Friday, July 22, 2011

Your Turn

Would you buy a child a toy gun? When is it acceptable and when is it not?

53 comments:

bluebonnetmom said...

One that looks super fake and would not get my child shot by accident by a police officer. Other than that, nope.

nataliesinger said...

no

Baka Neko said...

The only toy gun I would give would be a super sokar type gun.

Patty said...

I used to have a cap gun. I wonder whatever happened to it.

msgirl said...

Only a very fake looking one. I did get my son a toy gun, and his friends who didn't have one were far more obsessed with his than he was. I dunno, when 1 yr old my son was using a banana as a gun, it was unreal. And this was a baby who only watched PBS! We did talk about guns as he got older. I had a toy gun, had lots of fun playing spy, and I'm adamantly opposed to real guns.

MontanaMarriott said...

Never

CB said...

I heard a radio host tell this story and I thought it was hilarious. He and his wife went to their neighbor's place for dinner one night. The neighbor's son and the radio host were playing on the floor in the son's room when they began to play cops & robbers or cowboys & indians or something. Well, the young boy's mother quickly told radio host that they do not allow that kind of play in their house; no toy guns, no war games of any kind, etc. They want him to play with educational & inspirational toys and handed her son a toy doctor/medical kit. As soon as Mom left the room, the little boy picked up the stethoscope and pointed it at the radio host and said 'bang bang'! You can try all you want to shelter them, but kids aren't stupid. I agree, buy them an obviously toy gun.

Ice Angel said...

My boys have airsoft rifles and guns. They have to wear protective goggles when playing with them and they feature bright orange tips so that police can identify that they are not real.

And as far as any other kinds of toy guns...sure...if you don't let them have a toy gun, they will make a gun out of something else or at the minumum use their finger and say "bang bang."

I call it playing.

Ms Cool said...

My son has super fake looking nerf guns, squirt guns, and a rubber band gun.

JoElla said...

CB!BWHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

Heck my boys have used one of their little sister's barbie doll for a gun!

Fingers, sticks, stethocope, barbie, even a football were used for guns. And Little Miss Cranky Pants even used a big ole remote controlled dino for a gun in cops and robbers and good guys and bad guys!


The Hubby plays Call of Duty, and the kids do as well. Of course we have had the "this isn't real life" talk with them, and my smart ass middle son said "Mom... I know the difference between a computer game and real life DUH!" LOL

I know some people will wonder if this game is to violent, but what it has done is opened up an interest in history.

And of course we have a wide selection of nerf guns and super soakers too.

But I do also think that this is up to each parent and they make the choice that is best for their families. And I do have to admit that I do find it humorus when those parents have kids that yell BANG BANG when they have taken huge steps to keep certain types of toys away. Sometimes kids will just be kids and everyone brings out their death ray to play at times.

RocketQueen said...

Water guns. That's it.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

well, according to a poster yesterday, only Southern people need to worry about this question anyway. *rolls eyes*

redhotpepper said...

Nope, no fake guns but my kids have real guns. They are taught gun safety and know they are not to be treated as toys. They wear hearing and eye protection and have to have an adult present. I have 2 girls who are 9 and 11 and will grow up hunting with their dad. And yes, we eat what we shoot.

Ida Blankenship said...

I don't have sons, but nearly *everyone* I know who has a boy or two has some anecdote to relate about how anything can serve as a projectile weapon with a little creativity. Never underestimate a child's imagination, I guess.

I don't see anything wrong with toy guns -- particularly when they're brightly-colored, see-through, and obviously faker than hell. It would seem to me that kids should be taught the tremendous difference between a real gun and a fake one, anyhow. Like it or not, occasions might arise in which your kids are going to hang out in homes with parents who DO pack heat, even if you disagree with gun ownership. Firearms are everywhere.

Vicki Cupper said...

I would have 30 or 40 years ago, but definitely not now.

JasonBlueEyes said...

