Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    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?

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  2. Rabid Rabbit

    Rabid Rabbit Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    464
    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 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,484
    Location:
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    1,801
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    100
    Elmer Keith had some thoughts on this and I agree with him.

    Shane
     
  6. Richard.Howe

    Richard.Howe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    For those who don't know Elmer's thoughts, would you share? :)

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth

    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

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    VA
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    4,302
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    4,207
    Location:
    Cape Cod
    Took the words right out of my keyboard.
     
  11. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,454
    Location:
    Terra
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Minnesota
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Belton, TX
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    Alabama
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,398
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,666
    Location:
    MN
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,756
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    281
    Location:
    Christiansburg, VA
    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 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    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
     
  21. pax

    pax Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,762
    Location:
    Washington state
    Lot of issues here.

    Most kids know the difference between "pretend" and "real." This despite what the child-development experts tell us. If you give them toy guns, they know the toys are only toys. But whether you give toy guns to your kids or not, you absolutely must explain to your child what to do if they come across one and aren't absolutely, 100% certain it is a toy gun.

    Apart from that basic safety issue above (which applies whether your kids have toy guns or not), it ain't the kids you need to worry about, it's the grownups.

    The reason toy cars are okay where toy guns scare people is obvious when you think of it: toy cars are not life size and no one has ever mistaken a toy car for a real one, except maybe in one of those terrible Japanese horror flicks so beloved during my childhood.

    The line between "toy gun" and "real gun" has been badly blurred by the advent of very, very realistic airsoft guns. I defy anyone to so much as glance at one of the toy revolvers from the old days and mistake it for a working revolver. But most airsoft guns are designed to very effectively mimic real weapons, and do it so well that it's fairly common online for discussion threads to go for days debating whether a given picture is of an airsoft gun or an actual firearm.

    Even non-functioning toy guns are available in very realistic shapes (though it's hard to find 'em in realistic sizes). Worse than that, even the fake-looking ones look real to people who didn't themselves grow up around guns, who haven't held a toy gun since they were in grade school (if then), and who have never held a real firearm in their entire lives.

    People have gotten stupider. It's not the fault of any individual person, and individually most people are still bright enough to keep the drool off their own chins, but the culture has changed so much that people don't expect to see a 6-year-old playing with a cap gun in his front yard anymore. At least, there are enough people that don't expect to see it that someone is likely to call the authorities and scare the crud out of the kid when Officer Unfriendly shows up to find out what's going on.

    For all the above reasons, when my kids were old enough to play with toy guns, we greatly preferred to give them plant misters instead of squirt guns (plant misters shoot further, hold more, and break less often anyway). They made plenty of Lego guns & stick guns & such; again, we figured none of those could cause even the most vaporish nanny type to call the cops in a panic.

    We didn't let our kids have "real looking" toy guns until they were old enough to buy their own, at which time we explained that they wouldn't be allowed to play with toy guns anywhere visible from the road, or at anyone else's house unless their parents knew & approved both of the guns & of our rule about staying away from public view. We encouraged them to shoot at "invisible" bad guys rather than at each other.

    Oh, for a very long time we didn't allow toy guns that really fired stuff (Nerf balls, darts, etc). But that wasn't really a "kids & guns" issue. We just got tired of settling fights about 'em. How do you figure out who is really a noncombatant, or who was just trying to get his brother in trouble? We gave up...

    When we purchased our oldest son's first little BB gun, we also purchased a $10 "document safe" from WalMart, one of those cheesy metal boxes that comes with a couple of keys. He learned to lock it up when it wasn't being used and got a kick out of doing so. With the BB guns, we began practicing obeying the Four Rules at all times; I always thought of BB guns as being like the training wheels on a bike.

    And every time I brought a new real firearm into the house, I made a point of gathering the kids together and introducing it to them. "This one's not a toy, kids, it fires .22 ammunition. If you see it lying around, what do you do?" They'd tell me the rules, and I'd go lock the gun away.

    Probably more issues to consider, but those are the chief ones that come to mind right now.

    pax
     
  22. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    991
    Location:
    Cereal City, Michigan
    When my 19 year old was a 5 year old

    he showed interest in the .45 Blackhawk at the bed side. So I asked him if he wanted to see it. He responded yes he did, so I made a big show of carefully unloading it and showing him the bullets, letting him examine each round carefully. After making the gun safe I let him hold and look at it in detail. At which him if he would like to shoot it and again he said yes. ;)

    So out to the back stop we went, I grabbed a nice big pumpkin for a target. I put on my hearing protection showed him as I was loading the gun that now it was unsafe. I stepped behind him and held on to the gun with his little hands holding as best he could. Taking careful aim over his shoulder (note I did not say I put any hearing protection on him) I cocked the hammer and he pulled the trigger. BLAM :eek: and he made a face that was one of total surprise, :what: and he thought he was done. Nope I told him I made him empty the remaining rounds into the pumpkin. :uhoh:

    When we were done I took him to examine the pumpkin and made great pains to show him the little holes in the front, and how the back of the orange orb were was no longer there. I asked the question if he thought that the pumpkin was going to ever become whole again, he shook his head no. I explained to him that this was reality, that when something is shot in the real world that it is destroyed forever. That it will not come back like on TV, that guns are dangerous, and if he ever wanted to shoot again all he had to do is ask and we would go shooting.:cool:

    About a month after this he was watching some show on TV and this kid took a gun from the house, he thought it was a toy and was going to play cops and robbers. My boy was having a panic attack when the kid loaded it and started pointing it at people and pulling the trigger (he only had one bullet and it was a revolver). I knew then that my lesson had worked.:evil:

    He’s 19 now and very pro gun active, life NRA, works at a sporting goods store behind the gun counter, never had any problems with him and guns as he was growing up, and he burned a lot of brass with me at his side.:D
     
  23. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Messages:
    6,985
    Location:
    Texas
    There is real life and there is pretend.

    There are real guns and there are toys.

    There was The Three Stooges pretending to poke each other in the eyes and actually poking another kid in the eyes.

    As a young kid I don't remember ever having any trouble telling the difference.:)
     
  24. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,506
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    See, proper parenting beats Nanny-State politics every time.:)
     
  25. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,670
    Right on
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page