Thursday, February 02, 2012

Toy Guns

I'm just gonna come out and say it: My kid plays with toy guns. And, we're kinda okay with that.

If I were a better mother, I would have done WAY more research on the topic, but I didn't. And so we're left with: My theory (which is probably way off base)... guns are a part of our lives...whether we like it or not. And let's be honest, sticks, rocks, and other inanimate objects end up being used as weapons in children's (my child's) imaginative play anyway. Guns are in Disney Movies, storybooks and in every children's toy store... you can't avoid them. 

In my feeble opinion, the breakdown begins when parents do not communicate with their children at pivotal points within their development. It begins with rules and as a child grows, teaching them that guns can potentially be very dangerous, if  not respected or handled properly. In addition, the importance of keeping "real" guns away from children. Being an informed parent regarding homes your child enters and ensuring all guns are kept safe and out of reach of those adorable little hands.

We have started with one gun rule: No pointing it at people. Not nice. And a little creepy.

Do you allow gun play in your home? Should I be more concerned about potentially violent imaginative play with my child? Do you think it's dangerous to let my child play with toy guns?


  1. Well, I admit that we are super picky about the toys we have at our house. Right now we think we are going to be a no-gun house, but we'll see. I'm sure that Lewis will make guns out of Legos or sticks or whatever, just like every other little boy EVER, but I think not having toy guns will help us to communicate that it is not OK to pretend to hurt other people, etc. I don't think it's a huge giant issue either way.

  2. We're taking on the same toy gun rules as I had growing up. Liam is only allowed to have guns with a consequence. This includes Nerf guns and water guns. We do allow him to shoot them at people. Initially, I was sort of discouraging it, but then realized that the fun part of a Nerf or squirt guns is shooting them at people. (He cannot shoot them at pets. They can't shoot back, and is cruel to a non sentient creature.)

    When Liam reaches an appropriate age, we will teach him gun safety. I took a gun safety class at 12, and Dad taught me how to properly be cautious around guns. Of course it was always with supervision. I even had my own youth riffle that I took hunting with my dad. I never shot anything but targets, but certainly understood the fatal consequences that can come from miss treating a gun.

    My brother and Dad still go hunting every year, and Dad has many guns in the house. Thankfully, he keeps all the riffles locked up in the gun safe. Dad also has a hand gun next to his bed, but it is in it's own safe that can only be opened bio metrically. There is no way Liam can get to any of the guns.

    We also have a gun in our house. Brent got one of his grandpa's 22 rifles after he passed away. We admittedly don't have a safe for it, but it is in the back of the closet, and there is no way it can fire. We don't have any bullets in the house. Liam would have to move a lot of heavy items, find the gun, then go out and buy bullets in order to hurt himself or anyone else.

  3. Beth

    I have to agree with you completely in the fact that guns are everywhere. We have taken the approach to educate our children on them rather than shield them from them. We never had guns with the girls because they were just not part of what they wanted to play with but as soon as Alexander was put in the picture we had them because everything became a toy gun. The kids play all kinds of games, good and bad and it our job as the parent to educate them on what is right and not as well as what is safe and not.
    Even with toy guns in our house Alexander still finds things and pretends they are guns. Out biggest rule: NO POINTING THEM AT PEOPLE. You can pretend to shoot the bad guy if you would like but that bad guy better not be your siblings, and any other person in the house. So, what do they do? Their teddy bears momentarily become the bad guys.
    Now if it is a toy gun like nerf or water thats a whole other thing. And if you choose to play with those, then don't come crying to me when your sister nails you with water. lol :)
    John has taken the kids shoot and has explained the difference between real and fake and has told them about not touching ones you find randomly. Its ok to play with the ones in the play room, but the ones in the safe should never be touch unless daddy is right there. Its a fine line, and it sucks we have to walk it, but its part of the world today, in times past, and in the future.