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"Guns are not toys," so why toy guns for kids?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Richard.Howe, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Well-Known Member

    I got to thinking about this while shopping for Christmas presents for my 2-1/2 year old boy. Fortunately, he's young enough that I didn't have to reach a conclusion this year -- but we will need to before next Christmas!

    I grew up around both real guns and toy guns, and can remember many afternoons of playing cops/robbers, cowboys/Indians, etc. I had little chromed revolvers and wood & steel cap rifles. Nerf guns, water guns, you name it. Never shot anybody, never had an accidentical discharge, never carried a gun to school and shot the place up.

    Cars are not toys and can hurt or kill the people in/around them. Yet no one would argue that children should be kept from playing with toy cars.

    My question remains, though: if guns are not toys, and it's so critical to teach this to our kids, then how is it consistent to provide them with toy guns? Is there a break between the kinds of guns that are OK (i.e. super-soaker, Nerf, etc.) and those that are not (i.e. replicas)?

    Would you enforce Rule #1 when your kids played with toy guns -- why or why not?

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  2. Rabid Rabbit

    Rabid Rabbit Well-Known Member

    Although my kids like to pretend they still know the difference between real life and pretend. Apparently some adults are not capable of the distinction and thus the evil toy idiots.
  3. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Channeling agressive tendancies

    I'm no shrink, but here's my take on it. Males of the species have a natural propensity to resolve things physically. Not always appropriate to act on this, but no man can say he's never been tempted to do such and such to so and so. These games kids play is basically getting it out of the system and preparing them for adult life when most situations cannot nor should not be handled this way. Little boys have the same frustrations men do, but we have the maturity to deal with them in an appropriate way. Little boys don't, so squelching the impulse merely lets it fester and pop up in some other way, possibly later in the teen years when things more dangerous than a cap gun are in hand.

    As far as pointing toy guns at people, the rule my Dad had for me and I will likely have for my son in a few years is this: If anything comes out of the barrel, it is a gun and will not be pointed at anyone or anything that isn't meant to be shot for real. This included the little plastic pistols that fired soft sticky darts.
  4. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Well-Known Member

    Rabid Rabbit nailed it.

    It seems that some folks just can't tell real life from make believe anymore.

    I really believe its the plain failure of men to take responsibility for their actions, kids, work, being married, etc.

    The last few generations have been taught if it becomes hard on you quit, run away, find something easier.

    I see it in my employees everyday. They quit at the slightest bump in the road and stand there with this helpless look on their faces.

    The end result is generations of children who grow up in make believe worlds trying to cope with useless, irresponsible, selfish parents trying to ease the pain of isolation.

    They can't tell where make believe stops and reality begins.
  5. shane justice

    shane justice Well-Known Member

    Elmer Keith had some thoughts on this and I agree with him.

  6. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Well-Known Member

    For those who don't know Elmer's thoughts, would you share? :)

  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    He ranted against toy guns, as he ranted about many things. Remember however that Elmer Keith, although a very good gun guy, was not a child psychologist. Interestingly enough he admitted to having toy guns when HE was a child, and it clearly didn't impact his ability to deal with real guns.

    There are a few paragraphs on the subject in "Sixguns".
  8. Camp David

    Camp David member

    You need to build clear distinctions in children between toys and real tools; between make believe and reality. Toy guns are not the problem here; parents are. Far too many parents fail to teach children how to distinguish between fantasy and reality.

    There is no harm in toy guns and toy cars. Real guns and real cars present a different set of issues that children should be introduced to and learned. Parents are pivotal in this understanding.

    We provide toys to children as recreational tools; later, when they grow, we provide them real tools (guns, cars, etc.) and teach them how to handle them. There is no hypocrisy or inconsistency here; simply good parental skills necessary for children to mature.
  9. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    The way my dad explained it was: "this is a serious tool and it needs to be treated with respect. It is not a toy. It is not to be 'played with.' If you want to play with something, you have toy guns for that."

    So yes, guns are not toys. Toy guns are toys. No problem there.
  10. psyopspec

    psyopspec Well-Known Member

    Took the words right out of my keyboard.
  11. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    I am old enough that when I was in grammar school we could wear holsters and carry cap guns, and actually shoot at each other during recess. Back then, a lot of kids went to day camp (or overnight camp) in the summers, and the camps taught both riflery and archery. We knew the difference between a toy gun and a real gun.

