This morning on the way to school, a morning radio host was playing the 9-1-1 tape of a 14-year-old who accidentally shot and killed his best friend. It was pretty intense and devastating stuff but I am HARDCORE with the "Don't ever, ever touch a gun" routine, so I explained to the kids what was going on and how incredibly sad it was for these boys and their families and how it all could have been avoided if they had never touched the gun.
They were serious and solemn about it.
"What if it's a yellow gun with "NERF" on the side and foam darts? Can we touch those?" Big Kid asked.
I affirmed that anything involving NERF, foam darts or brightly colored plastic was most likely a toy and was okay.
"Will 'at boy go to jail?" little kid asked.
"Kids can't go to jail, little kid!" Big Kid answered.
"Well, they can. There is a jail for kids but I don't think he will go because it's an accident. But some really bad kids do end up in jail, it's very sad."
"Are you locked up in a jail? You can't go home to yous mumum?" little kid asked.
"No, you can't go home to your mom."
"Hmmm. I not gonna worry 'bout it."
"No, you shouldn't worry about jail. You're a good boy."
"No, I not gonna worry 'cuz I will just 'scape from jail."
"Oh, well you can't escape. They've thought of that and made it really hard to escape."
"Uh, I gonna turn into a dinosaur, eat all a cops and come home to my mumum. They pwobably didn't think of 'at, huh?"
"Oh. No, they probably didn't think of that. The point is mostly just NOT to touch a gun. Ever. If you see a gun, tell your friends not to touch it and run and get an adult."
"Yep and I not gonna worry 'bout jail."
So the good news is that Big Kid will never, ever touch a gun and little kid already has a plan to escape prison! He also made me buy him batting gloves, and now wears jeans, cowboy boots and black leather gloves pretty much full time.
At least he won't leave behind any fingerprints.