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Toy Guns

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HeinekenMan, May 15, 2007.

  1. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I played with guns as a kid, but I've never owned one as an adult.

    I couldn't bring myself to allow my 4-year-old son to have a toy gun. I bought him a Buzz Lightyear lazer gun, but I called it a tickle gun and laughed when he shot me with it.

    But I spotted one at Disney World on Sunday, and I showed it to him. It was the sort of thing I would have loved when I was little. So I bought it for him while mom rolled her eyes. He just loves the thing, but I'm realizing that some innocence is lost here.

    Somehow, he knows how to scope a gun and that he "killed you" when he shoots it. He plays dead. He plays the role of pirate, but that's probably because we bought the gun in the gift shop for Pirates of the Caribbean. I know he's watched some TV that might have been too mature for him, but I make an effort to keep him away from TV violence.

    He has a lot of fun pointing the thing at me, but it also gives me the heebie jeebies. Yesterday, he tried to put the barrel in my mouth. I can't help but think of the Virginia Tech massacre. I just hope that I'm doing the right thing by letting him be a little boy.

    And please don't turn this into a gun control thread.
  2. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I constantly walk the line on where I stand regarding guns and my 4-year-old. I don't buy him toy guns but he does have "ray" guns, if you will. Even with them, though, I'm quick to always point out that he's never, ever to pow-pow anyone or even point his gone at someone.

    It's not a perfect solution, but it's the best I can do in a realistic sense.
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i'm torn about this. i had toy guns as a kid. i have normal attitudes about guns. my wife is unbending in her view that our future kid will never have so much as a water gun. we'll see about that one...
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Tough situation, Heine. As a gun owner, I'm not sure what I'll do if we have a son one day in regards toy guns. I do know if you're letting him have any, they need to be the most outlandish colors and shapes imaginable. So everybody who sees him playing with it will know it's a toy, and not the real thing.

    BTW, have any of you fathers bought "The Dangerous Book for Boys"...

  5. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Note to all parents: relax about the toy gun thing. My sons (and oldest daughter) have gone through gun phases, even though all we ever bought was squirt guns. Like a lot of things, if you let kids work out it, they'll get bored with whatever they're playing with soon enough.

    That said, you can tell if your kids is a little TOO into guns. I don't have a problem that my almost-10-year-old plays Call of Duty 3 or Civil War on his PS2 -- heck, he's learned a lot about military history that way. It is disturbing that one of his reality-challenged classmates plays shoot-'em-up, M-rated games and appears to think he has enemies all around him wherever he goes.
  6. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    ** Disclaimer. I have two relatives who were killed in separate gun accidents **

    Even if you forbid your kids from owning so much as a squirt gun, they can point their index finger, stick up their thumb, fold the rest of their fingers in a fist and pretend they have a gun.

    Guns are a respect thing. My kids had toy guns, and neither one of them show any signs of even thinking of shooting up their high school. They were taught from an early age to respect firearms. Never EVER point a gun -- toy or otherwise -- at anyone else. EVER! We have several firearms in our home -- in a locked gun safe -- and both my kids are crack shots, as is their mother and father.

    In MN, at age 12 kids are eligible to take gun safety from certified instructors. After completion of the course, each child is issued a state gun safety certificate which they must present when getting a hunting license. I will probably take a huge amount of grief for this (and I promise, I'm not trying to turn this into a gun control thread), but I think kids should be required to take gun safety.

    If that were the case, my cousin would probably be alive today. The 18 year old kid who accidentally shot him had never handled a gun of any sort before that day.

    It's a natural thing for kids to play "Cowboys and Indians" or "Space War" or whatever they call it today. Just drill it into their heads that even toy guns should be treated as real, loaded guns and should never be pointed at anyone and you should be just fine.
  7. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    If I'm the good guy, and he's Pirate Ben...how exactly is he supposed to shoot me if he doesn't point the gun at me?

    My wife made that same rule, but she's clearly not enforcing it. I let him shoot me with the thing, but I do so while assuming that he'll never pick up the real thing and think it's a toy.
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    That's why ... I guess like Rosie said ... you have to teach them the difference between the real thing and toy guns and how to respect them and use them safely.
  9. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    HM, you pretend. He shoots the floor in front of you, you pretend you were hit.

    The pointing a pretend or toy gun is one rule I NEVER EVER eased up on. There are too many real guns which look like toys and toy guns which look real.

    Kids have fantastic imaginations. I promise you, your child will not have a problem with shooting the floor or ground in front of you rather than 'shooting' at you. And at the same time, you will be educating him on not EVER EVER pointing a gun at someone.

    The only time I allowed guns pointed at another was squirt guns. And they never really got into playing with squirt guns that much, it was much more fun to play with the garden hose.
  10. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    Well, I'm no rookie at child psych. So I just convinced him that we were on the same team. We shot at the air and I threw the baseball up and let him shoot it down. Then a chopper flew over the house, and he aimed at the thing. That's when we had a little talk. I think he gets it now. The kid picks up on things pretty fast, particularly when one of our discussions becomes something of an event. He knows when we're just shooting the shit and when we're having a serious discussion.
  11. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    We used to play war, cops and robbers and all of that, and used sticks asa guns when I was growing up.

    But that was the mid-70s and I know the world is much different. I don't have a prblem with toy guns, or real guns even though I don't prefer them.

    But I guess I'll just have to see how he reacts to having one. Like everything else, it will be trail by error with things the want to do and play with.

    I like how Heineken handled it.
  12. Unibomber

    Unibomber Member

    My son is thrilled about pirates now and he has several guns (muskets mostly) that he plays with.
    My rules are simple: Even the toy gun does not get pointed at ANYONE. He can shoot pretend robbers all he wants, but he cannot shoot anyone who is real. And if he puts it in his mouth or looks down the barrel, it gets taken away.
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