison for double homicide and a family is torn apart.

Now I know I started off with something a little depressing, but that story made me think about me and guns when I was a young boy. So on a lighter note I have a little confession. When I was younger like most young boys I had a fascination with guns. Upon saying that some may assume that I had plenty of toy guns to play with. Well actually it was the total opposite. My parents absolutely refused to buy or allow me to play with toy guns. Yep they were all off limits. Water pistol? Nope! Cap gun? Nope! Suction gun? Nope! Trust mom and dad vetoed them all.

So, as a young boy I was stuck at a crossroad. I mean how am I to play cops and robbers with no gun? What kind of cop or robber has no gun? So what was I to do? Well being the innovative young boy that I was (and still am) I didn't need an actual gun. Yes ladies and gentlemen I turned any and everything into a gun. I made guns out of legos, Lincoln Logs (that's old school for the younger readers out there. Lol), sticks, and of course my finger. Pow! Now as much as my parents tried to stop this behavior they just couldn't keep me from making more guns. As soon as they took one of my make shift guns away I would immediately grab something else, aim it at someone, and say POW! I think its just one of those things about little boys. Its somehow in their nature. Although I will admit I was an extreme case.

Likewise, my son's mother and I adopted the same philosophy to keep our son away from guns. But of course it doesn't stop him from running up on me with his finger or some other object and unloading on me. POW! Lol. Luckily for me his fascination is with cars and rarely thinks about guns or violent toys. As for me I eventually turned to sports cards and video games and my gun fascination died down some. However, when the super soaker was out I had to have one.
Again, the key word is it died down "some." I can recall at about age 12 a friend of mines and I bought these 2 toy guns. They resembled 9 millimeters. But what kept them from looking real was the fact they were painted in camouflage fatigue colors. Well in an effort to make them look realer we came up with the bright idea to spray paint the guns black. So, after spray painting the guns to the average untrained eye the gun really did look like a real 9 millimeter (similar to the toy gun to the left). Bright idea #2 came when we decided to actually carry these guns around. Yep just like they do in the movies in the waist band. Now we didn't do anything devious with these guns but we just carried them around to make us look or feel cool.

Fortunately, no one ever mistook the guns for real guns. However, there was one particular incident that I recall so vividly. Now let me first paint the picture. The year was around 1992 or 1993, the place Los Angeles, California (Technically the San Fernando Valley). So this was after the Rodney King verdict and L.A. riots. So tension between blacks and police were at an all time high. A 12 year old young black male walks out of a local mall. He has a toy gun spray painted to look realistic. A police squad car with 2 white officers in it passes by and they notice him reaching for what looks to be a gun. They immediately stop! They tell him to stop and one of the officers walks up to him and asks what he has tucked in his jeans. He pulls out a toy gun and immediately states "it's just a toy." Officer #1 replies "this thing looks real why are you carrying it?" The boy replies "for no reason its just a toy." Officer #2 states "don't you know we could have shot you thinking this gun was real?" The boy keeps quiet. Officer #1 says "we're going to give you a bag to carry this thing in."

Next, Officer #2 interjects and says "no better yet we're going to just drop you off at home. What's your name and where do you live?" The boy panics and tries to think fast. He gives his first name. They then ask him his last name. He attempts to think even faster. Well he didn't want to give his real last name, so the only thing that he could come up with quick enough was Mc Williams. "Mc Williams is your last name?" Officer #1 asks with a suspicious look on his face. He then sarcastically states "Okay then hop in the back we're gonna drop you off at home Mr. Mc Williams." On the trip the young boy realizes he can't be seen by his parents with a squad car dropping him off. So as they approach his apartment complex he tells them to stop at the building right before his. The officers let him out of the back and give him the gun in the bag. They leave him with a stern warning not to carry the gun out in public any more.

