Toy guns and your kids


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Texpatriate
July 30, 2007, 04:02 PM
I did a search on this and I couldn't find a thread like this.

As a boy both my dad and my grandfather were moderately into guns, mostly hunting rifles and shotguns, and my grandfather was the BAR man in his platoon during WW2. I had toy guns of my own, and when I was of the appropriate age I got a BB gun, graduated to a .22 later on, and then a youth model Winchester shotgun.

Fast forward to the present. I now have two boys, a 2 year old and an 8 week old. Already our 2 year old is using random toys and sticks to pretend they are swords or guns! So I'm wondering if it's appropriate to buy him a little pop gun or something to encourage this behavior or not? Do I want him to think of a firearm as a toy than he can run around and point at/pretend to shoot whatever he wants? Or do I want him to think of a firearm as a tool that can be fun to use, but is dangerous if used improperly? How have you handled this situation with your kids? If you've decided to let your kids play with toy guns without parental supervision, at what age did you feel this was appropriate?

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kingpin008
July 30, 2007, 04:10 PM
Personally - My kids will NOT have toy guns. I had toy guns growing up, and I was nothing but irresponsible with them. Even with the best gun safety lessons and supervision from parents, kids will want to play cops 'n robbers, cowboys 'n indians, etc. and will be tempted to use them unsafely and learn bad habits. When I have kids, and they're old enough, I'll teach them gun safety, and let them come with me when I shoot. if they show interest, I'll get them their own guns after I can be sure that they understand gun safety and what is needed to be responsible with them.

Guns aren't toys, but they can be fun.

CZ.22
July 30, 2007, 04:14 PM
puh-lease. get him a pop gun. toy guns don't make someone "less gun safe" or tech them bad habits
with all due respect Kingpin, I disagree with you on this one. But you're entitled to your opinion.

The Deer Hunter
July 30, 2007, 04:15 PM
I don't see anything wrong with kids playing with toy guns. Its been happening for well over 100 years. I played with guns all the time and I'm not irresponsible(you have my word I guess).

Even if you don't give them guns the thumb and fore-finger make fantastic improvised guns. Plus they don't run outta ammo:D

fletcher
July 30, 2007, 04:18 PM
puh-lease. get him a pop gun. toy guns don't make someone "less gun safe" or tech them bad habits

I agree. I had toy guns and had no problem differentiating between something that actually fired a projectile and an immobile piece of plastic with regards to safety.

Crunker1337
July 30, 2007, 04:21 PM
I think it's okay to get toy guns that don't actually shoot anything dangerous, but I'd hold off on BB guns and other potentially dangerous "toys" until they know gun safety.

arthurcw
July 30, 2007, 04:32 PM
Texpatriate,

Your call. You’re the parents. If the wife is on board then why not? A toy is a toy.

But if you two are not on the same page or you feel your kid is not ready to understand the difference… You know your kids better we do.

There are some 40 year olds I would not give a big bright orange nerf gun to. But alas, Natural Selection and Micro Evolution will have to deal with them.

SheB61
July 30, 2007, 04:34 PM
Children have been playing with toy weapons since caveman days....

Letting them play with toy guns is a good way for you to introduce them to some of the safety issues. Kids are surprisingly smart (whodathunkit?!?!?) and with some parental instruction, they will know that real guns are to be treated differently than the plastic ones!

Im283
July 30, 2007, 04:43 PM
The grandson is allowed to have any toy gun he wants. He certainly knows the difference, even at 4.5 years, old between toy guns and my real guns.
and FWIW I consider BB guns to be real guns.

