Personally, I'm not much of one for guns... or the outdoors, really. In fact, I'm pretty sure Simon spent most of his life so far not even knowing what a gun is. I bought a pretend hunting rifle for my Sarah Palin costume, and hid it under the bed because I held the very personal and controversial view that being "wild at heart" did not mean that he must be a gun-wielding screamer who attacks things with sticks.
And yet, we live in Ohio. My views on guns are in the minority, to say the least. I think almost everyone we know enjoys shooting something or another. And since it's not like my opinions on weaponry count as deeply-held conviction, I've been slowly embracing the culture 'round here.
A few things have led me down this slippery slope. First, Ben spent an entire Saturday googling "hunting" because he's convinced this should be his new hobby. I think that a) he doesn't have time for a hobby and b) he should pick one that doesn't involve us having to buy equipment.
Second, Simon found my Sarah Palin hunting rifle, and he apparently knew exactly what it was.
As he stared at me with the gun in his hands, I had a split second to make a decision whether or not the rifle should be part of play time, and I decided that Ben's parents probably thought football was stupid. They probably didn't get why their son wanted to suit up in spandex and get walloped by men three times his size. They probably resented the money they had to shell out for his new American activity. And yet, they did it because they were raising their son in America, where football is part of life.
And so, in my moment of cross-cultural open-mindedness, I told Simon he could play with the gun, after explaining to him about how people kill animals to eat them.
He was so excited - he said, "Let's pretend Talya's a deer!"
See what I mean about this slippery slope?! I really do need to draw the line somewhere...