Well of course that young black boy was me. Whenever I think back to the incident I just think God was with me that day. Those cops could have shot me and would have gotten away with justifiable homicide because I decided to carry a fake gun. Then I laugh at me choosing the last name Mc Williams. There was a white girl in my class with the same last name so I guess that's all that came to mind in time. Back then I didn't realize that it was strictly an Irish last name. So the chances of a black man having that last name were the same of Rodney King still having some of the money left that he won in the civil trial. Although my brother once out drank an Irish man and called him self Dre Mc Williams, beyond that it wasn't a plausible alias. LoL.

I don't think my fascination with guns was quite the same after that incident. Pretty much non existent would describe it best. Although once my ex father in law (an ex-police officer) took me to the gun range once when I was about 21. That was the first real life gun I had ever held let alone fired. So I guess that allowed me to finally live out some childhood fantasy. Whatever the case may be a child does not have the mental capicity to handle real guns. Hell there are plenty of adults that shouldn't even be handling guns. So to purposely hand a child a real gun is a tragedy waiting to happen. Just my take on the story.


mrs. mary mack said...

Guns scare the shit out of me. When I was about 9 my Dad brought me in the room and showed me his gun, and made me hold it in the air until my arm felt like it was going to fall off. This was his way of deterring me from ever playing with it, and it worked! Now my brother on the other hand...he's a different story altogether.

I live in Texas where almost everybody has a concealed handgun license, and while I see a purpose for one, the idea of owning one makes me shiver.

Anonymous said...

hey what is really going on with society.....

Miss.Stefanie said...

Guns scare me. I will never pick one up nor even step close to one. I think violence is out of control and ridiculous these days. People need to put down the gun and think, "Who is impressed?" "Why do I need to use violence and not words" and "this makes me look stupid, reaaallly stupid"

Such a shame that innocent people die from these every day.

urbanknitrix said...

My parents were the same way about guns and I am the same way with my kids with guns. You ain't getting one, which is hard on the boys because thats all they have in action movies, but still.

The problem is, children are not the only ones that can not handle guns, adults are just as bad. In a heated situation anything can go down. Most people act before thinking.


Kryssy said...

I'm with Mary.. guns terrify me. I don't think that I'll allow my kids to play with any toy that looks like an actual gun.. but I can live with a super soaker. LOL
On the same token, I don't think that kids watching action movies is what makes them want to shoot. It's all about the environment that they are raised in...

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

Read about that story too, a toatlly avoidable tragedy
maybe the USA ought to have tougher gun laws like we do over here,
its so easy to own a gun in the states

The Raw Truth said...

I believe in the right to bear arms but with right comes resposibility. I think it should be much harder to get bb and pellet guns. Anyone who chooses to legally own handguns should have to go through training classes and of course i think sentencing for illegal handguns should be more strict, in order to help deter people from committing crimes with them.

ANGELINA said...

i couldn't play with guns as a child either, but i talked my parents into buying me a super soaker. what's crazy is that i didn't associate a water gun with a real gun...i just wanted to get my little brother wet lol

Just Jasmine said...

So first i will say ralphie you'll shoot your eye out.
I agree with all who feel it best to keep thier children, especially young black males away from those types of games and encourage thier interest in other more creative and productive activities (umm i used my lincoln logs to build homes silly me).

The crazy thing is I remember when there was a summer where young boys were being shot left and right because they had these real looking fake guns. It was soo bad in NY that they ordered stores to stop selling the guns and even had a gun for money drive.

Just Jasmine said...

oh yeah, I'm not entirely convinced just having the gun around made this boy shoot his future stepmother, i think there are other issues that came into play and while teh gun was accessible to the boy i wouldn't blame the parents of the child for giving him that gift.

Go B. said...

Can't say I've ever played cops and robbers but I will say my daddy had guns in the house. We knew better than to go messing with them.


Angel said...

Not even our local police have guns over here, I dread the day that they start carrying them, then everyone else will.
I'm scared of them and hope that they don’t happen to be just a normal thing that people have in their houses like they do in the states.