He is a kid and is allowed to have fun, I do work with him on trigger discipline and not sweeping people with the muzzle unless he intends to shoot them ;)

chiliPEQUIN
July 30, 2007, 04:47 PM
I still own a M16 automatic water gun. I also have an Uzi water pistol still too.
I love my toy guns and I had enough brains to know which to play with and which to leave alone.

pdowg881
July 30, 2007, 04:50 PM
Just make sure they know the difference from a toy and a firearm. Don't deprive him of playing cops and robbers. I used to have so much fun with cap guns and nerf guns.

kingpin008
July 30, 2007, 04:55 PM
Hey, to everyone who seems to be downing me for my choice not to let my (future) children play with toy guns - I'm glad you feel that way, because that's your choice. I came to my decision based on the way that I was with toy guns as a child, and I don't think that's a good way to be introduced to guns. My choice, my opinion. If you want to let your kids play with toy guns, that's totally cool with me, I have absolutely no problem with that. But please, don't act like I'm going to be "depriving" my children of anything, because I'm not. I'm doing the best I can to figure out how to raise my (future) children based on what I've learned in my life so far.

That being said - my kids will be allowed squirt guns, and all that sort of thing. I just don't like the idea of letting kinds run around with bb guns, and all that stuff without supervision, because I know the trouble myself and my friends got into with ours. I'd much rather guns be FUN, than TOYS to my kids.

That's all I'm trying to say.

TallPine
July 30, 2007, 05:08 PM
I grew up with toy guns, played all those cop&robber, cowboy&indian type games, and I haven't turned out to be a mass murderer or anything yet. In fact, I still feel more comfortable with single action revolvers after all those cowboy cap guns. ;)

We didn't have to face this question because we had all girls. If I had given them a toy gun or even a dump truck, they would have wrapped it up in a blanket and cuddled it. :D

I started them on a single shot .22 at about 8 years old.

RNB65
July 30, 2007, 05:11 PM
Every kid should have toy guns, whether he wants them or not! :)

BBQJOE
July 30, 2007, 05:30 PM
After graduating from paper cap guns the wasp guns came out.
Man they were loud!!!
And cool too.

But that was in my world, you have to decide what's in yours.

zeroskillz
July 30, 2007, 05:32 PM
My girl has her very own rubber band pistol
:D

Colt
July 30, 2007, 05:41 PM
My kids have cap guns and squirt guns that they can do whatever they like with. There are perpetual games of cops and robbers in our yard.

But the BB guns are used on our target range only, to shoot BB targets, and they don't leave the property.

They carrry their BB guns hunting with me, but only to plink at things, not shoot at animals. It's good training, because I can teach them muzzle discipline with minimal danger to myself and others.

But when they are old enough to carry a real gun hunting, they will be given a choice between hunting or paintball. I do not want them putting humans in the sights of their paintball gun one day, and carrying a lethal weapon into the woods the next. I want a human outline in the crosshairs to be unnatural and "scream" NO! to them when they are hunting.

But until they're old enough to carry a truley lethal weapon, they can be kids and play as kids should, IMO.

Bazooka Joe71
July 30, 2007, 05:46 PM
puh-lease. get him a pop gun. toy guns don't make someone "less gun safe" or tech them bad habits


+1

All that matters is that he/she knows the difference when the time comes to teach them real firearms safety...If it is hard for them to learn the difference, then your kid isn't mature enough to learn yet and wait a bit longer.

Kids are kids, don't deprive them of cap guns, they are too much d*** fun!!!!!:D

But now that there are airsoft guns, they need to know its not the same as a BB gun either though.

pdowg881
July 30, 2007, 05:51 PM
.

pdowg881
July 30, 2007, 05:52 PM
Colt, I progressed from cap/nerf guns, then bb and paintball around the same time. I was farily competitive playing speedball and stuff. I have put plenty of humans in the sights of my paintball gun and yes shot them! Paintball is an established sport with national tournaments. It is in no way like shooting a firearm at someone. A paintball gun is designed to do little if any harm to someone besides a welt. I don't play it with a fantasy or illusion of what would happen if I did this with a firearm. If your old enough to use any kind of gun, real, fake, or pnuematic powered hardened gelatin ball filled with paint launcher, then you should know the difference.

