Oh, the irony! As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat down with US President Trump to try to broker a denuclearisation deal the Internet exploded with outrage because a four-year-old boy was playing with a toy gun.
OK, he’s not any four-year-old boy but the heir to the British throne.
But the fact anyone actually cared that Prince George was playing with a bit of plastic hardware shows just how ludicrous and reactive we have become.
Kids play with guns. If they have no access to plastic versions they’ll fashion their own out of sticks, Lego, cutlery or a bit of wood. It’s always been the case and just because a kid plays games with guns doesn’t mean he (or she) will become a school shooter.
That hasn’t stopped the hand-wringers and the politically correct taking to Twitter, accusing the Duchess of Cambridge and her husband of being negligent parents.
“Thought he was a sensitive child. Better if he was seen playing with a toy car or football. Sadly, the royals will never change,” wrote one critic on Twitter.
Another accused her of being tone deaf.
‘Completely tone deaf of Kate … to give Prince George a toy gun. Doesn’t she read the papers in her own country with all the gun deaths?’
Clearly the virtue-signallers have no understanding that education and explanation are at the heart of most parenting. Just because kids drown in pools doesn’t mean we don’t let them swim. It’s the same with guns – teach them that the real version can kill and have conversations around responsibility and safety. Kids thrive on knowledge. Conversely, they become fixated on anything that’s banned.
Indeed, some experts believe creative play with toy guns helps prepare kids for life.
‘I understand why gun play worries parents, however research shows that any aggression demonstrated while engaging in “war play” is not carried over into real life. I.e.: kids who play with guns become no more violent than those who don’t,’ says parenting author Sarah Ockwell-Smith.
She adds that gun play is an important way for them to make sense of the world they live in.
Prince George’s toy was apparently part of a plastic set of “SWAT” toys which included handcuffs and a fake knife. Apparently, he’s fascinated with the police force – hardly a troubling interest for the under-fives!
Surely it’s time we stopped mum shaming the Duchess of Cambridge and instead congratulated her for getting out with her kids at the same time as caring for a newborn.