Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Controversial Monday (on Tuesday)- Paintball Edition

One of my goals for this year is to do some reading (more on that tomorrow). One of the books I am currently reading is "Bringing Up Boys" by Dobson.

I have had this book for a few years, but when I started it at that time, I was in the throes of spit up, sleepless nights and breastfeeding and quite frankly I had no interest in reading about social pressure on boys, feminism and boys and schooling for boys.

So I shelved it.

But now it is applicable, pertinent and very interesting to me. ( I am sure I will be sharing some more things I am learning in regards to parenting in 2010 in the coming days).

He covers a lot of information and statistics in this book. It has solidified my desire to homeschool my kids (he likes homeschooling, but does not think it is the only way) and to severely curtail violence in media.

Which brings us to the topic of the day.


My boys have swords and toy guns. They also like to use my thermometer and curling iron as guns. We have rules in the house, though about weaponry.

You don't shoot at or whack unarmed persons.
Be aware of what is in your space.
No head hits.
You don't aim your gun at any person unless you guys have come to some sort of shoot out organized game.

I don't even encourage that.

So when one child walked up to another one with his ping pong gun and shot him in the chest, the gun was removed for 3 days- even though it didn't hurt and the other child didn't care.

I don't want my kids to get desensitized.

I don't want them to crave the power of a weapon.

I don't want them to look at a person, any person, laying on the floor begging for mercy and still shoot them. Even if it only with a nerf weapon.

Mercy triumphs over judgement.

So I don't care if they play with nerf weapons. But I want them to respect the weapon. Embrace the responsibility that all men with firearms should have.

But paintball? Where does that fit in?

Noah and I take opposite sides on the paintball issue. He loves paintball. I think it is a travesty. It makes me uncomfortable to make sport of shooting and eliminating people.

I think it aids in desensitization.

In the same way violent video games do, it gets you used to pulling the trigger.


So, what do you all think about violent media? How about paintball?


Rachel said...

The paintball part is what really got my attention as Paul loves paintball and will argue about it being a good teaching tool for teamwork and strategy.....I guess I don't see it as THAT great, though I'm sure my boys will be playing it a lot. I think it's WAY better than any video game that involves shooting (which usually implies killing - unless it's a paintball game) Elijah especially makes a gun out of anything (he came home from my mom's with a plastic key that he "wants to use as a gun." I have a hard time at 3.5 curtailing his enthusiasm for weaponry. Lately he's been asking Paul at dinner time to "teach him how to shoot/kill a bear." I will admit that he is our impetuous child and add to the fact that we own nerf dart guns (in abundance!), nerf rockets, lazer guns, and real guns (in a locked gun safe) it often gets out of hand. I guess I'm leaving a lot of this "training" up to Paul since I'm not a guy and I truly do not understand the interest in weaponry. (oh, and I'm pretty lazy these days too...)

Grandpa Chris said...

Boys do seem to have an innate love of things that shoot. I've never played paintball, but I'm sure I would love it. Paintball guns would have settled many an argument about who "killed" who during the countless hours I, my brother & our friends played army. I've really shot many a pheasant, and I enjoyed that too. I don't think I'm a wacko.

Like so many things in this life, it is a matter of one's frame of reference. Is there any real difference between wanting to eliminate an opponent in tag, dodge ball or paintball? What is truly important is how you look at your opponent. Do you see someone God loves as much as yourself, or something else? A big problem arises in the later case when someone has a real weapon. But, the more you see God in other people, the harder it is to pull the trigger. Love the Lord God with your whole heart, mind, soul & strength and everything else falls into it's proper place.

Gandma Debbie said...

I see paintball as a form of tag - a form that eliminates the "I got you - no you didn't!" arguments and requires strategy.

If there ever came a time where there was war on our soil, I'd prefer to have people around me who have skills with firearms. Part of the reason our nation was able to separate from Britain was that so many of the men were experienced hunters - quite able and accurate with their firearms.

I agree with Chris. If you have a strong belief in the worth and dignity of every person, paintball is not going to turn you into a violent person.

I would not however, allow children or young teens to watch violent videos/ play violent video games. I believe that desensitizes them to violence and dehumanizes people.

Children need to be taught in all contexts (and adults may need reminding) that all people are precious and worthy of respect.

Rachel said...

I forgot to mention too, that Paul gets offended when I refer to the paintball "markers" as guns. They are markers b/c they mark people not shoot people.

Oh, and our boys don't watch any t.v. only videos (Bob the builder, veggie tales, creation adventure team, some Disney - but very limited), so they don't see violence portrayed in media.