And I often do put people in the sights so my paintball gun that are participating one day, then walk into my woods with a shotgun the next to shoot something. Like it has been repeated over and over, if they can't tell the difference they should not have any type of gun. Toy or not.

yhtomit
July 30, 2007, 06:20 PM
"After graduating from paper cap guns the wasp guns came out."

Can someone explain what wasp guns are? :)

Having recently been made aware of the insane prohibition even on airguns in Philadelphia, I'd like to come up with some fun (yet legal) plinking device for my student apartment. (Until I checked up on it, I figured I could just set up a mini Airsoft range, but apparently even those are out. Obnoxious.)

Am I down to rubber hands, or is it all the way to thumb-and-forefinger? ;)
Perhaps something like this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/72f4/

timothy

Dorryn
July 30, 2007, 06:23 PM
When I was a child, my parents tried to prevent me from having toy guns. Every stick I picked up became a gun. Every food group that could be handled I shaped into a gun. And *gasp* I probably pointed these sticks and malformed pancakes at other kids as well as my sisters!

Children are children and act as such. Responsibility as an adult has little connection to the play children engage in. Playing with a toy does not in any way predict adult behavior... or how many of us drive they way we played with toy trucks?

People who justify not buying toy guns for their children are, in many respects, antis. Its the same fear and lack of trust.

kingpin008
July 30, 2007, 06:50 PM
Dorryn - I'd appreciate not being compared to an anti. I have no problem with my kids owning and using guns, I just want to be able to teach them to use and respect them as well as I am able to. I clarified some of my statements, and I know you're not specifically referring to me when you say that - but it's insulting nonetheless.

No hard feelings, but I do want to clear that up. I am 100% for gun ownership and use. I just have a different view of certain types of "toys" and their place around my children.

Beatnik
July 30, 2007, 06:58 PM
I got my BB gun before I had shot a .22.
What was the first thing I did? Shot my brother.

.22 didn't even seem like much more than a toy. It wasn't until I got to shotguns and pistols (skipped the 30-06 and heavy stuff until adulthood) that it sunk in - hey, these things kill.

Only one daughter yet, but she's getting the clear separation between what's a toy and what ain't. She'll have access to toy guys - she'll also have her own suit of armor and go full contact with me (I'm another kind of dork as well). And she'll have access to real guns. But she's going to know from the start which is for what purpose.

Bazooka Joe71
July 30, 2007, 07:05 PM
she'll also have her own suit of armor and go full contact with me

What are you talking about?:confused:

pacodelahoya
July 30, 2007, 07:09 PM
Do toy cars make us bad drivers?:rolleyes: I know I had smash up derbys with all my Johny lightnings and matchboxes.

Neo-Luddite
July 30, 2007, 07:44 PM
Squirt guns I allow. Toy guns are OK, but safe handling rules apply. There are a couple in the house--old junkers. I have some roll caps for them, too. They are kept put--not in a toy box.

I had toy guns as a kid, but I take a dimmer view of them now. I would much rather that my kids not tollerate the unsafe handling of anything gun-like in themselves or any playmates. I shudder at the thought of some kid 'finding' a gun and treating it like he handles his toys. If he handles his toys like the real thing, a found gun is (horrid thought) less of a risk.

kingpin008
July 30, 2007, 08:03 PM
Neo-Luddite - That's EXACTLY what I'm saying. I have no problem with guns of ANY type, I just know how kids are. I was taught basic (VERY basic) gun safety as a kid, but what did I do the very INSTANT I was away from adult supervision? Act like an idiot with those same toy guns, even though I knew better. I have no problem with my kids having toy squirt or capguns, or BB guns and the real ones. I do have an issue with what can happen when a child decides to "forget" the rules for a second in the heat of play-battle, and starts forming bad habits, or possibly hurting someone.

G36-UK
July 30, 2007, 08:22 PM
Ill admit to playing with toy guns. Nowadays, I heed the advice I was given on safety here, even if it's an Airsoft gun (as all of mine are).