    To be honest, with the way movies and television are going I think it is more difficult today for kids to discern the line between real and fantasy. So I would have no problems letting a child play with toy guns (in fact, I would encourage it), but I would enforce the safety rules and not allow him/her to point the toy gun at real people, or even real animals. (Maybe just not pets -- pointing at pests like squirrels could be could preparation for hunting.)
  12. USMCRotrHed

    USMCRotrHed Well-Known Member

    Here's what I did

    My daughter is 4 1/2. Lately she has been getting curious about my guns. I have been telling her they are dangerous and only big people need to touch them. I always get the infamous WHY?

    I got her a BB gun for Christmas. I justified it by the fact that I will use it to teach her safety arund guns of all types. She is not allowed to touch it unless I am around. It even gets locked in the safe with the rest of the arsenal (makes her feel important).

    I think it is taking away some of the mystery, and she will be much better off in the long run with a healthy respect for firearms when that day comes...if at all, she is a girl. Wouldn't it be nice if she could outshoot any of her boyfriends though!

    Time to go post a new target....
  13. grizz5675

    grizz5675 Well-Known Member

    Like TED NUGENT mentiond on the DONNY DEUTCH show last night we need to educate our kids about guns not to exclude them form guns.Guns are going to be around for along time so lets not keep them a big mystery from children only to be unraveled by curiouse young teenagers without an adult around to teach them safety.
  14. spaceCADETzoom

    spaceCADETzoom Well-Known Member

    I don't get it. Didn't you just answer your own question there? Toy cars, toy tanks, and toy guns, are not REAL cars, REAL tanks and REAL guns.

    As far as enculturating kids to "violence or aggression"..I don't know about you guys, but my dad would have slapped me upside the head if i'd point toy guns at my sister... You're falling into thae antis trap. Guns are not by default about violence. Theyr'e tools, nothing more. Next time you let your kid play with hot wheels, think about Death Race 2000. oh NOES! :)
  15. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Well-Known Member

    I had toy guns and bubblegum cigarettes when I was little, I'm not a bad man, I just don't vote Democrat :) (or repub for that matter)
  16. antsi

    antsi Well-Known Member

    My grandfather had this same rule. He was willing to teach us to shoot, and we could have own pellet guns and .22's, but he did not tolerate toy guns.

    I think he was capable of distinguishing between reality and fantasy. He served in the Pacific in WWII and I think he just did not regard guns as an appropriate subject of "play." To him, guns were serious business, to be taken seriously.
  17. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    I think the "fun" is in shooting the bad guys and the charging lions .

    Safty rules are for real guns in my opinion . No hitting your sister over the head with that thing may apply though !

    Going back to earlier mention --- toys are not real , they are for fantasy play. If a child doesn't understand that , they need help . Either from a parent or from a professional.

    Little Jane cooks on her play stove , and not the real one in the kitchen. Little Jack plays with the toy guns, and not the real ones in Dad's gun cabinet.

    Just that simple , and it has been working well for a long long time.
  18. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    People really underestimate the ability of children to tell fantasy from reality :rolleyes:

    I understand why antis and liberals do, because they desperately want children to not be able to tell reality from fantasy so they can be easily controlled, but why is it so many here are willing to go down that silly road?

    Toy guns are clearly toys, and that coyote falling off the cliff is clearly fantasy (and damn funny ... especially to a small child).

    Political correctness and our overly litigious society are really starting to take the joy out of existence. :cuss:
  19. Wayne D

    Wayne D Well-Known Member

    Elmer Keith was against toy guns because he believed it taught kids improper gun handling habits. The liberals are against toy guns because they don’t want kids to like or accept guns. They want them to be scared of guns and go running crying to Momma every time they see one. That’s why they are against the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program, it doesn’t demonize guns.
  20. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Well-Known Member

    I think the reason that there aren't many people driving their cars into things on purpose is that when they grow up, they are instructed in the proper use of a car, use it every day, and learn that it is a tool not a toy.

    I think the reason that you have never missused a gun is that some one took the time to teach you the same things about guns. Most of the people that I have heard of shooting themselves/others seem to be the type who still see guns in an artificial light. They still think of them as toys or in the Hollywood vison where guns are glamourous and/or dangerous. These are the people who want to try diving through a window, firing two Berettas or an automatic AK one handed.

    No one has ever taken the time to teach these people about proper gun handling, and they are the dangerous one. There are plenty of dangerous things in the modern world, but we live with them because we teach people about them. Guns are no more dangerous to a 2 year old than a bottle of bleach and if you follow the same percautions, your child should be safe from both until he/she is old enough to use them safely

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