Political uses of children offensive

Farm Forum

With all the talk about guns and the banning of certain weapons, a person might conclude that owning such hardware is too onerous. After all, my neighborhood is far removed from such need for personally having to possess defensive devices of any kind. Right? Probably not.

But that’s the way I was raised. My parents had two shotguns, but the very thought of having to use these weapons to defend yourself was not a part of my childhood unlocked-doors experience.

My dad loved to hunt the numerous potholes on his land. He would bring home ducks of different description, and my mother picked the feathers off them down to the last pin feather. After much cleaning and washing, the ducks were then roasted with a bread stuffing along the side. My three brothers and I would relish what we then thought was good eats. My dad rather celebrated the fact that he could feed himself and his family and that mom could turn this wild game into tempting food. I remember that the small teal duck was especially good. As I recall, my mother would coat the ducks with bacon fat before roasting them. Calories, anyone?

My recall of childish notions concerning gun ownership was that it was a part of harvesting that which the good Lord made available to you. NaivetŽ and blissful thinking permeated our young existence probably because of the isolation of farm life back then. Having a fear of guns was not part of our youthful psyche. As we grew older, Dad introduced other defensive uses of guns, but that’s another story.

That’s why President Barack Obama’s using what appeared to be grade school kids as a backdrop during his televised proposals for gun regulation seemed ill-advised. He didn’t just talk about the regulations, but went on about mass shootings of people. Do we really have to destroy what should be the innocence of childhood by using very young kids as political tools to explain such profoundly disturbing subjects?

Questionable political connivance has come a long way, baby.

Recent occurrences in my own near family, including middle-of-the-night break-in attempts and broad-daylight burglary have traumatized my near family, but we have tried to shelter the young children from the resulting trauma. These occurrences happened in larger cities, but they are life-changing events for the parents, including the grandparents in Aberdeen.

Gun ownership, respect for other people’s property, politically generated views of disenfranchisement, unfairness, the hood for all different colors being energized, alarm systems, big city iron grills on a home’s openings, gated communities, all were discussed by family but away from young ears. At the least, kids deserve a blissful childhood.

Perk Washenberger, Aberdeen, a retired real estate broker and business owner, now musically entertains people in senior living and care centers and at community events. Write to him at americannews@aberdeennews.com.