I used to have a few that made an clicking "machinegun" noise when you pulled the trigger. I had a M712 Mauser, a M3 Grease Gun, and... A KG-9 with suppressor (that broke off).

I have an old Parris double flintlock from Disney (before they went anti, IIRC) on my shelf next to an old lava lamp. Sadly, the second hammer doesn't stay cocked any more, and I'd rather not take it apart.

igor
July 30, 2007, 08:51 PM
My offspring will definitely have toy guns. But no projectiles or caps for them (besides water maybe ;) ). Totally unnecessary risks for the eyes and ears, and besides it's so much more fun to make all the noise oneself... no pointing at people who aren't part of their play, and consideration for anyone who doesn't like to see that kind of games are the rules.

If any traces of responsibility and concentration start to show, they will get started on BB guns for real target practice. Those come out of the safe and get right back there afterwards, and all the four rules apply. Supervision will be reduced over time.

Firearms can wait until later, if the interest prevails. I would like to be able to develop a family hobby there... we'll see. But I have absolutely no problem about "habits" developing on toy guns.

camonympho
July 30, 2007, 09:00 PM
I had toy guns and my kids had toy guns and still do ..and they know the difference between a toy gun which can be used for cops and robbers and a real gun which is handled under supervision. Kids learn what we teach. When my son was 6 and had first bb gun i saw him place end of barrel on his foot, I took the gun for two weeks and explained the dangers of doing this with any gun. Teach them but let them play. whats the difference if they use a stick as a gun or use a toy gun as a toy gun. Give him the toy!!

yhtomit
July 30, 2007, 09:13 PM
beatnik wrote:

Only one daughter yet, but she's getting the clear separation between what's a toy and what ain't. She'll have access to toy guys - she'll also have her own suit of armor and go full contact with me (I'm another kind of dork as well).

A RennNerd? :) That sounds awesome -- where does one get child-sized armor, in case I can afford some for my niece before she's too old to want it any more?

timothy

kingpin008
July 30, 2007, 09:17 PM
The more I hear about SCA and related groups, the more I want to hang out and drink mead and wear armor and smash the crap out of other people wearing armor. :)

Good thing one of the guys who works at the range I shoot at is an SCA'er!

Kentak
July 30, 2007, 09:19 PM
Opinions differ greatly on what constitutes "age appropriate" play involving toy guns. To get into that will only start rather heated debates. So, I'll leave that part alone. I have my own opinions, but I'll keep them to myself.

Back in the 50's, we played "guns" or "army" around the neighborhood or at the city park. I had a water pistol that was a decent replica of a Luger. We also had plastic tommy guns, burp guns, and, even, a .30 cal MG on a tripod that had a recoiling barrel and sound effects.

It was also a time when kids didn't shoot up the school and armed thugs didn't roam the streets.

If you do let your kids play with toy guns, I would emphasize similar safety rules. In other words, "Don't ever point a toy gun at anyone who isn't playing 'guns' with you." Etc., etc. Especially when they are a little older, don't let them take any realistic looking gun out and about.

K

collateral
July 30, 2007, 09:27 PM
cap guns, nerf guns, and water guns are a birthright!
A lot of my friends' parents wouldnt allow them to have any sort of toy weapons as kids. I think being deprived of such things as a child instills an irrational fear of the real ones and shapes the child into an anti. but thats just my opinion.
give him a cap gun or a water pistol. he'll have lots of fun with either.

Rustynuts
July 30, 2007, 09:27 PM
Toy guns? We don't need no stinkin toy guns! (we have enough)

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t67/Krustyboomer/familypics004-1.jpg

If I didn't get my kid toy guns, he'd make his own. Oh wait, he already did!

http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t67/Krustyboomer/Picture003-1.jpg


I was at a gunshow and bought my 7-yr old a cap gun. He was having a blast shooting it, playing cops/robbers with the crew from Pompano Pawn (great owners, even bout an SP-101 from them). Anyway as we were eating a snack outside, my son tried to play with someone at the table.

