RIGHT ON DAD TALKS ABOUT GUNS – a children’s story by Chris Green
‘Why do people have guns, Dad? I think guns are horrible,’ says Amelia. Amelia is five and a half. She has just started her second year at school.
‘People haven’t always had guns, you know, Amelia. For hundreds of years when they fell out, they just threw things at one another or hit each other with sticks to settle their arguments. Many of them went to the gym several times a week to develop their stone throwing muscles or tried to find ways of sharpening their sticks. This all changed in 1506, when Mr Gun, a blacksmith from Accrington, Lancashire discovered you could use the power of explosives to fire a projectile through a metal tube.’
‘So it is called a gun because that was Mr Gun’s name?’
‘That’s right. At the time there were no PR firms in Accrington to guide Mr Gun through the process of marketing his new invention, so he called it simply a gun. Without realising it, he had hit upon a winner. The gun was to become the most successful commodity of all time. People saw the gun as an easy way to get rid of someone they did not like. People who had never considered harming another were seduced by its potential. Countries which had been at peace for hundreds of years suddenly came up with reasons to hate their neighbours. The neighbouring countries grew bigger turnips, or sang the wrong songs. They were smelly, or they saw a different man in the sky.’
‘Mr Gun was a bad man, wasn’t he, Dad?’ says Amelia.
‘He was, Amelia. But nothing compared to Mr War. In 1900, Mr War of Dundee, Scotland realised that these scuffles were very popular so he began to organise competitions. Dundee also did not have any marketing firms, so he called these competitions, wars. So successful was the idea that, a few years later in 1914, he managed to involve every country in the world in a big five-year long competition. He advertised it as The Great War. Although people seemed to like it at the time, afterwards they started to go off the idea of wars. So many people were killed they thought that they didn’t want to fight another one. They called it the war to end all wars.’
‘But it didn’t end all wars, did it, Dad? When you and mummy watch the news they are always talking about wars.’
‘The thing is that lots of people make money out of making guns and if they stopped having wars they wouldn’t be able to sell their guns. Then lots of people would not have jobs and their families would starve.’
‘I still don’t think that people should have guns.’
‘Then what would happen to all the people who didn’t have jobs and the starving families, Amelia?’
‘They could give them jobs making Moshi Monsters instead.’
© Chris Green 2015: All right reserved