We live in an age where children have lost the use of their legs, grow to immense proportions as soon as they leave the womb and develop incredible hand-to-eye co-ordination from constant operation of hand held gaming devices, according to an un-acknowledged source children today spend almost 105% of their waking hours in front of a computer monitor or TV set, and then some of their sleeping hours too.
I am developing a theory that the increase in knife and gun crime in the UK is in direct correlation to the advent of the computer game and its ability to maim, disable and kill your opponents in a virtual world where nothing hurts and you always live to fight another day – a bit like the A Team did for the generation before.
It wasn’t like that when ah wor nobbut a lad.
In the 1960’s we had toys that could do real harm to your friends, maim and kill them even.
Take the Secret Sam Suitcase for instance, YouTube Video here, the toy of the year in 1965, the toy that every boy wanted that christmas. With the cold war at its height of crazy suspicion and spy movies all the rage on TV and cinema it was an obvious marketing ploy to introduce a toy that enabled small boys all over the western world to become top secret secret agents.
The Secret Sam Suitcase was a hard plastic briefcase inside of which was an automatic pistol, a real, working automatic pistol that fired life sized hard plastic bullets of the sort used to control rioting mobs in the days before the Human Rights people banned them. Upon opening of the briefcase one could also assemble a rifle with periscope sight enabling you to hide behind a wall and view your enemy beyond without revealing your location although of course any attempt to shoot the gun at that point would result in you shooting the wall, a bit of a design flaw, but still..
The real masterpiece of the Secret Sam Suitcase was the fact that when packed away inside its suitcase you could still fire the automatic pistol from within by use of a secret button on the handle of said suitcase, and of course the hard plastic bullets could really hurt your friends, proper stinging hurt too, raise a weal they could, possibly mark them for several days.
And so we all wandered the streets, 11 year olds surreptitiously carrying black plastic suitcases everywhere we roamed, pretending it was the norm for 11 year olds to carry black plastic briefcases, the old ladies of the neighbourhood probably couldn’t believe their eyes with all of us walking the streets during the school holidays looking for all the world as if we were going to work at the bank.
The Johnny Seven rifle, YouTube Video here, was of a similar ilk but without the plastic briefcase, just an out and out automatic rifle firing the same hard plastic bullets as the Secret Sam Suitcase did, hard plastic bullets that could “have your eye out” according to our mums.
Mothers always knew of someone, a friend who lived some streets away, a friend of a friend who knew someone from another district who’s son had had an eye taken out by a hard plastic bullet of the same sort as those dangerous Johnny Seven guns, the mothers grapevine was full of stories like that, I still live in fear of chemistry sets after my mother told me of a little boy who lived in another district, a friend of a friend of hers who had had a hole blown out of his stomach big enough to put your fist in by a chemistry set experiment that went wrong – god how I wanted to have a chemistry set like that, a chemistry set that could blow holes in your stomach big enough to put your hand in, although why you’d want to put your hand inside your stomach I’m not sure, but still…
But all of this paled in comparison with giving your child a real gun for christmas, and yes, here in England, the land famous for not allowing any of its citizens to bear arms, where even our police officers do not carry guns, here in this land where you can be legally killed in the street by the police if you are carrying, for instance, a table leg* that just LOOKS like a gun, in this totally anti-gun country of ours we kids were given real guns for christmas one year, real guns that fired real ball bearings at high velocity that stung like fook if you got in the way.
Styled on a German WWII luger the Sekiden childrens gun for potential child bank robbers and ne’er-do-wells held something like 50 ball bearings in its chamber which in a rapid fire mode could easily pin down an opponent behind a tree, or be used to hold up the local sweet chop for chocolate, our local sweet shop owner, Cooper, even sold the bloody weapons to us AND the ammunition and then wondered why he kept getting held up for a bar of Five Boys Chocolate every day during the school holidays.
*True story although why a person should be carrying a table leg wrapped in a cloth through the streets after dark has never been fully explained, nor why, after being surrounded by several armed police and told to lay down your weapon you continue to point the table leg as if its a real gun, still, Darwinism eh?