Vending machines and guns? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I was taking my mother somewhere last night and we stopped at this grocery store in a wel,l poorer kind of run down part of town. Mostly blacks and hispanics live there. You know how all stores have those little vending machines that kids put a quarter in and get some kind of prize. My son is obsessed with these machines and their cheap prizes BTW. So my mother goes over to one to pick him out a "prize" (DS not with us BTW). I walk over and just stare! The prizes in these particular machines are cheap little silver looking necklaces with charms attached to them. The charms are guns! pistols, machine guns, in all lenghts and sizes one of them even had a pistol with two grenades attached to them!
Necklaces with guns attached to them targeted at children!WTF! What kids like these machines, ages 4-like8 or something like that right? So I go into my little tirade on how inapriorate that is and how stupid these people are for putting it here(I'm guessing the manager okay'd it to be there, right?)My mother rushes me out of the store. I continue all the way to the house about it.
Well later my son comes around the corned with what around his neck? you guys it my ignorent ass mama actually got im one of those things! She says he's just a child and doesn't know thw way I'm looking at it. I asked her why she didn't show it to me at the store. "well you were already bitching about it". Okay my father, and I are telling her the problems we have with it but its' not a big deal to her. Trash is where it's at now.

Here's my problems. Besides just being wrong to target to children period. The grocery store that we normally go to does not have such a machine. I can think of three stores taht we have been to that does not carry that kind of crap in their vending machines. But this one and another one I stopped at(just to see if it did and prove my point) does. These 2 stores in the poorer, blakcer parts of towns have this crap but the better neighborhood stores(white) don't. Can anyone explain this to me?
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#2 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 11:52 AM
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Can anyone explain this to me?

That's a rhetorical question, right?

As an acquaintence of mine said about the Vietnam War: "I was crouching in the same foxhole for the fourth time on the same hill that we were taking for the fourth time and it hit me: They're trying to kill all of us. My country wanted all of us to die, and three-quarters of the guys on that hill were black and latino and indian and the rest of us were poor."
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#3 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 12:02 PM
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jeca - write a letter to the store and complain - I have seen those stupid prizes and it amazes me that a grocery store would allow them. Let them know how you feel.
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#4 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 12:17 PM
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I have a problem with the guns thing.

My ds has always loved weapons, ever since he was abt 1 yr old. He is now 12 yrs. We never allowed him guns toys for the longest time. We did allow Japanese plastic swords, as all 3 kids were into Teenage Mutatn Ninja Turtles, and all 3 took karate, ds started at age 4.

He did end up getting a 1 inch gun on a keychain from a vending machine once, that sold a variety of toys, and he loved that stupid thing!

Now, I hate guns, but my dh's side of the family is another story. They are PA farmer types and all boys seem to get guns at an early age for target practice. Not too many of the men hunt anymore, but my dh did with his dad and uncles when he was young.

My one nephew is 1 yr older than ds. Their family lives next door to my parents in law. Target practice with rifles sometimes goes on when we are visitng abt 3x/yr.

Dn comes to visit us every summer for a month. This time he wanted to bring his BB gun. Ds really really wanted him to. I was against it. Dh was more in favor, they are harmless he said, the boys would shoot at targets down cellar, not outside where animals or neighbors might be annoyed.

So, the first 3 days the boys went down to shoot. After that, it was over for the rest of the month. They lost interest.

When dn left we rented Bowling for Colombine.

Somehow, ds no longer seems to be obsessing about guns.
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#5 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I just don't understand what the manager or owner was thinking allowing it in their store. Aren't most vendings privatly owned? Who's bright idea was this anyway?
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#6 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 10:05 PM
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Next time you are near one take a look all over the machine itself. There should be contact info on the company that owns it. If there isn't a polite call to the store manager would probably yield the information. They should be contacted as well as the store manager. You might also want to write a letter to the editor.
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#7 of 7 Old 10-10-2003, 10:23 PM
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Of course, this is a common practice, to sell things in black/hispanic neighborhoods that aren't sold in white neighborhoods. Like those high alcohol content drinks such as St. way will that be found in the middle-class town where I live!

And those stories you hear about little kids being able to buy cocaine from ice cream trucks...true, I'm afraid, but again, not in my town!

I remember living in this town with only about 137,000 people in it, but there was the "hispanic side" known as "felony flats" or "chivatown" and that's the part of town you go to if you want used guns, prostitutes, heroin and cocaine, pawn shops and those money-lending places, bars and cigarette vendors that don't card, stores where you can sell your used Levi's, etc. And also in that part of town there is a hair salon that specializes in cutting black people's hair. Black people go to the university; why isn't the salon there? People sell drugs on campus and the police ran them all out, and now people don't sell and use drugs there openly anymore. The police also arrested all the homeless people who sleep in business doorways near campus. But in felony flats, none of that is going on. When I was a police cadet we would patrol the area and use binoculars and would see drug deals all the time but it was always my supervisor's call as to whether to do anything and every time he said no. There are homeless people sleeping in doorways in this part of town, and the police don't do anything. Maybe give them a ticket, but not set out regular patrols like they did in the richer areas to make sure it didn't happen again. The same homeless people would often be ticketed a few times in one day.

Clearly, there is more emphasis placed on improving middle-class communities than poorer ones. I think the police are just glad that the drug dealers and homeless people stay out of the rich areas now. As long as they're "contained" in their place, no concern.
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