There are a lot that you can criticize the Teen Mom stars about. From filming porn to wild parties to brawls, they typically have not been the best role models. But not all are so bad. From what I can tell, Leah Messer has always led one of the more tame lifestyles among these young reality TV stars. Though recently, she has caught a bit of flack for allowing her little kids to play with toy guns -- which is absolutely ridiculous.
Leah let's her twins Aleeah and Aliannah run around with plastic guns, which one of girls recently brought along to cheerleading practice. Check out her tweet about it.
This has prompted some vicious backlash toward Leah, which seems just a little overblown. Let me just say that I am a huge proponent of gun control. I think there is a serious problem with gun violence in our society. But the problem has nothing to do with children playing with plastic firearms.
With nearly a million gun deaths per year, the issue goes way deeper than a toy. Look at it this way, long before the frightening escalation of violence, kids have played with toy weapons. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys, GI Joe, and other forms of imaginative play have been a common activity for children. That does not desensitize kids, it's just a form of play-acting. Though, I think it's important for toy guns to look like toys and not realistic replicas of the real thing.
Those games haven't changed in the last 50 years, but perhaps the parents and the world has. Kids don't become violent on their own. They usually have plenty of help from the messed up adults in their lives. Most kids who display violent behavior, have a history of violence in their homes or are subjected to it by peers. That is the real crime. That is the experience and behavior we need to aggressively try to change.
While I certainly understand the heightened concern, I think we have to be careful not to overreact when something as innocent as the photo above is tweeted by a loving parent.
Do you think it's wrong for kids to play with toy guns? Why?