Troy School Bus Shooting – Is a BB Gun Just a Toy?
Do you remember when you were a kid and a BB gun was a toy? I mean, my mom would never let me have one, and really I never wanted one, but I'm pretty sure they were considered just a toy. Of course, you could shoot your eye out... but, you were careful, right?
Fast forward 30 or so years, and all of the sudden we've got ourselves a bus transporting 12 children home from school in Troy at 10:30 in the morning, two teenagers, and a "toy gun". Or is it?
Raymond Johnson, 18, and Dione Kowalchyk, 17, were both arrested and charged with criminal mischief, a felony, and several counts of reckless endangerment and child endangerment after shots were fired at a school bus this morning.
Thankfully none of the kids on board or the 2 adults in charge were injured.
I'm so sad to think that we live in a world where now our kids can't just ride home from school without getting shot at... even if it is with a BB gun.
That being said, let's just take a minute to think about these BB guns. You can buy them at Walmart, at Dicks, and online.
You don't need a license, or a permit, or anything. You just need a form of payment and ID that says you're 16.
Now of course these two teenagers are dumb, and inconsiderate and just plain wrong. And they should be held accountable for their actions.
But, and this is a big but... is our culture of shooting everything from birds to deer to zombies and soldiers in video games to terrorists in real life... etc., from an extremely early age contributing at all to this problem?
Did these 2 boys grow up with Nerf guns? Did they shoot each other with water guns in the back yard? Do they spend countless hours on Call of Duty shooting each other? I'm not sure... but maybe. Is anyone teaching them right or wrong? Again, I'm not sure. But I think it's time for us as a society to maybe take some collective responsibility for blurring the lines between guns you play with, and guns you kill humans and animals with. Between games on you phone where you kill people and real life where you can't shoot at school busses.
I grew up in a house with guns. My dad is a hunter. But we were taught from a very early age to respect the idea of a firearm. And they were locked up all the time. So don't get me wrong. I'm not saying no one should be allowed to have guns at all. This blog isn't even really about "gun rights" as much as it is about parenting, and technology.
How can we just keep going on like this?
How can we expect children, whose brains are not yet even fully developed, to sit for hours and play violent video games, or watch action movies with intense shootouts to then determine on their own, the difference between that and reality? As adults who learned right from wrong, it's easy for us to shut the game down and be a real person, but if you literally grew up fragging your enemies for 5 hours a day, will you learn the difference?
Back in the day, when BB guns were just toys, if you shot your friend, you hurt him, and there were consequences, but now... it's different.
I mean, you can't even watch TV for 10 minutes without seeing a freaking firearm.
This is obviously just my opinion. And of course I know that people will disagree with me, but when I see a story like this, I can't help but think... what could we as a society be doing differently to keep all of our kids safe?