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Why Children Need Make Believe Violence

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by the iron horse, Nov 10, 2008.

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  1. the iron horse

    the iron horse Member

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    This thread is about toy guns and make believe fantasy play.
    It is,I think,very much gun related.

    Before the 1980s (or somewhere along that timeline) kids played with toy guns and it was bang bang shoot um' up. Toy guns,plastic swords,knives...it was cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. Cartoons had Porky the Pig blasting away with a shotgun and Bugs Bunny was whacky other toons with a bat.

    Then along came The Smurfs and Zero Tolerence. Toy guns got marked red at the muzzle and fewer and fewer parents allowed their children to play with them. Point your index finger at a fellow student in kindergarten and find yourself expelled.

    I think we all know the sad events that have occured the past ten to fifteen years.

    A good book on this topic and really worth reading:
    http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Monsters-Children-Make-Believe-Violence/dp/0465036953

    What do you think?
     
  2. SteelyNirvana

    SteelyNirvana Member

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    I always heard the reason why they did this is because an 8yr old pointed a toy gun at a LEO and he mistook it for a real gun and fired at the kid, killing him. I had one of the ones without the plug (mid 80's) when I was a kid, wish I still had it, it would make a good conversation piece.
     
  3. matrem

    matrem Member

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    While I'm certainly no expert at this (and,I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night),the timing seems to fall in line.I too,would like to hear other's opinion's.
     
  4. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

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    The ability to act violently is a MUST for any human being. Violence has kept innocent people alive. Violence has won freedom. Violence has brought the human race to the top of the food chain. Violence has brought a steady and safe future for countless people.

    Violence is the most important idea in the human mind, for that where ever there is an unjust and irreconcilable action being taken against an innocent party, violence is the only chance for correction.

    I want to stress that when the action is unjust (ex: morally/ethically wrong, unlawful) and irreconcilable (ex: all other options for peaceful resolve have failed), then violence will forever be the ONLY way to solve a problem.

    Anybody who believes otherwise is one who's likely to be buried early.
     
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I'm not sure violence is the right word here, or as applied in the context of playing with toy guns. I grew up in the '50's and 60's and can remember playing with those miniature metal cap guns by the time I could walk (I think I still have photos of this somewhere). But when my brothers and I were playing "cowboys and indians" or "army", it wasn't so much about violence as it was about emulating adult behavior (mainly from all the TV shows and war movies we watched); and playing/acting aggressively in accordance with those feelings. We never took the pretend and the imaginary to the next level of actual physical violence on another human being. When you shot someone dead with your toy gun, you never expected them to stay dead, at least not for very long that is! For me, it was just a part of growing up; of putting myself into the adult world, by using toy guns and my imagination, without any thought of real violence or killing and the ramifications that those things can bring. That reality and knowledge would of course come with maturity and real world experience. As far as toy guns and imaginary playtime go, I would say let kids be kids, and let them express themselves what ever way they want, as long as no one gets hurt, and Mom's lamp doesn't get broken.
     
  6. #shooter

    #shooter Member

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    I am not an advocate for zero tolerance discipline for silly school policies (I believe context actually matters), but I am against children playing with toy guns. Heck, I think playing paintball is a mall ninja sport. I know I’m in the minority here and I am not trying to tell people how to live their lives or raise their children. I just do not think pointing guns at people is polite or a habit a child should develop only to be undone later when it comes time to use real guns. I’m not too fond of pretend killing either. It’s not that I believe pretend killing leads to actual killing. I just think there are plenty of actual killings every day; we don’t need to pretend anymore. Cowboys and Indians is fun to play until you visit a reservation. Playing Army is fun to play until you see your grandfather cry on Veterans Day. Just watch the news for how Cops n’ Robbers works in real life. It is just my personal opinion that certain adult behavior does not need to be emulated or glorified. As far as violent sport is concerned… there is always football, hockey, and martial arts etc to release pent up aggression and energy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  7. expvideo

    expvideo Member

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    I completely disagree with everything you just said. But I don't really want to debate it either, so I'll leave it at that.
     
  8. 32winspl

    32winspl Member

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    I'm 50 yrs old (1958), and sounds like I grew up much like Bannock. It's only a minor point, and I'm not really taking issue with it much, but I never saw adults playing C&I, or war, so I doubt that you or I were emulating adults, other than the fact that they had real guns. If we were emulating anything, it seems like we were pretending to be our favorite tv show characters... Which leads me to ask this of our elders here; those that grew up prior to the advent of TV; did you guys play cops'n'robbers, cowboys' n' indians, and WWl games to the extent that those of us a generation or 2 later did?
    I wonder if "Prarie-Schooner" boys played cowboys and indians; if boys in 1800 played at Revolutionary war games.... if Indian boys played "bison-hunter", .

