Good Manners

Good Manners
By: Bill Burkett

I was sitting in the living room with a pastor when his three year old burst into the room with toy guns in both hands blasting away at ME! When I didn’t pay any attention to him (although he made the palms of my hands itch) hoping his father would get the hint that I didn’t think it was cute (the Daddy was having a big laugh). The boy kept firing away and moving closer toward me trying to get my attention until he had the guns right in my face. The father said nothing. I grabbed the guns and wrenched them out of his hands. Of course, he wanted his guns back. I spoke softly to the boy and drew him up on my knees and put my arms around him. I told him how I was in a war and told him of some of the men I knew who slept next to me in the barracks and how they were killed and blinded and left without arms. Then I explained to the boy that pointing guns at people even in fun was very bad manners and that guns are not toys, and that I didn’t allow my boy to point guns at anybody. I let him off my lap and gave him back his guns. He went silently out of the room with his guns and his head hanging. Is it old fashioned to teach our children not to point toy guns at people? I will tell you that my son did not point guns at people when he was growing up, and now let me tell you why you should teach your children that such a thing is wrong. Because it conditions the developing mind to think of guns lightly. Just recently (May, 98) I heard a father in a broken subdued voice tell a newspaper reporter how he was cleaning his rifle in his home with his two sons nearby. He had removed the bullet clip from the rifle before he started cleaning it. When he was finished one of his sons picked up the rifle and pointed it at his little brother pretending he was going to shoot him. The father told him to lay the gun down (but should have told him not to EVER point A gun at another person!).

The boy said, “But Daddy, I like to hear it click.” “Well OK, you can do it once.”

The boy raised the gun again, pointed it at his brother, pulled the trigger, shot and killed his brother! The father forgot to remove the bullet from the gun’s firing chamber. A precious son dead and a boy who will live the rest of his life with the death of his brother on his conscience. It could have been avoided if the boys had been taught good manners – just good manners! I have just given you a good reason why guns should never be used in make believe or as toys, and be kept out of the house, out of reach of children, and especially not EVER to be pointed at other people! Mom and Dad, two things here: (1) NEVER handle a gun except for the GOOD reasons guns are made for, and (2) NEVER let your children handle guns as toys AND ABOVE ALL, TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO POINT GUNS (TOY GUNS OR REAL GUNS) AT ANY PERSON, OR EVEN ANIMALS! TEACH YOUR KIDS GOOD MANNERS AND POSSIBLY SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE. Good manners is just another one of those ancient landmarks we have let the humanists talk us out of as being senseless and old fashioned. Amen!

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