Friday night, I watched in astonishment as Donnie Reagan has The Talk with son Jack:
Oh, I’m sure we can come up with quibbles. (“Irresponsible bastards! There’s four rules, everybody knows that!” “He’s an Only One!” “Kid should have had the talk as soon as he could walk!” “If they had any balls, they’d've had Danny say bugger hook/bang switch. Blue bloods? Blue noses, is more like it.”)
I do not care.
A great many folks in the audience have likely never, ever heard The Talk or anything like it. Get this: a child handles a gun, for the first time, under the watchful eye of his father. This is presented not just as a good thing, a safety thing, but a healing thing. And the father, known as the Reagan family hot head, calmly and patiently explains to his angry, disapproving wife why he is doing this — and she has no answer to him.
This is a huge shift. I’m astonished, and not a little disappointed, that we gun folk have not praised this to high heaven.
It does not matter that we might do The Talk differently with our children. It doesn’t even matter that the show does not (yet) acknowledge that Donnie committed a NYC felony by handing his gun to a child, or that most law abiding New Yorkers don’t even own a gun with which to have The Talk.
What’s important is that the ice is breaking. Giving a gun to your child to hold is shown as a Good Thing.
I can’t help but wonder if this came about, in part, due to Tom Selleck’s influence. It may even have been inspired by the notorious incident where Selleck scolded another actor on the set for unsafe gunhandling. (Although that action was not universally lauded.)
But really, none of that matters.
What matters is that on prime time TV, millions of viewers watched as a man defended his family with a gun, and gave his son The Talk to calm his anxiety after witnessing a shooting, and having a bullet pass by him in a gunfight.
Thanks to John Venlet at Improved Clinch for the link.
I never had the The Gun Talk with my Dad (and, yes, I meant that phrase to resonate with “The Sex Talk”), but John did, and I’m pleased that this scene reminded him of that, apparently favorably.
And, yeah, maybe we’re not “winning”, exactly, but we’re at the very least not losing as fast.