The ogre gave him a stern "don't point that gun at me", talk about mixed signals. One side a guy with tons of guns is playing with him, and then some doofus gets pissed at a kid with a cap gun.

Then the biddy next to him starts talking crap about how bad kids are and their kid would never do something like that (poor kid!). Took all my restraint to keep from verbally abusing both of them till I was blue in the face. We finished our snack leisurely, ignoring both of them, and sauntered off to shoot some more caps.

ALL YOU TOY GUN NAZI's - SHTFU!! Let kids be kids while they can.

bumm
July 30, 2007, 10:19 PM
I had toy guns as a kid, and so did all my friends. We played cops and robbers, army, etc, and shot them at each other all the time. What fun is it to shoot targets with a cap gun? My kids had toy guns, and none grew up to be murderers. However, a person does have to learn the difference between fantasy and reality. I think it's also simple good manners, and good sense, to teach your kids not to point their toy guns at people who aren't involved in the game.
I DO think that many on this board (myself included,) who have learned and internalized gun safety, can be just a bit uncomfortable watching kids play with toy guns. It just isn't... right. But it's important for everyone to learn that difference between fantasy and reality. Let the kids have their toy guns.
Marty

Kentak
July 30, 2007, 10:33 PM
The ogre gave him a stern "don't point that gun at me", talk about mixed signals. One side a guy with tons of guns is playing with him, and then some doofus gets pissed at a kid with a cap gun.

Real smart. You're at a place that has guns all over and you let your kid point a gun at someone. Is that what you are intending to teach your kid--that it's okay to point a gun at someone as long as it's a toy gun?

ALL YOU TOY GUN NAZI's - SHTFU!! Let kids be kids while they can.

Unless you own this site, I don't think you should be telling anyone else to STFU. The OP asked for opinions about kids and toy guns. People responded. Many have different views and made them known. That's what this site is for, I believe, exchanging information and ideas. You can openly disagree with someone, but you're out of line to suggest they shut up. Just my opinion.

K

foxmeadow
July 30, 2007, 10:45 PM
We thought we might raise our son without toy guns and introduce him to the real thing at 4 or 5 yrs. At 28 months, he picked up a toilet brush and made gun noises. Oh well. Got him a toy gun and let him play with his friends, while still emphasizing the difference between toys and real guns. At 12 yrs., while chaperoning (refereeing?) at one of his friends paintball birthday parties, I noticed that before entering the playing field, he was the only kid in a group of 20 or so that had his finger in register and the muzzle pointed in a safe direction (up). I haven't had to worry about this guy; he's 22 now and a pretty fair IDPA shooter....

eltorrente
July 30, 2007, 11:30 PM
:D

Toy guns are fun and were a big part of mine and all my friends lives as youngsters.

Are people actually telling their kids not to play "cops and robbers" or "coyboys and indians" with their toy guns because it would be irresponsible to point at another person?!?! That is too funny. :D

Sevengunner
July 30, 2007, 11:33 PM
SWMBO decided early-on that toy guns were not appropriate for our son. As other THR members have noted, the boy just started pointing other objects and making shooting noises. Many died when that bar of soap went off. When he was 5 we got assigned to an isolated place overseas, and his buds all played with toy guns. The Leadership relented on the issue, but since none were available we fashioned a crude one out of wood. It served its purpose then, but he never played with guns again in other venues. In the intervening 25 years he never wanted a BB gun or .22 and the only time we went shooting was when he bought us a day at a sporting clay range for my 60th.

The point is, sure you can teach gun safety to your kids when you introduce them to dangerous weapons, but I just don't believe their experience with toy guns has anything to do with the way they relate to firearms or anything else.

