My son, a freshman in high school, occasionally sends me e-mail from school, but due to a busy study schedule and extremely slow computers (it’s a public school) they are rare. Today’s letter was notable. Our complete exchange follows:
In the last period of the day, we had a study hall, and I had no homework. So, I decided to go on the boomershoot website and look at explosives. I also had the ultimak webpage open at the same time. I actually had a teacher come and tell me to find another subject!
To which I replied:
Sorry to hear that (actually, I read it but “sorry to read that” just doesn’t have the same effect) but I’m certainly not surprised. Our popular culture has been effectively trained, like Pavlov’s Dogs, to recoil (like the metaphor?) from anything that shows guns in a favorable light.
Racist bigots once behaved in exactly the same way toward blacks or other minorities– back then you might have been looking at Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings while in a study hall in Alabama, and been told to read something else! We don’t hear much from the racist bigots any more, because they tend to keep their mouths shut in polite company. Now we have anti-gun bigots instead, who feel no compunction and mouth off regularly.
On a side note; many have never learned (because this story doesn’t fit the popular, leftist anti-gun action line) that during the civil rights struggle, many black leaders and religious figures joined the NRA and encouraged their black neighbors to arm themselves. As one would expect, violence against blacks tended to fall precipitously in those areas where such advice was taken.
Many would also be shocked (shocked, I tell you!) to learn that the KKK not only supported gun control (see above paragraph) but their political party of choice was the Democratic Party. No self-respecting KKK thug would ever vote for a Republican.
Give that to your social studies classes, et al, and let them chew on it for a while. They may hate it, but unlike much of what they say, they can look this up and verify it. Then you can explain that you were looking at your father’s web site and the site for an event that you attend annually.
Now, keep up on your homework, be nice, and have fun! That’s an order.
I’ve always had the policy of not “talking down” to my kids. I use the same language I’d use in a conversation with an English professor. If they don’t understand something, they’ll either ask me or they’ll look it up.