    Hmmm. I'll bet medieval kids played their own form of dungeons and dragons, all the way back to Austrolopithecans and Cromagnons. Of course, there's no way for me to know. I am going to guess though, that the "game" (us vs. them) is in the species. Did we always seek to emulate our past heroes or legends?
    I would like to hear from our oldest members about any war-like games they played as kids though.

    Thanks to the OP for question. I like posts that make me go Hmmm.
     
  9. rforgy

    rforgy Member

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    I spent several hours Saturday watching the kids across the street playing, They had ray guns, water guns, laser swords, and wooden stick swords and were having a great time hiding behind trees and cars and chasing each other.

    I have to admit this is the first time in a long time I have seen this type of play, I recently moved out of the metro area to a small town setting which I am sure has something to do with it. When I was in the big city you did not see kids playing outside at all. I am really enjoying the neighborhood.
     
  10. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

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    That's for me to know and not you!
    Well speaking from my own experience since I was a child at one point, I played with toy guns and had rubberband fights and waterguns and we wrastled and played combat. To date I have never killed anyone or thought about it or ever wished to, and I hate to say it but in the limited life experience I do have, killing and fighting is what makes the world go around. You take that out and we are not human anymore even animals fight regularily for territory.
     
  11. sophijo

    sophijo Member

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    Gun Play

    ......anytime you repress something you empower it like putting a lid on a boiling pot.
     
  12. elrod

    elrod Member

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    Forbidding anything (alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, etc.) only leads to trials of that taboo. But if you start education on that subject it defeats the curosity of that subject. Using BB guns to slay birds and small vermin taught me the finality of death and the power and responsibility of real guns. After cap guns, I never had the desire to point a gun at a person. I think it is called maturity.
     
  13. matrem

    matrem Member

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    "Using BB guns to slay birds and small vermin taught me the finality of death and the power and responsibility of real guns."
    That sums it up.
     
  14. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Violence (and pretend violence) is a natural instinct and part of being a human. Every creature on earth takes part in it. People think they can train it out of kids by making them play with dolls instead of toy guns. The more they try to regulate things the more screwed up and repressed kids grow up. What happens when you tell a kid something is verboten? You increase his/her interest in it 10-fold. Do it with something like guns and they'll figure out the 4 rules after they accidentally kill someone.
     
  15. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    32winspl

    To answer your question; yes my father and his brother played "cops and robbers", complete with toy cap guns and pretend everything else. There were also times when they played "army" too, along with all the other kids in their neighborhood. And of course there were the great medieval sword fights, complete with wooden swords and garbage can lids for shields. Now they didn't have TV back then, but they did have radio programs (lots of imagination at work there), gangster films with the likes of Cagney, Bogart, and Edward G., westerns with Tom Mix and the Duke, and the Sunday comics with Dick Tracy, et al. Even back then it was still just make believe; playing out the scenes they saw in the movie theater or heard on the radio. Just kids playing. And yes, they were emulating adults who were portraying violent or aggressive behavior. But even as kids they knew the difference between their playtime, the make-believe on the movie screen, and the harsh realities of living through the Depression. Yet no one turned to a life of crime, nobody became a violent sociopath from having played with toy guns and toy swords. Nobody got hurt from all the pretend violence and killing. Just kids being kids. And then it was time to grow up, to put away their toy guns, and exchange them for real ones. It was time for them to face the ultimate horror of the thing they had been playing at during their childhood years.

    For myself, playing with toy guns was as natural as playing baseball, making model airplanes, or riding a bike. It was about just being a kid. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  16. CRITGIT

    CRITGIT member

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    There's a huge difference between repressing something and saturating one's psyche with it.
    We happen to be one of the most violent societies on the face of global...that's right that "turn the other cheek" Christian country.
    You don't need a PhD in Child Dev to know that glorified exposures to violence have a tremendous negative impact on developing minds.

    That's not to say that the gun is violent but only that the utilization in some cases can be. That's the fault of the operator of the gun, the TV , the video game, the car or any other instrument of choice.


    CRITGIT
     
  17. snead888

    snead888 Member

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    These are action figures, bujeezus. :rolleyes:
    (sarcastic if you couldn't tell)
    honestly if any kid tried to emulate Looney Tunes it would just prove Darwin's theory. when i was a kid we "played with guns" but some parents would get all fussed up over it and we would have to stop. If children don't imitate violence as a child then they will imitate it as an adult, possibly with a gun. if you teach them consequences early on, it will be instilled in their brain. thats what make believe violence does. shoot him, he dies.
     
