For Kathryn Aegis: 'Toy Guns; Real Guns' from 'Taking Children Serious

Tony Hollick (
Mon, 15 Dec 97 09:33 GMT0

Hello, Kathryn,

I understand...

But here's a contribution I posted to 'Taking Children Seriously'
recently. I discussed all this with Graham Able, the present
Headmaster of Dulwich College, last Friday. A great -- albeit
conservative -- friend of mine advised me I could wind up dead if I
raised this next matter with him. Actually, it was kinda mellow...

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Hello! I _like_ TCS!! I wish we had TCS when I was a kid!!! >:-}

When I was a kid, I wanted to live in America, not least because
kids there could have .22 Colt Woodsman 'plinking' pistols and neat Marlin
lever-action rifles, not the replica .45 Colt Peacemaker cap-firer I had.
(ISTR, I got my 'fast-draw' and fire down to .25 seconds).

I had a father who had been asked by the prewar Fascist Party to
stand as a Parliamentary candidate. He often used to threaten to kill me
-- and he clearly wanted to, sometimes. When I read this following motto
for the first time, I understood exactly why I _really_ wanted a gun:

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"God made all people equal, and Smith & Wesson intend to keep it that way."
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After attending a primary school where I was routinely and viciously
caned on the outstretched fingers of my left hand, in an ill-conceived
effort to make me right-handed (afterwards, I would be unable to write or
play the piano for days, which was of course their intention), I started
taking an interest in larger-caliber weapons... People started to die in
oddly coincidental ways around that time. [ I didn't kill them --
directly, any road ]

I 'won' a scholarship to Dulwich College, where -- as an 11-year-old
-- I was puzzled by the school's insistence on the little kids swinning in
the nude, while masters and prefects 'talent-spotted' from the balcony.
The selected kids would be subjected to ongoing and arbitrary severe
physical punishments until they agreed to provide certain active and
passive -- shall we say? -- services...

By now, I was learning to fire .303 rifles, Bren guns and other toys...

A favourite practice of the prefects was to round up a dozen or so
kids, and subject them one at a time to the following lunch-time ritual:

The kids would be told on a Friday that they would attend for
punishment on the following Monday. This would give the kids all week-end
to dwell on what would happen to them.

They would have to line up ouside the School Prefects' Common Room
(the room's still there). The door would be flung open, and the first
kid's name would be shouted out, and the door closed again. The kid would
have to ask for admittance, and then march precisely up to a raised dais,
where three prefects sat, with several canes lying on the desk.

The kid would be 'accused', and asked to explain himself. No
explanation was _ever_ good enough, of course. The interrogations would
be interspersed with canes being whacked down on the top of the desk.
Other prefects werw seated around the sides of the room, many with
newspapers discreetly positioned over their laps...

Eventually, when the kid had been suitably terrorized, he would
have to hold his ankles in the middle of the room. He would then be
cleverly and systematically beaten. The kids were often very brave, and
would try so hard not to cry. What they didn't understand was that they
would be beaten until they _did_ cry. Sometimes all the strokes would be
on the same line; sometimes, in parallel lines. Clever bastards...

Afterwards, the tearful kid would be lectured, then told to leave.

Then the next name would be called... All the kids outside could
hear all this going on, of course. The sessions could last up to two
hours... And they could always pick you again for next week's session, if
they felt like it. (At Stoneyhurst School, a fellow-CIXen I know was
beaten _every day_ for two years...).

I was suspended from Dulwich seven times, and 'asked to leave' twice
(a record), the last time for taking an 11" bladed Bowie knife and a .22
pistol to school (I had a .50 caliber percussion revolver as well).

'Cet animal est mechant! Quand on l'attaque, il se defend!' >:-}

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I went on to Geelong Grammar School in Australia, where as a cadet I
learned to use Browning .50 caliber machineguns, 9mm. submachineguns and
.45 military sidearms, as well as mortars and grenade launchers. I was
expelled for refusing to be beaten in the showers by the House Prefects,
for calling a prefect an 'impolite bastard.' I received a standing
ovation when I left, two weeks before my University Entrance exams.

One kid hurt me rather up badly one day. Some weeks later, I
was 'firing-in' a sniper rifle on the range, and this character walked
down the side of the range. I set the sights, swung the rifle over,
chambered a live round, and lined him up neatly in the sights. At that
instant, I felt a wonderful sense of healing -- I realized that he now
lived or died with my _permission_, and I didn't have to _hate_ him any
more. 'Empowerment'

The last handgun I owned was a Remington .45 ACP with nickel-plated
slide. Good 'stopper.' I thought through very carefully all the
consequences of ever using it on someone, and decided not to keep it. I
must confess to a slight weakness for the magnificent Barrett Light Fifty
Special Forces rifles, which can take out targets in a red-and-white mist
of blood and bone fragments at 1 000 yards, and blow damn great holes
straight through brick and concrete walls. Clickers and Order details on
the Rainbow Bridge Foundation Web Site. >:-}

Well, now we have helium-sapphire laser weapons coming, with
two-stage triggers, which first create ionized conductive plasma tracks as
the lasers strike the air molecules. You then discharge preset
ulracapacitor high-voltages down the plasma tracks. Rather like Gene
Roddenberry's STAR TREK phasers, eh? (He wrote and produced the 50's
classic TV series with Richard Boone, 'Have Gun, Will Travel.' >:-}

Read "The Weapon Shops of Isher" by A.E. van Vought!

"Have Gun, Will Travel"
Reads the card of a man;
A knight without armour
In a savage land.

His fast gun for hire
Needs the calling wind.
A soldier of Fortune
Is the man called 'Paladin.'

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Of course, intelligence officers don't usually carry guns, for
pragmatic as well as principled reasons. CIA 'disposed' of the
Argentine-controlled Somocista core of the Contras by inviting them
to go off into Nicaragua on morally indefensible missions, along
infiltration routes very well-known to the Sandinistas. Think of it
as 'ecology in action.' >:-}

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BTW: Two of my alltime screen heroines are Karen Allen in 'HandGun';
and the magnificent Linda Hamilton as 'Sarah Connor' in "Terminator II."

/ /\ \

Tony Hollick, LightSmith, WarFighter

(Listening to the magnificent Dolores O'Riordan and the Cranberries sing
"Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?"). "We kid you not!" >:-} (LA-Agora Conference) (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation) (NorthWest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment)

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| Rainbow Bridge Foundation * * * Centre for Liberal Studies |
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"America's at that awkward stake. It's too late to work through the
system, but too soon to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe

"Fasten your safety belts. You've never had a trip like this before."

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