18 May, 2007

Want to buy a birthday gift ???

Buying a birthday gift for a child, quite often, turns into a predicament or a dilemma, does it not ?

I mean, what to buy, will it be of use to the child, will the child learn or derive anything from it, will it be a little too complex for the child in question, will it be too easy as to bore the child very easily, does it have small parts which could probably be used as aural or nasal stuffings ..... the list is seemingly endless.

People have fairly long “child gift lists” – as in a list from which one could debate, discuss, deliberate and decide as to which gift to buy for a child.

Well, to all those prospective gifts that are already on the list – how about adding guns, shotguns, handguns, pistols and for the extremely audacious – a rifle even ??
No No - I am not talking of toy pistols or toy guns. I'm talking of the real stuff.

I am beginning to sound delirious, rather crazed and raving mad, am I not ?

Try reading this for good measure.

When I first heard this on the Late News yesterday, I was stunned into silence.

A baby, who probably toddles around and babbles in baby language is the owner of a shot gun. What is beyond the wildest of beliefs is the fact that the shotgun has been gifted to the baby by the grandfather. To carry this insanity one step further, the father of the child applied for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and to complete this picture of lunacy, the State of Illinois has actually issued the Firearm Owner’s ID card to a 10 month old baby.

Sounds pretty dire and dismal, does it not ?

I remember reading in an article that there are an estimated 200 million privately held guns in the US, where the number of gun-related deaths each year runs into the tens of thousands of human lives.

But to gift a shotgun, to apply for a licence and most importantly, for the government to sanction one to a 10 month old seems totally beyond realms of reality.

The number of children who die in senseless gun accidents is becoming all too frequent a newsitem in the newspapers and other forms of media. Accidental firearm discharges, school shootings, shootings in colleges – these are standing examples of the dangers could be associated with having firearms around the house. What is even more pertinent is the fact that children and youngsters come into contact with firearms without actually realizing the potential danger, the hazard, the risk that it poses to themselves and to the others around them

The recent shooting spree in Virginia Tech which left more than 30 students dead is only too fresh in everybody’s mind. In fact, it is very difficult for the human psyche to erase such images. Such mindless violence.

Children die or are badly injured because their parents or other gun owners don't store their firearms properly, and children find loaded guns and use them unintentionally on themselves or other children. Older children would like to imagine themselves with a Stetson and cowboy boots with a gun on their hips. Just about everyone is vulnerable to getting caught in the crossfire from guns – irrespective of whether they are used in domestic violence or in crime. There are many known instances wherein teenagers have been seen using guns towards impulse suicides or even crime. And studies point to the fact that suicide attempts with a gun definitely prove more successful than suicides attempted by other means.

Many children/youngsters are shot by peers/friends, family members, or strangers, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Also spare a thought for the many children, teens, young people who, though not injured or killed themselves, are survivors of gun violence. Their minds and psyches are and remain scarred by the effects of such violence in their homes, schools or communities.

Though children and youngsters often fall victims to gun violence, such incidents could also lead them to a brink so much so that they could well become perpetrators themselves, using guns to kill or maim others.

In this kind of a scenario of an increasingly mad mad world, what good is it going to do if people start to buy shotguns as gifts for their children and grandchildren ? Is this kind of behaviour ethical ?

Is this some kind of a sordid joke ?

What exactly is the message that is being sent across here ?

Start ‘em young ????

And last but not the least, I cannot help but ask

"Is this kind of behaviour ethical ?"

Ethics too, are nothing but reverence for life. This is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting and enhancing life and that destroying, injuring and limiting life are evil.
~ Albert Schweitzer, Civilization and Ethics, 1949

3 voice(s) said so:

The Mad Momma said...

I love the new look and the tickers!!!

The Mad Momma said...

by the way.. are you kidding me with that news item? its shocking! on the other hand, in india too, rajputs present firearms and the like to their young sons... one of those macho things to do apparently..

Gauri said...

MM : Thanks :-)

And about the newsitem - I found the whole issue rather gross, to be honest. Macho aside, no wonder then that common sense is said to be the least common of all senses.