When I was a child I had those plastic, silver cowboy/lone ranger type guns. I'd buy them for a child. I don't see as how it's any different then kids carrying large plastic pirate swords at Halloween.

BigMama said...

@brendalove - what was posted? I didn't see that

I have girls but that does not keep them from playing rough games. If they express intrest in guns, I will cross that bridge then. However, thier daddy is an avid hunter. If I got them one, it would be a very fake looking one. I would not want them thinking it was anywhere close to the same thing as Daddy's. We keep them in a safe that only my husband has the combination too and it is hidden, but I still worry.

Whitney said...

My kids found a nerf gun of their uncles, and despite the fact that we've barely seen anything with guns... they still shoot each other with it (it's actually broken, and no darts inside), and we bought another so that they wouldn't fight over it. (But they've also shot each other with bananas, water bottles... and I think even books)

Honestly, so long as it's something that doesn't look like a real gun and won't be identified as one by the police- I don't have a problem with it. Especially if you do talk to your children about real guns and how you can hurt someone with them.

Mine are still pretty darn young, but we've talked about how televisions and movies are pretend, but guns are real and people can be hurt with them.

Julie said...

wow. have you been following me for two weeks?

My son is autistic, and he perseverates on subjects. Right now, its Guns. Trying to not talk about them... we go to the shore with the in laws last week. Husband (on my shit list) bought each of my kids 3 lazer guns.

And when I had to leave so I could go to my reunion, he took them to get an old timey photo and Sean's holding a gun.

"Boys will be boys" GRRRRR

MISCH said...

when I was a kid it wasn't a big deal, now, no I wouldn't do it.

Tenisha said...

The only toy guns my boys have are two very fake looking star wars blasters that make sounds. We don't even call them guns...we call them shooters. I would never buy one that looked even remotely real.

Jillan said...

You'll shoot your eye out kid!

obitguy said...

I had toy guns growing up in the 1960s. I turned out all right. Don't see a correlation between toy guns and gun crime. I make my living in the criminal justice system.

This question reminds me of the great Dick Cavett quote "There's so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?

Nicole said...

I have three boys and we don't do guns around here, except for Super Soakers and the Nerf dart guns - and both of those were gifts from people who apologized as the boys were opening them ("I'm sorry, I know you guys don't let the kids have guns, but ...").

My oldest is 7 and is not the type who's ever wanted a gun, pretended to use a gun, or turned other things into guns. My 4 year old is more influenced by friends and I've caught him on occasion pretending to shoot with his finger, but when I ask about it, he says, "I'm pretending it's a water gun!" Uh-huh. My youngest is 1 and I suspect he'll be the typical all-boy, weapon-loving one, since I was lucky enough to escape that with my first two.

We don't let the kids watch shows with guns or play games with guns either, so that's probably why they've never cared much about them.

Jenny said...

As long as they are obviously toy guns and used for play, I don't see a problem. Ditto play knives and swords.

No problems here with children having real guns and knives as long as its under good parental supervision and the child has proven to be responsible. Some children are much more responsible than others.

A strong obsession with guns and knives might require the supervision of a doctor.

BTW, baseball bats make great weapons.

B. Profane said...

Hah, timely question. Remember, if you go down that route you'll also have to police all the presents that anyone gives him/her.

I'm avoiding it so far, except for squirt guns. I grew up target shooting and can make informed decisions about firearm exposure.

I would like my kids to learn about gun safety. We live in one of the top ten murder cities in the US. There's just too much chance they could come across a stray weapon on the street. They are taught in school to treat guns as abstract objects of danger. That's great but I want them to know if they're around some stupid kid who picks up a pistol and jacks a round into the chamber, aping what he/she sees on TV, that they should run like hell.

Sherry said...

I find all representations of fire arms. I know it's the 'Merkan Way but still..not my young'uns (if I had them). Ya know tho, even if you don't get them one they will pick up something and pretend it is a gun. Most of us had them as kids and we don't go around shooting people now. I'm reasonable.