Lashlarue
July 30, 2007, 11:35 PM
I remember with great fondness growing up with toy guns and what anticipation I had the Xmas I got my Daisy Red Ryder Carbine.I didn't shoot my eye out ,but did break a neighbors window. Ooh what a spanking I got.But nowadays you can't spank your kids so maybe todays kids can't be trusted with a popgun or cap pistol or even an air rifle. It saddens me that so many people have ruined the fun of growing up...

aaronrkelly
July 31, 2007, 05:50 AM
My son (whom I spank by the way) has TONS of toy guns. Hes always carrying a pistol tucked in his pants or pocket......and usually has a rifle with him as well. He has a few all metal rifles and shotguns from when I was a kid, besides the orange tip they are fairly realistic.

At first I was going to do the "dont point guns of ANY kind at anybody, ever" thing.....but that takes all the fun out of playing with toy guns......heck you cant rob a bank without point your pistola at someone.

We shoot BB guns and air rifles in the backyard, he knows the difference and we have NO problems.

We watch Eddie Eagle and he gets tested - he has no problems.

Its a non-issue really.....toy guns ARENT real guns and in my house wont be treated as so. I give my kids plenty of face time with REAL guns so they can tell the difference and they know if there is ANY doubt to check. If they find a toy gun that isnt theirs they have even brought it to me to have it checked over first.

Ive also bought each of my kids their own .22 rifle - quite a bit premature but I do get them out and let them handle them occasionally (I would post the pic of my daughter but Im sure everyones seen it before). Based on attention span with the BB guns my boy is a LONG ways (hes 5 now) from shooting that .22 - know your kids and know their limits.

SheB61
July 31, 2007, 08:59 AM
Rustynuts! I wanna come play at your house :D

Bones11b
July 31, 2007, 09:18 AM
I didn't just play with toy guns as a kid I had a toy gun arsenal. I also read boys life, field and stream, and guns and ammo. So at a very young age I knew that although my cast metal cap gun looked and felt just like a real one it wasn't any real danger. Yet the M-16 I wanted I couldn't have for the same reason I had Matchbox cars and no real Ferrari. Think I was 9 or 10 the first time my dad and I sat down with a .38 snub nose revolver and talked about firearm safety. I now am that uncle that gets toy guns for his nieces and nephews. Just this last sunday I gave the same side by side nerf shotgun I see on Rustynuts couch besides the sword in the black scabbard to my nephew. To each his own as I beleive raising a child is full of important personal individual decisions. As for me I have none of my own so I get to just keep being that cool uncle that rides a motorcycle and keeps showing up with toy guns.

Ithaca37
July 31, 2007, 09:22 AM
I love my toy guns and I had enough brains to know which to play with and which to leave alone.

+1 You wouldn't not give your kid a toy car for fear he will pick up bad driving habits, would you? Let a kid be a kid, they already grow up too fast, we don't need to burden them with stuff like not playing with toys so they don't pick up bad habits.

There was piece on dateline a couple of years ago in which they placed a deactivated gun in a day care place to see how the kids would react (with everybody's permission of course). Well, there was a woman on there who was absolutely shocked that he son picked up the gun and pulled the trigger , pretending to shoot other kids. She was a crazy anti-gun person who said that she did not let her son play with toy guns (because they would make him dangerous) and told that "guns are evil". My point is that playing or not playing with toys is not the problem, it is the parenting that matters most and no amount of toy banning can makeup for that.

Ithaca37
July 31, 2007, 09:30 AM
Are people actually telling their kids not to play "cops and robbers" or "coyboys and indians" with their toy guns because it would be irresponsible to point at another person?!?! That is too funny.

Sadly, yes. My brother-in law tells his kids not to point toy guns at each other. It is kind of weird to see, the kids are like 4-5 and they are being lectured about not playing with a toy gun like it is a toy. It is funny and kind of disturbing at the same time.

Colt
July 31, 2007, 09:33 AM
And I often do put people in the sights so my paintball gun that are participating one day, then walk into my woods with a shotgun the next .... if they can't tell the difference they should not have any type of gun. Toy or not.(emphasis mine)

By this logic, because I wouldn't trust my 6 year-old son with a loaded shotgun, he shouldn't have a cap gun, either.

