There are two comments that I specifically wanted to address:
The first: Guns and hunting for an 11 year old seems to sum up the biggest difference between our country and yours!
America has a gun problem. I will be the first to admit it. We surely do. I will also admit to having more guns locked away in this house than I am aware of. Tim is NOT, however, a member of the NRA. He never would be. We believe in common sense gun laws. We believe that assault weapons (my definition of that is a weapon which shoots multiple rounds per second.) Nobody needs a weapon like that. Likewise, high capacity magazines should be outlawed. To us, this is just common sense.
To us, it is also common sense that not everyone in this country should have access to a weapon. We need to start from that premise and move forward.
We don't believe that we should arm teachers to prevent school shootings. Not all teachers are good people and I would hate to think of weapons in their hands, in our schools, with our kids. The whole focus of preventing school shootings is keeping guns out of school, not bringing more in.
Unfortunately, the NRA has a strong lobby and lots of money. They have a tight grip on the testicles of those who have the power to change the laws.
(It is also common sense to us that there is no difference between lobbying and bribery but that is a whole different tangent. Pretty sure that I will piss off enough people with the tangent I'm on, let alone marching off on another.)
William understands that a gun is a tool, just like a knife or a chainsaw. He understands that you can do a great deal of damage with each of these things but used for the purpose they are intended for, they are important and useful tools.
I also understand that there are dangerous mindsets out there. People who are harping on about guns and personal protection are fools. They are exaggerating the dangers to justify their weapon. Those are the people you see walking around with a weapon on their hip. The ones who ease back their coat in a casual way to make sure you know they are carrying. To me, they are simply masturbating in public, getting off on watching your reaction to realizing that they have a weapon.
I can't abide people like that.
I also can't abide people who talk about preparing for the civil war.
I can't abide people who strut around saying, 'Nobody messes with me, because I'm carrying.' I always want to point out that nobody messes with me, either...and I don't carry. I've got a niece who likes to talk like that. She sounds like an idiot.
Those are the twisted sorts of attitudes that turn gun ownership into such a problem. They are, without a doubt, American attitudes, and it shows plainly in our daily news. 615 mass shootings in this country this year. So far. Even as I type this, I imagine that the number has become outdated.
America does have a gun problem but I can assure you it has nothing to do with an 11 year old boy learning to hunt.
The second comment that I specifically want to address is the idea that William might feel compelled to hunt to please his grandfather. That is not the case, and he has been assured over and over again that it is, ultimately, his own choice. He thinks that he wants to hunt now. His grandfather and I have both told him (together and separately, many times over) that it will be ultimately his choice. We are both actively involved in making sure that DOESN'T happen. We both believe we know him well enough to recognize when he is struggling.