So, apparently, little Prince George — son of Duchess Catherine of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) and Prince William — is deeply interested in law enforcement, which we think is pretty darn cute. He does have a rather serious demeanor, like his father, and would likely make a very good officer. But his play became public fodder when he was spotted toting a toy gun and pretend handcuffs. The event the royals were attending was innocent enough (and posh AF): The duchess relaxed with a friend and watched her husband compete in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy match in Gloucester, England, this Sunday while Prince George and Princess Charlotte romped in the grass. Let the royal-shaming begin.
This isn’t okay anymore… My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA,but my British side agrees. No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real. .(And I LOVE Prince George, don’t get me wrong!) @teamtrace pic.twitter.com/UEqtFi5WTH
— Daisy Torme (@daisytorme) June 10, 2018
Oh, it's big news.
Photos of Prince George playing with a toy gun have sparked heated debate on social media.
Should Will & Kate be criticised for allowing their son to play with it? pic.twitter.com/TR8vrtJqHg
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) June 11, 2018
This perspective is inarguably a sobering one. It's true that the future King of England is at no risk when he's playing with a toy gun, but it's not the same situation for all children.
Here’s why the sight of #PrinceGeorge playing with a toy gun is triggering for some of us. Black mothers in the US have to teach their sons not to play with anything (a toy gun, a cell phone, etc.) a policeman could claim looked like a real gun. Their lives depend on it.
— Deesa Roberts🙏🏽🖖🏽🤟🏽🦄👊🏽 (@DeesaRoberts) June 10, 2018
A black kid ( 7 ) have been killed by the US police because he played in the park like he has a gun ( he didn’t even have a fake gun) so yeah seeing the media praised Prince George to do that is scary and dangerous
— ⭐️Just Juliette⭐️🇫🇷 (@RoyalDetective8) June 10, 2018
But not everyone was horrified by Prince George's choice of toy.
Granola moms and professional victims around the globe recoil in horror as the royal children play outside in the sun https://t.co/UkndQUuJ8F
— Tracey Wilson (@TWilsonOttawa) June 11, 2018
Prince George played with a toy gun that was part of a police officer toy kit. He's a kid. So what. Politically correct obsessed critics need to sit down.
— Black Elephant (@GOPBlackChick) June 12, 2018
— Megan Hollar (@Mommyhollar) June 12, 2018
Prince George, 4, was clearly enjoying his plastic set of SWAT toys, which also included (*gulp*) a faux knife. This is the kid who only wanted a toy police carfor Christmas, so we're not surprised he looked positively delighted with his toy set.
However, context is everything, culturally speaking. While levels of gun violence in the U.S. continue to soar, the U.K.'s dominant political issues no longer include gun control, as handguns were banned in Britain after a horrific 1996 mass shooting at an elementary school. Not to mention even more powerful weapons (like ones widely available in the U.S.) have been banned in the U.K. far prior to the 1996 shooting, as reported by CNBC.
Wherever you fall in the debate, might we kindly suggest that Americans lay off the prince's toy and get our own actual gun affairs in order, maybe.