Whenever I post my opinion on guns, which is that maybe there ought to be fewer of them in the world, the people of the opposite opinion come out in droves to attack and insult me. And a select few of them even attempt conversation on the subject, explaining to me that gun laws will never work, people would be safer if only they had more guns, and that the government is coming to get us all as soon as we are unarmed. These people may have a point. Everyone is probably out to get us, and adding more danger into the world would probably ensure that fewer dangerous things happen.
I decided to really ponder their arguments, and decided that the only way to truly test them out before adopting them, would be to see how they fit into the only world rules I truly have control over, the rules of my own house. So what if I translated the pro-gun arguments into household law? What would that look like, and would it make sense? Let’s check out some potential new mandates over here at the Tenor Dad place!
- If someone hurts you, hurt them back worse – I don’t want to hear anymore crying to me that so-and-so hit you. There are no rules against hands, and the only thing that can stop a bad kid with a fist is a good kid with a fist. Remember all that “turn the other cheek” stuff? Forget it. Whack ’em back. Hard.
- Knives and matches are fine to play with – Look, I could make a rule that knives and matches are not allowed, but I also made a previous rule that you had to clean your room. You didn’t clean your room. Obviously rules do not work. Not sure what other system will work besides rules, but for now, play with whatever you want, since you don’t care what I say anyway.
- Eat as much junk food as you want – Yeah, candy and chips are unhealthy, but are they any more unhealthy than the greasy pizza we had for dinner last night? How can I say pizza is okay, but Doritos are not? That makes no sense. True, I do regulate the pizza, but still, it’s hard to make any sort of rules around candy when there is blatant pizza in the house. Go crazy.
- Unlimited screen time – Is there conclusive evidence that screen time is bad for you? I have seen some studies saying that it is bad, but other studies saying that technology is rewiring the brains of our children to be more ready for the future! Until there is conclusive evidence that is agreed upon by everybody, (including the pro-screens people), then I cannot in good conscience limit screen time in any way.
- You can eat with your fingers – Hands and fingers are very useful for eating with! No, they’re not as effective as cutlery, but aren’t they more fun?! And you can use them for eating with, so you should be allowed to. And if we ban hands from eating, how long before we ban them from hitting? Or holding things, or writing, or pointing? It’s a slippery slope.
- I will no longer use your past actions as a way to judge what you are allowed to do – Checking your background will not really clue me in to what you are capable of. You might have been pretending to be a good kid all this time, waiting for your moment to crash the car. Or maybe you were framed by your sister for squeezing the cat, and you really are blameless. Who am I to judge? From now on, what you did with that nerf bat last night will no longer have any impact on whether or not I let you use it today.
- Pretty much do whatever you want – There is a lot of hard data that shows me what is dangerous and what is not, but opinion is more important than data these days. And you may accuse me of falsifying the data, or using it only the way I want to to further my own parental goals. Never mind that I am only here to protect you and help you as you work your way down the path to self-sufficiency and independence, I probably can’t be trusted. Rules don’t work, reality is a lie, and the only truth is that this is a cold, hard, household, and you need to do whatever you can to survive.
I don’t know if any of you run your households that way. If you do, how is it working for you? As for me, I don’t think these new rules will fly around here. And there is a big difference between my house and government. The government is not our parent. We actually get a say (sort of, if we are rich) in what happens to us. We concoct rules to make this a better world for all of us. And sure, not everyone will follow them. My kids will not follow all of the rules I make, not every time. But it doesn’t mean we don’t make them. It doesn’t mean we don’t discuss them. It doesn’t mean that we don’t keep floundering towards the finish line of peace and justice. Good rules don’t mean banning everything dangerous; they mean putting reasonable limits on things that might otherwise harm us. That’s just good parenting. AND good government.