He Shoots But Who Scores?Tanis Miller
For all that I call myself a redneck mommy, I’m not really a redneck. I mean, I still have most of my teeth, I have never worked in a coal mine and I’ve never once tried the delights of road kill. Not from the lack of opportunity either. There is a freshly dead porcupine just meters down the road from my driveway. Call me crazy, but I think I’ll just assume porcupine tastes like chicken. Doesn’t everything?
But I was born into a very blue-collar rural Alberta family and up here in Canada, I’m as close to a real redneck as you can get. My father, he’s the redneckiest of all Canadian rednecks and my husband, bless his cotton socks, well, let’s just say I may have married a cuter version of my father.
At least my husband has all his teeth. And if he didn’t I’m darn sure he’d wear his false teeth. Take note Dad.
Being born and marrying into a family filled with prime Canadian rednecks means one thing. Everyone around me is conservative and everyone around me plays with guns.
I was never a gun lover. I was the apple that rolled far from my family’s tree and I embraced my liberal streak as though it was the one thing that would find me redemption. When I gave birth to my children, I vowed my little apples would roll down my side of the hill our family tree grew it’s roots.
I was very, very wrong.
From the early moments of their childhood, my oldest children have embraced all that their heritage contains and that includes a love for gunplay. It didn’t matter that I admonished family and friends alike come birthdays and gift giving seasons, my “No Guns” rule fell on deaf ears. If my kids didn’t have a toy gun to play with, they just picked up sticks and used their imaginations.
I was horrified.
And then my husband put a gun in my hands and taught me the joys of target practice.
My redneck roots run deeper than my liberal attitudes, apparently.
Education, alongside a lot of training and my ideas about guns as toys have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to want my kids to ever think guns are harmless and I certainly don’t want them to think that real guns which shoot actual ammunition are toys. But I no longer shudder at the idea of my kids playing with water pistols.
Nor do I have a problem with the fact my husband has taken the time to educate them about guns and went so far as to have them complete their Canadian Firearms Safety Course. Between farm life, my husband’s predilection for hunting and the fact (long) guns are everywhere out here in rural Alberta, I want my children armed with firearm safety knowledge if they are going to be around guns.
This may not make me mother of the year in the eyes of those who oppose gunplay or firearms in general. But I suppose it does make my redneck ancestors proud.
And it thrills my son, who recently turned 14 and was gifted an air soft rifle to call his own.
Because raising teenagers isn’t hard enough, I had to go and arm them.
*What’s your opinion? Do you allow your kids to play violent video games or use plastic toy guns? BB guns? Would you teach your child gun safety or do you think I have lost my ever-loving mind? All opinions welcome. Except my husband’s. Because I’ve already had to listen to them ad nauseum.*