Hush, Hush

Hush HushMy son was shunned at school today.

Ok, so maybe that’s not ENTIRELY true. Maybe I’m being an over reactive mama bear, but he WAS shushed.  In front of the whole class.  For talking about something that is very much a part of our family life.

It was the first day after Christmas vacation.  All the kindergarteners in his class had gathered in a circle to share something about their vacation and my son excitedly told his class that he got to shoot his .22 rifle with his dad. He was then told that “we don’t talk about guns in school.”

Now wait just a minute.

We all know we can’t bring guns to school (real or otherwise) and we all know that we can’t fashion one out of a pop-tart and say “pew pew” while holding it.  But seriously?  We can’t even TALK about target shooting?

Marksmanship is a family hobby for us.  It is a common interest and way we spend time together.  (sure, it’s more my husband’s interest than mine, but I participate, too).   It teaches patience, hand-eye coordination, and once my son can join in 4-H and other competitions he will learn sportsmanship.   An obvious (or perhaps not so much) benefit of teaching kids to shoot is that they learn SAFETY and proper handling. My son had to memorize the gun safety rules before he was ever allowed to shoot…. and possibly before he perfected his ABC’s.  It’s not something we take lightly.

My son worked for weeks at his behavior to earn the privilege of shooting with Daddy when Daddy got home for R&R.  My son enjoys it, it keeps his attention (which is, like, impossible for my son) it boosts his self-esteem and he seems to have an aptitude for it.  So to find out that something he is SO proud of is being treated as so taboo hurts my heart for him.

I know this is a battle we can’t fight, let alone win. We live in a “progressive” town and we knew it was progressive when we decided to stay here.  We know that what typically goes along with a blue town is the people aren’t (openly) racist, they support equal marriage rights, they are very “green” and they are “open-minded” (as long as we are talking about yoga or gender fluidity.  Mention “Christianity” and things take a turn, but I digress)  And we knew that people in a “progressive” town aren’t big on firearms, but because we still live in the West, there’s a measurable contingency of people who live on ranches or fill their freezers with meat they killed themselves, so it’s not an ENTIRELY gun-free place. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen when he mentioned shooting at school and I’m sure I should have seen this coming, but it still bothers me.

I know we have to try to teach him that while there is nothing wrong with our hobby, we can’t talk about it.  But how do we teach him that?  If it’s something you aren’t allowed to say, doesn’t that intrinsically make it bad?  Have we really reached this hysterical place as a society that we dare not speak of a simple machine that is comprised of wood and steel?

And do you know what really burns me? His very first week of school he came home talking about zombies and playing the “zombie game” at recess.  He didn’t learn that in THIS house, no sir.  I try not to judge other mamas but I think 5 years old is a little young to be watching the “Walking Dead”.   This means the kids are allowed to talk about eating brains, but not allowed to speak of sending a projectile into a target propelled by gun powder.  I know that making comparisons like this aren’t helpful, and are actually a bit juvenile and I apologize but I’m PISSED.

I guess we’ll do what we always do:  Hide our true selves to meet the status quo, all the while wondering how much of this we’ll tolerate before we finally homeschool.  But that’s another subject for another rambling rant!

About rheanna

Rheanna is a stay-at-home mom to two children. She is a lifetime resident of New Mexico and her Oilfield Man works on the North Slope of Alaska, averaging 4 weeks on and 2 off. In her previous life she was a bookkeeper and boiler technician for her father’s plumbing company. She enjoys hiking, horseback riding, motorsports and pretending not to kill her garden. Cooking is a favorite past time, but unfortunately a lifelong allergy to crafting supplies and a debilitating ineptitude with a glue gun prevent her from spending too much time on Pinterest.


  1. I would feel the exact same way! I could see if he was talking about killing or shooting an animal maybe not talk about guns in that context of hurting or killing, but target shooting? WTH?

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