Santa don’t play that!
Via Washington Post
Every year, the children ask Santa for dolls, cars, games and puppies. They also ask for guns. Nerf guns, pistols, air rifles, shotguns. Even assault weapons.
And that breaks this 82-year-old Santa’s heart, especially this year.
Unlike the department store Santa in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story,” who told Ralphie he would not be getting the official Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle because “you’ll shoot your eye out,” the much beloved Merrifield Garden Center Santa has a more elaborate denial.
“You might get a gun from your father or your mother or grandfather, but you won’t get one from me,” he tells kids who request weapons, either real or make-believe, at the Fairfax County nursery. “Guns were put on this earth to take the life of a bird, an animal or a person. Guns were designed to make people cry, to make people die. Now, take a candy and a holy card.”
At Merrifield, where Santa has been nestling children on his lap for more than 30 years, at least one child a night comes asking for a gun. And that’s not abnormal, given the role of guns in the arsenal of kid toys. But Santa remembers one child who asked for an entire arsenal: an assault rifle, a shotgun and two handguns. And he asks me not to print the awful details of one encounter that really rattled him. But let’s just say that some parents don’t agree with his quiet speech about weapons.
Santa’s steadfast denial of guns as gifts, coming from a man who first dyed bedsheets red and wore a cowbell around his neck to create his uniform decades ago, is especially poignant this year.
Santa’s heart is as heavy as the rest of ours are this year.
“Those first-graders,” Santa tells me as he stretches his legs after all the children have gone home to bed, “you just look at them, and you think: ‘How? How could anybody, how could anybody shoot them?’ ”
God bless this Santa Claus.
Would you be upset if he lectured you and your children about asking for guns as Christmas toys this year???
Image via AP