A note for the National Union of Teachers, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers and the ‘many parents’ mentioned towards the end of this article: children (and especially boys) are not aggressive because they play with toy guns. They play with toy guns because they can be aggressive all on their own.
the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has criticised the government’s advice on toy guns.
General secretary Steve Sinnott said the problem with toy weapons was that they “symbolise aggression”.
And why is that a bad thing? Aggression is normal. As children, it’s how we find our limits. As adults, it’s how we define our limits. Aggression, in and of itself, is perfectly healthy. As with so many things, it’s only misplaced aggression that causes problems; when someone aggressively tries to move their limits over the boundary of someone else’s, that is a problem.
Does not the state use the threat of financial penalty (aggression) to ensure that children attend school?
Does not the teacher use the threat of punishment (aggression) to ensure that children behave at school?
Does not the parent use the threat of punishment (aggression) to ensure that children behave at home?
Is not the pupil expected to defend their work in class, which is a form of aggression?
Is not the pupil being prepared for the real world, where they will try to get jobs ahead of other people, by aggression?
Just saying that something is aggressive doesn’t mean that it’s automatically a bad thing. And if aggression itself isn’t a bad thing, then how can something that symbolises aggression automatically be a bad thing?
Mucking fuppets, the lot of ‘em…
A further point, I was going to make was that *we* all played guns, cops and robbers (and, bizarrely for a North Antrim village, Roots) when we were young. And we didn’t turn out to be gun-totting anarchists, now, did we? Well, not all of us.
Halfwits. Much as I like to ignore government advice statements, I take it to heart when the scummy Unions pitch up against it.
It’s the pure newspeak-ness of this in general, and the naiivety of it in particular, that galls me. The idea that if you remove that which is a currently popular symbol of something, then that something will also disappear is preposterous when dealing with such things as fundamental human emotions.
Consider history: was aggression invented at the same time as the firearm? If so, why was it ever invented then, if there was no aggression before the gun?
There is also the other side to the coin – is aggression always and in every situation a bad thing? No. I would like those who defend me and my country to use appropriate amounts of aggression. The keyword there is appropriate.
The social-engineering overtones of this are positively worrying.
My feelings exactly. It’s a question of who talks the most horseshit…
What I find more worrying is that this is only in the news because of attempts to stop the social engineering. Which means that nobody thought the engineering was newsworthy on its own.