As a kid, I played ‘Cowboys and Indians’.  My younger siblings and I galloped around the yard on stick horses, firing our six-shooter cap guns, and drawing back on our Fisher Price bows and arrows.  We yelled words like “Yeehaw” and screeched like wild banshees, while tapping our mouths.  Those were the days when kids could play.  Today, the politically correct police confiscate gun-shaped pop tarts and frown on the word “Indian” and probably the word “cowboy” as well.  I guess kids living currently play “Cow People” and “Native Americans.”  It just doesn’t have the same ring….

When did Americans become wimps?

As a child, I grew dizzy…sick…and green on Merry-Go-Rounds, catapulted down long metal slides, and sailed up into the sky in rubber seated swings with long rusty chains.  And where were these instruments of death?  At school…sitting on hot black asphalt.  Today, kids play on plastic jungle gyms and kick up pieces of rubber tire as they WALK from one minimally dangerous apparatus to the next.

When did Americans become wimps?

As a little boy, I remember climbing from the front seat of my Dad’s 1969 Ford Fairlane to the back…while it was moving!  I also remember sitting on my dad’s lap while he drove the family from home to church.  Today, if authorities or “well meaning” citizens observe small children, riding in automobiles without being strapped into a five harness clasped government approved car seat, those kids end up in the Division of Family Services System and the parents earn DFS home investigations, sensitivity training, and Sunday supervised visits…if their lucky.

When did Americans become wimps?

I’m not sure exactly.  Maybe it was during the mid-1980’s when lawn darts were banned.

Within the last five years, a school in New Hampshire and a school in New York have outlawed tag and dodge ball because children might get hurt…or their parents might sue.  Good grief, I grew up with holes in my jeans.  Not because I purchased them that way from American Eagle, but because I wore holes in my britches from activities like running, jumping, sliding, wrestling, tag, dodge ball, and Cow People and Native Americans.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for certain laws and regulations.  In fact, I’m probably more of a helicopter father than most dads…especially since watching my eldest wage a war with cancer.  I see the benefits of fastening my children in car seats and mulching playgrounds with rubber chips, but I also see the harmful effects of babying the millennial generation.  And sadly, this effort to protect people isn’t just about the physical body.

Everyone’s walking on egg shells nowadays in fear of offending another individual.  Some colleges go to the extreme of designating tiny areas as free speech zones, and only in those specified boundaries may you freely speak your mind.  Thankfully, young people aware of their first amendment rights have fought for free-speech campuses and won, but how much longer can we count on our future generations knowing about the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, or the Constitution in general?  I mean Jesse Watters has discovered that some of our nation’s finest can’t identify a picture of George Washington or the reason we celebrate the Fourth of July.  If we’re not careful, we’re going to dumb and politically correct ourselves into the annals of nations that once were.  (Sorry, I used the word “dumb.”)

Soon, I’m chaperoning over twenty young people from our church to a raucous evening of paint balling.  I don’t know what will offend people more…that we’re shooting “guns” or that we’re a church group, or both.  In fact, this “helicopter” dad is allowing his eldest to go play.  He’s been warned about the stinging projectiles, the bruising, and the outside chance of a small scar.  He said,

“Dad, bring it on!”

In fact, we might just break into teams and play “Cow People and Native Americans.”  I know, I know…it’s offensive.  Get over it.

Benjamin Franklin once said,

“He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

Let freedom ring.