Which proves my point. Young shooters need to have limits. My limit is that a 14 year-old who spends all day Friday putting his friends in the crosshairs of his paintball gun, shouldn't head off into the woods carrying a 12 guage on Saturday.

An experienced adult hunter, with maturity and discipline, can be expected to do things a teenager can't. Just as a 14 year-old can do things a 6 year-old can't.

rantingredneck
July 31, 2007, 09:34 AM
My 7 year old daughter has never really showed an interest in toy guns or real ones for that matter. I've taken her hunting/shooting twice and she's enjoyed firing a .22 both times, but as far as actually seeking it out she doesn't.

My 2 year old son, on the other hand, is very interested in guns. If I sit down to clean one he's right beside me. At first he was starting to try to touch and I would say "No" or at times actually have to pop his hand to stop him, now I just have to tell him to "go get yours". Yep he's got a little cowboy plastic sixgun and plastic pump shotgun. He'll sit beside me with his in his lap and let me clean mine in peace.

Having said all that I am hypervigilant about keeping my guns not in my direct control (in a holster or on the cleaning mat disassembled in front of me) out of his reach.

NCLivingBrit
July 31, 2007, 09:34 AM
Nerf is your friend.

Between the garish colours, spacey styling and harmless (unless they inhale them) foam darts/balls/rockets they should have no problem potting each other OR telling the toys from the real thing.

Of course when I was a kid, I used to sneak my Daisy out of the house with all the other neighbourhood kids to play war and cowboys..... It's a lot harder to deny being hit if you just raised Cain about getting shot in the rump!

rantingredneck
July 31, 2007, 09:36 AM
Of course when I was a kid, I used to sneak my Daisy out of the house with all the other neighbourhood kids to play war and cowboys..... It's a lot harder to deny being hit if you just raised Cain about getting shot in the rump!


I did the same thing. Which is probably why the bb guns in the house get locked up with the "real" ones. :D

baz
July 31, 2007, 09:37 AM
If a kid can tell the difference, at a level appropriate to his age, between fantasy and reality, then that's what matters. Like Bones11b, a lot of kids played army, or cops and robbers, and also dreamed of hunting. In the fantasy world of army or cops and robbers, it is appropriate to point a toy gun at someone, and pretend to shoot them, because the game is an image of reality. Just don't put a real gun -- even a bb gun -- in their hands until they are old enough to learn the rules of safe gun use. And even then, keep it locked up, just like you do (or should) your own guns, if you have kids around. Then they will learn that real guns are used only as real tools or weapons, not as toys.

Really, this is nothing more than the same debate over whether violent video games cause violent behavior in teens and adolescents. It doesn't, in anyone sane enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality. Yes, there are a few who are so disturbed the distinction becomes blurred to them. We lock them up; we don't put the innocent at a disadvantage by taking the tools of self defense away from them. Unless you are an anti, of course. Then you outlaw first person shooter video games, and toy guns as well, if you can. And its because you (the anti) cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and live in a dream world where everybody can be made to play nice with each other if we just make the right rules, or pass the right legislation. Yeah, right.

30 cal slob
July 31, 2007, 09:39 AM
haven't gotten to that point yet, but methinks i'll be lumped in the debbie downer category. there are no toy guns. that doesn't mean the kid can't have fun with real guns, though.

* inculcate the four rules at an early age.

* get 'um handling real firearms (safely, of course) at an early age.

part of the 'gunproof yer kid' stragegy i guess.

i agree that "kids with guns" were less of a big deal several decades ago. but, the times they have-a-changed.

i just don't want my kids at risk of setting off a hairtrigger LEO with a toy gun.

NCLivingBrit
July 31, 2007, 09:47 AM
I did the same thing. Which is probably why the bb guns in the house get locked up with the "real" ones.

Yep. Of course back when I was young, a child with a BB gun didn't require a SWAT team, a counselling team, a 1-800 number and two dozen lawyers.

