One day my children will know what a gun is and what it means to defend themself, their home, or their country. One day, they will know what it means to kill something - or - have something kill them.
I do not take our children to people's homes and let them run free. At this moment in their lives, I do not let them go anywhere outside of our home without me or their father. As a result, I am not at all concerned that they will stumble upon a revolver or a shotgun and pick it up wondering, "Huh. I wonder what happens if I squeeze this thing?"
I am not entirely opposed to guns.
I am not entirely opposed to people hunting.
If we lived in an environment where hunting was a part of our reality, the children would know something about guns. They would know that meat comes from an animal and not the man in a white coat at the grocery store. And they would undoubtedly know what venison tastes like.
Quite often, I find myself in a situation where I provide guidance to unsupervised children on the playground - or in the swimming pool - that lack parental oversight. But when I can tell that a child is not interested in listening, or is oblivious to what I have to say, and they would rather run around and rile my kids up, it's up to me to make a decision.
Do I stay or do I go?
By leaving, I am hopefully letting the offensive child know that people don't want to play with someone that is going to behave obnoxiously. By leaving, I am showing our children that sometimes, you have to walk away from people or situations that are unfriendly. By leaving, I am showing our children that I don't want to be around people that aren't nice and I don't want that ugliness to rub off on them.
One day, our children will have a lot more freedom than they do at the moment. One day they will make all of their own decisions. One day, they will be full of what I believe are our good values. One day they will be mature and understand that the world isn't all kind. And when that time comes, you can be positively certain that our children will be highly educated on guns - violence - drugs - sexually transmitted diseases - artificial sweeteners - and the inaccuracies of FOX news.
But right now, they are four-years-old and the sight of a wolf spider in the backyard can give them a nightmare. A nightmare which usually occurs at night.
When I am sleeping.
So not only am I trying to protect my children's innocent minds from images that would only cause them great angst at this young age, I am trying to protect what little sleep I can get.
When the time is right, our children will know that a "rainbow laser" doesn't create rainbows.
But today, they are four-years-old.
Today, as far as they're concerned, fairies and unicorns are real.
And it is entirely possible to fly through the air like Tarzan.