Friday, July 15, 2011

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

Sweet Daughter was the C.O.W. at Y-camp today. (That’s Camper of the Week. I was confused at first when I picked her up today and she started exclaiming “I’m the COW! I’m the COW!”) So, to celebrate, we decided to pick up a pizza and go to the park for a pizza picnic and some play time. I decided to OC.

There were some kids running around (with no close adult supervision that I could see) while we ate. When we were done, the other kids seemed to evaporate, and I pushed SD on the swings for a bit. When we migrated over to the slides and climbing stuff, the other kids materialized again. SD was sliding down the fireman’s pole, and I was standing under her slowing her descent when a little urchin of about 4 ½ quite earnestly told me he wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers. I told him that was a good idea, and did he realize I was a stranger? He then told me if he was caught talking to a stranger, he’d be beat with a belt. He then asked if I’d help him down the pole. I politely declined, explaining that I was a stranger, and maybe his momma wouldn’t approve.

Then … the question I wasn’t prepared for. Because while I am not comfortable talking to strange adults, I sure as heck don’t like talking to Other People’s Kids. Especially ones traveling in packs and reenacting The Lord of the Flies. Even if they’re only about 4 ½ years old.

“Is that a gun?”


“A REAL gun?”


“Are you a cop?”


“I can tell you’re not a cop, because you’re not wearing a cop suit.”

“That’s right.”

“So why do you have a gun?”

“To keep her, and the rest of you safe from bad guys.”

I could tell he was thinking that over. And then the 8-year-girl saw the magazines.

“What are those?”


“Magazines?” (I could tell she was only familiar with the kind you buy in the checkout line.)



“Are you a cop?”

(Sigh.) “No.”

“A Marine?”

“No.” (But that was kind of cool. When I was her age, women couldn’t be Marines. At least not with guns.)

“Can I see it?”

“Absolutely not. It doesn’t come out of the holster unless I need to use it.”

“Why do you have it?”

And SW piped up with a grin: “To keep me safe!!”

Amazingly, nobody ran screaming back to an adult. Even me.


  1. Heh. No question is a bad one right? Though poor little guy with the belt happy folks probably had no idea what to think.

  2. Influencing young minds again, huh?

  3. I'd like to compliment you on handling the situation well, but apparently it irks too many people when we extroverts do that.

    I hope it's still okay to say "Way to go!"...

  4. Sheesh. It's almost enough for me to go back to concealed carry ... *grin*

  5. Yep, the downside to OC is the questions by those who don't know. The upside to OC, however, is the questions by those who don't know. Not every one is Anti Gun, and if one use's the "More Flies with Honey Philosophy"... even that little one at the Playground now has it planted in his Skull that Grown Ups with Guns CAN be the Good Guys.

  6. Out of the mouths of babes... :-)

  7. I ha a similar conversation with my nephew, kids just seem to get it, there are good people and bad people in the world and the good people can be trusted.

  8. Hey NFO!

    Which ones? The young 'uns or Nance?

    (W.V.) sallyos (a new bacon flavored snack food)

  9. "There were some kids running around (with no close adult supervision that I could see)"

    You're lucky you didn't get stuck parenting someone elses kid when the fell off the slide doing what they aren't supposed to and got the wind knocked out of them. It drives my wife and me crazy when we're at a playground and kids are doing The Lord of the Flies thing (love that BTW; nobody understands that one anymore) and there's no parent in sight.

    It's probably worse to get peppered with questions from kids than from adults; kids will speak their minds without any hesitation or tact. You handled their questions well though.