Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Teach Your Children

I realize there is a huge cultural gap between me and this kid, but even taking into account cultural diversity I find this from the Associate Press disturbing:
John Wagner was 5 when he killed his first deer with one shot from a .223-caliber rifle.

He is now standing in the living room of his family home and recalling with mounting excitement how last December he trained the cross hairs on the 75-pound doe as she paused beneath a tree house where he and his father waited.

"I shot it right behind the front shoulder," the boy said. "Dropped it right in its tracks."

John, now 6 years old, stands about 4 feet tall and weighs about 50 pounds. He's a good student, earning a monthly award for responsibility in kindergarten last year.

But he'd rather be hunting.

"I like it," he said. "Shooting a gun and shooting at the animals and killing them."
I understand that there's some cognitive dissonance going on inside me here. I enjoy a steak or pork roast as much as the next guy and I don't give any thought to the loss of life suffered by the chicken I had for dinner tonight. It bothers me, though, that a six year old kid enjoys killing animals. When I'm hiking or cycling through the woods and I come across deer, I can't help but pause and watch them. They're beautiful, graceful creatures and when they turn to leave me, whether by delicately picking their way across the leafy forest floor or by bounding off, I always feel edified by the experience. It strikes me that there is some spiritual poverty within somebody who would leave such a situation feeling unfulfilled if he hadn't killed the deer. It's really distressing to me when such a person is six years old.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com