Sherry said...

I meant to say "all representations of firearms abhorrant." although that fill in the blank thing could actually be sorta entertaining.

Robert said...

I remember having cap guns, Winchester cap rifles, a .38 with caps that fired a little plastic bullet from the shell, fake grenade launchers, swords, etc., and I've never had occasion to fire a real weapon in my life. Of course, back then most boys carried pocket knives, made models with over-the-counter air plane glue, rode their bikes all over creation without helmets and were (luckily, I suppose) none the worse for wear.

iheartjacksparrow said...

Many, many years ago I had a black plastic Uzi that looked so real, I'm sure I'd be shot into a million pieces by police if I walked into a crowd with it today.

As others have stated, anything can become a "gun" to a child. Better to get one of those neon colored things to use.

RenoBlondee said...

I always said no, but my son was doing the same "use anything and everything" as a gun until my mom went and got him a fakey looking one. I got over it. Like many said, I won't get him anything that looks remotely real though. Ultimately he is more interested now at 6, in space and science, then guns.

Snowowl said...

I was raised playing with cap pistols, bb guns and when I got older had my own rifles and pistols.
My own children have also played with nerf guns, sqirt guns, super soakers and the like BUT all three have been taught to respect real firearms as well.
My son and both my daughters have always known there were guns in our home and they were taught to treat them with respect. All three know how to shoot and can do it quite well.

Erin said...

We have super soakers and a couple of nerf guns in our house, my kids aren't allowed to play with realistic looking weapons.

fordellcastle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brendalove@gmail.com said...

@BigMama, it was the post about the kid shooting the chupacabra.

green eyed lawyer said...

Great post about this on a Family law facebook page http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-law-office-of-patrick-crawford/should-kids-play-with-toy-guns/254361097924376

Lisa (not original) said...

My son has had toy, airsoft, nerf, etc. guns since he could form his hand into an L shape and say bang. If I kept the child ignorant of everything for fear he'd experience life, he'd resent the hell out of me. Instead when the opportunity presented itself, my husband and I taught gun safety. The toys were to be treated as an actual weapon or they were taken from him.

Goodgrief said...

no guns, except for soaker guns that look nothing like a gun.

gralismom said...

No,we're a pacifist household with limited tv and zero violence - but my 3.5 year old is obsessed with the idea of them. He draws pictures of staple guns 'cus it's close enough. Sometimes I wonder if I bought him a water gun, would he lose interest?

gralismom said...

Oh - and he keeps asking me about the what if questions - Like "What if a monster was attacking you.. then a gun would be useful, right?" and if he can sneak pretend a gun in action he will. He has my 2 year old mumbling nonsense about guns now. I'd be freaked out if it didn't seem it was such a common obsession with otherwise sweet boys.

ClaireFrasier said...

I was never going to buy my son a gun. Then, when he was 6 (back in 91) he was pointing sticks as guns, so I bought him a 'Davy Crocket' gun. Nothing that could actually connect (ammunition-wise) with another person.

He almost had me talked into a paint ball gun. I thought it would be nice and cute and bright-colored and plastic. Then I saw one. Not happening. He was mad for a while over that. (He was 13-14).

Em Cue Em said...

I had a 'no toy guns allowed' policy with my son, which worked very well until my dad, who lives in another state and doesn't see us often, gave him a toy rifle, complete with little shell casings, for Christmas. My son was beside himself, so there was no way to take it back. What I discovered, though, is that my son is a peaceful little boy who enjoys 'manly' stuff: football, toy guns, martial arts. I think keeping them from them until you know what kind of kids they are is the best case scenario, if you can manage. I have a little cousin who definitely shouldn't be allowed to play with them (he tortures small animals), but my own son plays with them like it's an actual toy, instead of a real gun. We do have a 'no pointing at living things' rule, though, so that helps, too.

caydian said...

