In Mexico, Curbing Violence Before It Is Learned

In Mexico, Curbing Violence Before It Is Learned

Alejandra Valera
Feb 26, 2009

Does your child have a water gun? What about a plastic one? Are they adept at creating a finger gun? This past Christmas, Mexican congressman, Othón Cuevas Córdova, felt dismayed when his nephew – who could barely speak – was already fluent in the language of violence. When the small boy pointed a toy pistol at Mr. Córdova and said, "Tío, I'm going to kill you", it sent a powerful message to the congressman. A recent New York Times article writes of Mr. Cuevas attempts to create a legislative ban on the fabrication, importation and sale of toy guns.

The article states:

"The boy was so young he could barely say the words," said Mr. Cueva, who is from Mexico's southern Oaxaca State and represents the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution. "But from infancy, children are learning the culture of violence and we need to do something about it."

The idea is great in theory. If children aren't exposed to violent toys during their younger years, then the amount of violence in their adulthood should decrease. However, many security experts are dismissing the ban. Mr. Cuevas himself states, "It's not a panacea...there are many reasons for this violence. But this is something we can do."

Mr. Cuevas also argues that toy guns are merely part of the problem, as violent video games and television programs also contribute to the amount of violence children are exposed to.

What do you think? Is it better to nip it in the bud, or is it an exercise in futility?

To read the entire article, visit the New York Times' Web site.

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