I actually feel sorry for kids these days. If anything, their freedoms have been eroded even faster than everyone else's. Between the panic about abuse, the cruelly peer-enforced brand conformity, the PC BS, the faddish new teaching methods (my wife is a teacher and some of the junk they have her waste everyone's time with is unreal) and the utter paranoia about school violence, this is not a good time to be a kid.

Stevie-Ray
July 31, 2007, 10:25 PM
I loved my childhood with toy guns. As to "not pointing any gun, even a toy, at people," I think that's a bunch of crap. Pointing toy guns at people is the whole idea! How the hell do you kill your share of the enemy without pointing your hardware at them? Kids deserve to know the difference between toy guns and real ones, and surprise, most of them learn it easily. In my childhood, even when the Cobra bean gun came out, we knew not to point it at people. But it was fun to knock cans over with, albeit they had to be pretty light. And it was the high-tech answer to the pea-shooter. Nobody I know lost their eye to one, though a few were shot in the ass.:scrutiny: BB guns were real guns as far as we were concerned, and never pointed at anybody. Some were, of course, pointed at birds but then we point real guns at birds don't we? We won't even get into slingshots which are far more dangerous than any toy gun ever produced. And yes, I had my share of wrist-rockets, also. Nobody died or even got hurt from them around here.

I can only guess that some children today are suffering from improper upbringing, if they can't be trusted to know the difference between real guns and toys.

ChuckNorris
July 31, 2007, 10:33 PM
give them some dirtclods

Kentak
July 31, 2007, 10:33 PM
As to "not pointing any gun, even a toy, at people," I think that's a bunch of crap. Pointing toy guns at people is the whole idea! How the hell do you kill your share of the enemy without pointing your hardware at them?

If you're including me in that group, please note that I said kids should be taught not to point a toy gun at someone who wasn't playing "guns" with them. By all means, the "cops" are okay to point their guns at the "robbers," but not at the mail carrier who isn't part of the game.

K

The Deer Hunter
July 31, 2007, 10:38 PM
Toy guns can still be fun. I don't point real guns at people and animals, so toys guns substitute :D

Plus I can get a full auto m-15 assault autorifle with morph potential.

Agouti
July 31, 2007, 11:14 PM
My dad's friends used to be absolutely crazy. My dad was not a part of this apparently. However, his friends would dig trenches and shoot each other with bb guns in an outlandish game of army. They would take small firecrackers and wrap them with rubberbands and crayons or put clay around them. This would be the shrapnel for their grenades. One kid brought a pump sheridan pellet gun to one of these games, and shot at my uncle, who was using a trashcan lid as a shield. It went right through it. He wasn't allowed to use that gun in the games anymore, the other kids decided -it was simply too powerful. Of course in their teens, they experimented with firecrackers, explosives, and finally steel-tube guns. Man, the '50s and '60s sounded like a friggin' blast. Way cooler than my modern airsoft guns. Sure, they may pop back or fire automatically, but they just aren't rugged enough. I don't want a piece of plastic, I want iron, steel, and wood!

Btw, is there any eye-protection out there designed to stop a real bb, made of steel, not plastic?

fletcher
July 31, 2007, 11:16 PM
Btw, is there any eye-protection out there designed to stop a real bb, made of steel, not plastic?

Depends on how fast it's going, but I wouldn't be willing to try it even if it was rated for such an impact. Your eyes should be the least of your worries for that. BB guns are not toys.

Prince Yamato
July 31, 2007, 11:26 PM
Toy guns that don't shoot anything besides water are good.

BB guns are not toys.

Excellent point. Remember, a Metropolitan Opera tenor recently committed suicide with an air rifle.


When I was a kid, I ran around my upstate NY suburban neighborhood with my toy AK. Now I run to Texas gun ranges with my real one :D

Agouti
August 1, 2007, 12:19 AM
"Depends on how fast it's going"

I mean a standard one-pump one shot old fashined bb that are primarily marketed as toys, or once were anyway. The one I have in mind is a Daisy from WWI.

Velocity between 250-300 fps.

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