I know I can’t shelter Camille forever from all the negative, violent influences of the world, but I thought it would be a bit longer before we had to discuss the problem of guns.
Then she got a Care Bears DVD.
She absolutely loves the well-meaning gift and it’s one of her top requests when it’s TV time. The first episode on the DVD is fine – it’s all about the importance of eating healthy food. But I was shocked to discover that the second one involves a bad-guy character who uses a “laser” to hold the Care Bears hostage. The word “gun” is never used, but it’s shaped like a laser gun and the bad guy threatens to vaporize the Care Bears with it if they don’t do as he commands.
Of course, the story has a happy ending, but in my opinion it unnecessarily crosses a line. I expect this sort of thing out of Batman cartoons, which is why she doesn’t watch them yet. But Care Bears? And Camille doesn’t miss much. We were in the back yard the other day and she was holding a spray nozzle for the water hose. “What’s that, Camille?” I asked her.
“A laser,” she said.
But to be honest, I think her brush with the idea of guns (even though I don’t think she really understands what a gun is) must’ve happened even earlier, probably on the playground at school. I say this because she will occasionally pick up a stick in the back yard, hold it out in front of her and say “Bam bam bam!”
I always tell her that’s not nice, and rather than forbidding her to play with the stick, I just tell her to say “Abra-cadabra” instead. But I can’t help being annoyed that we even have to correct this sort of behavior at this early of an age.
Thanks a lot stick-wielding preschoolers and laser-pointing care bear villains!