It's unfathomable to me that anyone could think it would be okay ever, but it's especially shocking that it happened this past weekend in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. But there it was -- a gun range in Texas putting kids on Santa's lap, handing them a gun, and then asking them to say, "Cheese!"
Ho ho horrific. It happened at the Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, Texas, where they posed gun-toting children with Santa Claus in the name of holiday cheer. Owners of the place say the "child-friendly" event "helps educate children and take the mystery out of the guns." Owner Nancy Prince told WFAA, "If people want to hurt another person, they can use a baseball bat."
If only all Adam Lanza had on him was a baseball bat.
I don't care how much you cherish your right to bear arms, you have to believe that this is wrong. It's one thing to teach your child gun safety, and it's another to make a gun some bright and shiny prop in what's supposed to be a fun picture. There's nothing fun about guns.
And I'm not even necessarily anti-gun altogether. While I do believe we need to revamp our gun control laws and do so immediately, I also grew up in the Midwest and went hunting with dad; my best friend's father owned a gun shop at which we spent plenty of time. I think there is a time and a place for some guns in our society, under some circumstances. And if kids are around them because of things like hunting, then teaching them safety is indeed important. But teaching them that they're something to be boasted about in pictures, to be treated as a prop in a picture like some might use a teddy bear is just wrong.
Guns are not toys -- far from them -- so you would think that people who profess to want to preach gun safety would not treat them as such. You would think that parents would reject anything that would make their children think that guns are something to brag about and wield about with such a casual hand.
And to do so this past weekend ... well, that just makes me shake with rage. To see the beautiful, innocent faces of those 20 children whose lives were taken in an instant, and then to see these children smiling with guns in hand is beyond disturbing. It's sick, and the parents who let their children pose like this should be ashamed.
Do you think posing children with Santa and a gun is okay? Ever?
Image via WFAA