  18. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    I'm sorry, but child's play involving guns far predates our current crime problem.
     
  19. cliffy

    cliffy member

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    Children in Touch with Reality

    Children, today, are way ahead of us old farts regarding modern technology, ergo firearm technology. My grandchildren outshoot me at the range REGULARLY. To me, this means accuracy counts. Is it the video games? Maybe, but I doubt video games can compensate for 100 yard prowess at the range. I grew up during the fifites with CAP-GUN battles in the back yard. Today, American Children are taught to respect firearms more than ever before. The NRA is responsible for much of this RESPECT and Safety Concern. America and Gun Safety is integral, in large part due to NRA courses. Some of my Grandchildren are still popping out, yet as long as I'm able they will learn proper safety regarding firearms. cliffy
     
  20. 32winspl

    32winspl Member

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    Thanks for your reply Bannockburn. I really am curious now, about the play of earlier generations. I will be visiting my Parents tomorrow and Thursday. While there, I'm going to ask my Dad (74), and my 94 Y/O Grandmother about her older brothers. She's in and out of lucidity; hopefully, this will be among her 'good' times, and maybe she'll be able to tell me about their pre-1920 games. She's generally pretty sharp re her childhood recollections; usually better than what happened "this morning".

    As an "aside", 11 years ago, I was waiting at my son's school for classes to be let out. I'd gotten there about 1 1/2 hrs early from my work, had a thermos of coffee, and a book to read while I waited. Shortly after arriving, the kids were let out for recess, and I sat in my truck watching them play. The boys were all running around pretend-karate-kicking (playing Power-Rangers) and yelling "Keyah!!". The cool thing was, none of these kids were actually making contact with each other.
    Some weeks later, there was some parental uproar about the "violence". I spoke at the meeting, and told the parents assembled that during the 1/2 hour (on another day) that I watched, only 1 boy actually kicked another boy; and clearly it was an accident... the kicker helped his friend up, appologising as he did so. Within seconds, they were back at it though more carefully. At the meeting, I said that "It hurts when you get hit", and that none of the kids were trying, or even wanted, to hurt their friends... that this 'concern' was a lot of smoke but no flames. After some more discussion, the kids were allowed to continue their play.
     
  21. jakk280rem

    jakk280rem Member

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    i agree with evil monkey's post, however i would propose a change of the word "violence" to the word "force". Force or the implied threat of violence has probably influenced more people than outright violence. puff fish puff, rattle snakes rattle, humans march their armies down red square, vote, congregate in protest, exercize their creator given right to bear arms in defence of self, property, community, state and nation.
     
  22. jhco50

    jhco50 Member

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    Ok, I have to chime in on this one. My grandboys love guns. In fact, the 13 year old is begging to go shooting again. ;) The 4 year old will make a gun out of anything (and I do mean anything) and even has his favorite stick gun. He plays army almost every minute of the day with good guys and bad guys. I get a kick out of him when he gets shot as it only lasts a few seconds to get back into action. He used to let me revive him with pretend panels where I had to say clear. However he doesn't do that now as I couldn't keep from tickleing him when I cleared him. Now if I rub my hands together he pulls his arms close to his body and laughs. :D

    If we would admit it, boys are different from girls and weopons and fighting (pretend style) are natural to them. People out there (I call them worms) just can't let children be children anymore. They especially dislike us, free men. :(
     
  23. CRITGIT

    CRITGIT member

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    Heck, don't be sorry,Doc! And BTW I wasn't referencing today's violence but our history of violence which "came with the dinner"!
    "Watch" what happens to and by the vid game generation.

    CRITGIT
     
  24. CRITGIT

    CRITGIT member

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    Heck, don't be sorry Doc! I wasn't referencing today's crime but our thirst for violence which may have "come with the dinner"
    "Watch" what happens to and by the vid game generation. Violence breeds violence from the beaten and threatened child to the constant exposure to
    the sights and sounds of violence. The young mind is a sponge which is eagarly trying to learn, comply and conform to their environment.
    My gun has never been as violent as my TV.

    CRITGIT
     
  25. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    Below is a fantastic, comprehensive article on this exact subject. It's long but well worth the read. The author Jonathan Turley was my torts professor in law school. He's a really sharp guy. I'll add that my criminal law professor was also publicly pro-gun. I'm talking about GWU in DC of all places!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/23/AR2007022301749.html

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
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