Sun.Star Pampanga

Culture of violence


THE only instrument of violence — if you can call them that — are the kitchen knives. Other than that, even toy guns were verboten for my nephew when he was growing up. We in the family have been into many civil society-sponsored peace seminars where guns in civilian hands are the villains.

I cannot for the life of me understand why civilians keep guns, grenade and other explosives at home.

My Dad, a provincial prosecutor, had a licensed 9mm Beretta pistol and a government-issued M1 carbine as protection. He put away a politician who issued threats against the family.

But I never saw him carry these lethal weapons outside of our home. My namesake, I never saw him tuck those guns when going out.

Of course, I was raised with my brothers to play with toy guns that were Those were the days when parents encouraged boys to play with them so boys can grow up with strong male identities.

There is evidence that parents are more likely to give boys what they think of as masculine toys, including toy guns, and that children, once aware of gender difference, are more likely to choose toys that are designated for their gender.

In the US, the 5th Amendment of the US Constituti­on guarantees American civilians the right to bear arms. Thus they own nearly half of the civilian-owned guns worldwide, which makes the possibilit­y of moving from fantasy gun use to real gun use much easier than it is elsewhere.

Thank God that the Philippine Constituti­on, closely patterned after the US model, has no such constituti­onal right.

As director of Ethical Team, social entreprene­ur, climate crusader, sustainabi­lity communicat­ions consultant Iain Patton put it, “in the same way that we go to the gym to train our bodies, we need to feed our minds and those of younger generation­s and our good citizens of tomorrow. We need to do this with the appropriat­e symbolism through accessorie­s and toys that promote goodwill, harmony, and creativity as an antidote to extremism, violence, and destructio­n.”

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