Of course...this is Texas!

And when they get old enough, you teach them about gun safety. Mine learned in Boy Scouts before making Eagle.

Geebz said...

nerf & water gun only

kit said...

Know what a gun can do, take safety, use it properly, and put that ish away when you aren't 1) hunting 2) killing that person who's broken into your house.

Teach your children well, parents. It IS possible to get it right.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I grew up in the 60's, and had a toy rifle, and a few cap guns. They got taken away from me by my mother after Bobby Kennedy was shot because she told me that "now all toy guns are illegal".
Of course, seeing all the other kids playing with theirs made me feel like an idiot when I told them they were illegal and got laughed at.
Some years later, my sister was accidentally shot and killed in front of me. I've never handled or had the desire to handle a real gun since.
As for the question of will I buy the grands toy guns, only a super soaker or other water toy and only after clearing it with their parents.

sonicmonkey1984 said...

My sons had silver six shooter cap guns, lots of toy guns over the years, loved shooting rifles at the farm, and have air guns (which they paid for).

They're now teens, and awesome kids, both honour students, and have not given me any worry or problems.

I don't think having guns was an issue at all.

ardleigh said...

Nothing wrong with an obvious toy gun. Give them the never point a real gun at another living thing speech.

Playing with a squirt gun/ super soaker on a hot day ---chasing the kids( my niece & nephew) was FUN!

Beca said...

Of course i'd give my kid a toy gun. i'll get them real guns when they're old enough. the "guns equal violence" argument is a fallacy. buying a kid a toy gun doesn't make them violent any more than baking a kid a cake makes them fat. as a parent, it is your job to teach responsibility, proper use, safety, and accountability in ALL things.

Kim said...

My husband is a deputy sheriff, had a K-9 and was on the judicial protection team when we met and got married. Guns are part of the gig, and while I didn't have a lot of experience with them, I learned to be comfortable with them pretty darn fast.

My son got his first gun when he was three months old. We also let him play violent video games. It's all about teaching them rules and limits and appropriate behavior. Not just about guns (he's now 19 and plays on a nationally ranked scenario paintball team. I trip over guns in this house.)but about everything that he's going to encounter. Kids do things like drink and try drugs and have sex and play with guns at least partly because of the taboo factor. He knows he can talk to us about anything without fear of reprisal but if he does things he knows he's not supposed to, the wrath of mom (and dad) will not end well for him. He can bring out any of the guns if he asks permission and has a good reason.

Conversely, our 16 year old autistic child has as part of his daily routine to "help Daddy put his guns away when he gets home from work" and can tell you the sequence to unload and lock it away. He knows if he sees a gun out anywhere, he is not to touch, but to get an adult right away.

I guess my point is that it's not about being pro or anti gun or anywhere in the middle, where your kids are concerned. Each child is individual and some can handle and some cannot. If you think your child falls into the latter category, then you don't give them access to a gun. However, no matter what you do, or how peacenik crunchy hippie you are, your kid is going to point something at someone and say "bang"..and you best be able to handle it without giving your child reason to go and do it behind your back.

Lelaina Pierce said...

@Merlin - That's horrible. :-( I'm so sorry!

As i said a few days ago, I'm not a fan of guns, period but don't wish to crucify anyone that does. I would only do a water gun.

__-__=__ said...

Very good redhotpepper! I'm one of those people teaching kids like yours hunter education and gun safety. It's a different world today. I had cap guns as a kid. We also have poachers in those classes and wow, just wow! Those folks are something else indeed. Good luck to all of you teaching kids about guns, or not. Better you teach them than they learn on the street. Way too many pain in the ass innocent bystanders getting shot these days.

crila16 said...

Yes. A super high powered squirt gun in the summer time. That's all my kids would get, because it would shoot water and keep them cool for fun, just like a hose. Otherwise, no...not even a fake looking gun. There's no reason for children to pretend to go around pretending to shoot and kill other people.