Reading the first paragraph, I thought children 8-13 years old. These, however, weren’t “youths”. They’re adults. Did the civil war they grew up during so desensitize them to weapons that they’d play a game with them?
Yes, the opening sentence employs black humor. If black humor upsets you, oh well. I will not stop using it.
My cousin’s ex-husband swiped one when he was in the army (apparently out on maneuvers they’d hide stuff in the woods and go back later and get it). He kept it in the car (??) for a while, until my cousin made him get rid of it. Ended up pulling the pin and throwing it into the ocean from the beach. No report on fish casualties.
My mom knew a couple of guys in high school who used to amuse themselves by throwing javelins at each other and trying to catch or dodge them. At some point it occured to these intellectual giants that this activity might perhaps be a wee bit dangerous, so they decided to put on baseball catcher’s armor before throwing the javelins. Somehow they avoided injury.