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toy guns

Posted by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 9:32 PM
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So, I noticed that a lot of moms here are bothered by guns.  I think that's awesome, I always assume I'm in the minority on that one.  But where do you all stand with toy guns?  I will not allow toy guns at all.  Period.  No squirt guns, no Nerf guns, nothing that resembles guns.  I hate them.

How do you feel about them?

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by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 9:32 PM
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by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 10:01 PM

Absolutely against them.  I even get upset when my well-meaning relatives give launch toys, i.e. planes that launch from gun-like platforms.   They know not to give toy guns of any kind and the launch toys, though well meant, quickly disappear.

That said,  we've had a couple incidence this year.  My 6-year-old son has gone to a couple friends's houses to play where they had toy guns.  The first incident was a birthday party. Apparently, they had been playing whatever it is young boys play with toy guns... cops and robbers?  My son told me... "They had toy guns. Is that OK?"  So we had a talk about it. 

The second time it was a family that I would never expected to have toy guns.   Frankly,  I'm not sure what to do.  Part of me says, "He can't go over to those boys' houses anymore."  The other part says,  "My son is socially challenged.  He needs all the friends he can get."

You will never find a toy gun  in our house.  But at a certain point, I feel like he's at that age where I can't control everything he comes in contact with.  He's certainly at a level where we can have a rational discussion about it.

by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:07 PM

I don't like guns around children, personally, but my four year old son loves guns!  We have never pushed the idea on him, glamourized them, etc., but he is obsessed.  He plays Star Wars--he pretends to be a battle droid and pretend shoots everything.  He doesn't have guns, but he imagines them just the same.  I figured it was just a boy thing; this hang-up about guns.  I could be wrong.  He even takes blocks and fashions his own guns out of them.  We certainly aren't a violent family, so Gaerik's gun obsession comes from a place that I can't put my finger on.  He isn't a violent child either, he just plays sci-fi imaginary games with his imaginary guns.  Is this something I should be concerned about?  I don't feel alarmed, really, like I said, I just figured it was a boy thing.

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by on Dec. 17, 2008 at 11:22 PM

I have no issues with them.

My children don't have toy guns, but more because they haven't expressed an interest in them.

by Group Owner on Dec. 18, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I don't let them in my house.  My mom once bought Lydia a couple of water guns to play with at her house.  She was pissed at me when I wouldn't let her play with them, but I stood firm.  They have things that shoot water shaped like seahorses and stuff.  No need for my kid to play with guns.

My first "no guns, no way" thought was when Lydia was a little baby, and I was babysitting my friend's kids.  Her (then) 3-yr-old was running all over the house, shooting EVERYTHING with his plethora of toy guns.  His toy box looked like a brightly-colored armory.  It was creepy, and I figured he was that way because they bought him so many guns.  Now, Kelly, you've got me thinking that the guns might have been more of a result, and not a cause, because I guess some boys are just like that.  (I wouldn't worry about, btw.  He's just "all boy.")

As a chick with two daughters, I don't think I'll ever understand that "pew pew pew" mentality that boys have.  What's the OBSESSION with hurting/killing things? 

My husband's with me on the "no guns" thing, though.  These things just seems...wrong to turn it into a child's plaything.  "Go play with your toy electric chair, honey."  Same thing.  It's creepy.  IMHO, of course.

by Group Admin on Dec. 18, 2008 at 4:28 PM

I never ever let my kids play with guns, or pretend that another toy is a gun. Well nearly never, I did let Jacklin have a toy gun for her Halloween costume this year because she was going as a 1940's gangster. Other than that there is no exceptions. Ive never really understood why parents would let their children play with something that very closely resembles a deadly weapon.

