I'm Glad His Mother Let Him Play with Guns9:30 AM
I walked into our school room one afternoon and immediately took cover from the imaginary sniper fire ricocheting about the room. Three boys, thirteen to three, dressed in camo, low hats and Miami Dolphin sunglasses and brandishing Lego guns, greeted me with excitement and a willingness to have their photo taken.
My brothers love to play war. They love it when their big brother role plays a Marine drill instructor and they have to scramble to give him fifty. The three-year-old is constantly and unexpectedly on the hunt for dragons to slay - literally. They love to be heroes - especially when the damsels-in-distress, the keepers of the castle, believe in them.
And I can't help but quietly thank all the mothers of the past who let their boys play with guns - the boys who went off to war to defend our country.
This Fourth of July, our family feels the proud repercussions of encouraging patriotism, bold manhood and a desire for defense of what's good and noble in our oldest son and brother. He shipped out for Marine boot camp in May and is prepared - we've heard it many times from his calm lips - to die for his country. That's who he is at his core. And behind him stands the woman of our house - our mother, who engaged him in discussion and thinking regarding history and politics; who encouraged him to step out and be responsible; who let him play with guns, study past wars and imagine what it would be like to triumph over evil.
"But guns promote violence," we hear today. "Guns trigger school shootings and mass murders." Guns with an ideology of hate and cowardice. Not guns with a love of country and bravery.
Today, however, both ideologies of guns and war are lumped together as hateful and repugnant. In the public school I volunteer at, little boys aren't allowed to have "bombs," "war," "guns" or anything of the sort on their lips or on their papers. I understand where the policy comes from, but even then, I know from the rowdy bunch of boys back home that the majority of little men aren't serial killers in the making. Little boys want their manhood to be recognized, appreciated. There are men called to write gentle poems of great thought on paper. And there are men who are called to storm the banks, to let freedom ring.
Even in Christian circles, this sort of patriotism is not understood. We should, the philosophy goes, let the nonchristians kill and plunder. Christians just don't do that. They shouldn't want to do that. Personally, I'd rather have a principled, humble, saved-by-grace-alone man making the war plans than an unsaved, unwise man who does not have access to the throne of God.
We need these kind of Christian men in America who wield the sword of the Truth solely until necessity and decency demands a rifle. They are not the black sheep of society or of Christianity - they are the men who are willing to put their lives where their mouths are.
The heroes in 1776 had guns. The heroes of the World Wars had guns. The heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq had guns. But they had more than that. They had principle, integrity and a heart blazing for freedom. And as boys, they had a mother who let them play with guns.