Thursday, November 21

I Still Have My Mounties Gun And Holster - but it didn't make me what I am today

Toy gun and holster

What makes us what we are - nature or nurture? The boffins don't seem to agree but I lean towards nature though accept that nurture can also have an influence. Mind you, that does sound a little like sitting on the debate fence.

Mike Perry at 6 or 7
I got wondering about this when thinking about guns. As an adult I detest them and don't understand why anyone would want to own one - unless maybe a farmer or something like that.

So my enjoyment of playing with toy guns as a child didn't carry on into adulthood. I think I realised that shooting and cowboys was simply playing and not for real.

Oh, and case you are wondering, the gun and holster at the top of the page is mine from when I was 6 or 7. And yes, that's me on the right of the other photo: the gap toothed sheriff wearing the very same holster. Though I'm not sure if it's the same toy gun. (The other boy in the photo is Brian Meacock, I wonder where in the world he is now?)

The gun I still have is called 'The Mounty'. I got that as a gift because, as a kid, I also liked The Mounties or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. At the time I loved their uniform and the thought of riding a horse - there weren't many horses where I was brought up in West London. Now that did influence my early life.

As I couldn't become a Mounty, as I called them, I still wanted to be in the police, but a detective - an influence of books and early television shows.

So I left school at 16 years 9 months and went into Hendon Police College, London. But at 18 my eyesight wasn't considered up to scratch - they had strict physical standards back then, no glasses to be worn. So I had to move on to other things, and I'm very glad, looking back, that I did.

Getting back to nature and guns, when my son was growing up, I never let him have toy guns - not that he ever wanted them - and my daughter-in-law won't let my grandson have them either. It's maybe just as well to keep nasty influences away from children, but I go along with Plato and Descartes who suggest that certain things are inborn, or that they simply occur naturally regardless of environmental influences.

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  1. Re: "The other boy in the photo is Brian Meacock, I wonder where in the world he is now?"
    My guess is Perth,Western Australia by that smile which doesn't seemed to have changed much.
    Check out this link,Mike -

    1. Thanks Darren - I'm 99.9% sure this is Brian! I shall try and make contact. Always said you were an Internet detective - thanks again.

  2. Interesting and thought-provoking post, Mike. And how cool that Darren found Brian!

  3. Keeping things short, it isn't that guns are a problem it's the respect for them that's needed. My girls were raised in South Africa and handled guns from a young age. It hasn't turned them into maniac killers, quite the opposite. I think it's a shame that kids can't play cowboys and Indians etc now without being the subject of the PC brigade. Parental control, teaching respect etc is part of the nurture philosophy.

  4. I am delighted to see your blog, Mike, as well as your delightful childhood treasures. We, too, played Cowboys and Indians growing up and had all the trimmings--guns, holsters, boots and fringed vests as early as I can recall. In fact, as a school administrator for over 20 years, each year at Halloween I wore a full "cowgirl" costume, complete with sheriff's badge:-) However, as it was against school policy (as it indeed should be) I left my toy guns at home and wore holsters, sometimes filled with Hershey kisses. I now detest guns, their reckless use, and the trauma they have caused for so many families. Enough said.

    1. Thank you Ann, nice to know we have something in common, what with those gun holsters! We have quite strict gun regulations in Britain but - but that's a whole other debate!

  5. This is so amusing to see little boys with holster tugged around their waist.