(Sorry if that came off realy bitchy, I have a bad headache.)

by on Dec. 18, 2008 at 4:39 PM

I personally dont like them at all.  I have a daughter, so I am not sure that it will become an issue for us.  Her father has many guns, and we feel very different on the issue, as we do on pretty much most issues.  I have kinda come to peace with this, and just look at it as my daughter will be well rounded.  She will be exposed to things with her dad that she would never be exposed to around me.   He wants to take her hunting when she gets older.   If she decides this  is something that she wants to do, then fine, but I dont want her to feel pressured  to do this.   We are currently still married, but I am finding that our differences are very vast, and I had to be ok with the fact that I dont have control of what he does with her when I am not there.  Back to the toys though, I have no intention of her ever having a toy gun.  I dislike the idea of any child playing that they are killing someone, or something.   

by on Dec. 19, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Quoting jellyphish:

So, I noticed that a lot of moms here are bothered by guns.  I think that's awesome, I always assume I'm in the minority on that one.  But where do you all stand with toy guns?  I will not allow toy guns at all.  Period.  No squirt guns, no Nerf guns, nothing that resembles guns.  I hate them.

How do you feel about them?

I hate them. I never let my oldest have one. He did one his 10th birthday get a nerf gun and I let him keep it. Just the word Gun bothered me. I will do the same with the two youngest.

by on Dec. 19, 2008 at 7:24 PM

I'm in the minority, I guess.

After I responded, I got to thinking about it... I guess my kids do play "shoot 'em up" type games, but it's not like guns with bullets shooting... more like Star Trek type laser guns.

When I was growing up, we played Laser Tag with regularity. My brother had the entire set, and we would suit up and roam our neighborhood and try to take the other team out. It never seemed violent to me. I never equated that game with death and killing. When my children play, they don't play like they're killing each other... it's more like 'pew pew pew' I got you! and then they start over.

In my opinion, it seems that it depends on the game they're playing. I see no harm in them taking squirt guns and spraying the crap out of each other on a hot summer day... no different to me than if they did the same thing with squirt bottles or the hose. I don't see them playing with Nerf type guns or squirt guns as related to violence or death. If it had another name, wasn't called a squirt gun, would you feel differently about it?

My husband is deputy sheriff, and he will sometimes bring his weapon home. I have handled his gun, and there is a huge difference between his weapon and toys. To me it's like saying a wolf and a mini pinscher are the same thing.... which is to say, they're not even comparable.

I let my kids watch movies like Star Wars and Transformers, and they reenact what they see there. I have no issues with it. The games are not violent. They're playing.

My brother is walking around today with a bullet in his head. He was shot when he was sixteen years old, twelve years ago. I'm pretty aware of what guns can do to a person. I'm not naive. I almost lost my brother to a kid with a real gun... with the express intention of killing my brother. He failed, thank the gods. The line is very clear to me what pretend is and what isn't. And the games that I have seen kids play, and the games I played as a kid, is no where near the same thing as someone armed and intent on doing harm.

I don't hate guns. I am not afraid of them. I am glad that my husband knows how to handle one, that I know how to handle one should I need to. I have had many discussions with my children about playing and pretend and what is real and what is fantasy regarding guns. If they want to play Star Wars or whatever, I'm not going to say no and stop them.

by on Dec. 20, 2008 at 8:47 AM

I dont really have a problem with my son playing with guns.  He has one that my mom got him.  It's yellow and has Marvin the Martian on it and when you push the trigger it makes a noise and lights up.  I don't mind that.  I don't mind if my son plays with water guns either.  He doesn't have any of those now, but maybe in a few years.  I know I'm going toteach him the difference between a toy gun and a real gun.  My brothers and I played with guns all the time when we were younger, and  none of us have turned into homicidal maniacs.  I don't really see a problem with it as long as you teach you kids the difference.  At this point though, I think my son is more into "web shooting." lol  He does it to every one almost.

Now, my husband has a pellet gun that I don't like.  It's a hand gun and it looks real.  (Actually, I'm not really sure if he has it anymore, but I know he did at one point.)  If my sun were to ever get a gun like that as a present, I'd take that away real quick.  I want him to be able to differentiate real guns from toy guns, and the toy guns are much more colorful.

by on Dec. 30, 2008 at 12:36 PM

My mother in law just bought pop guns for my kids while she was here at Christmas. I never would have bought them myself, but she and my husband were out together and anything she wants to do, he's going to agree to. The constant POP POP POP drives me nuts and so my son must control himself if he wants to play with it.

We do feel it's extremely important to teach our children respect and proper handling of guns. My extended family hunts: guns are going to be a part of their lives. Even if it's a toy gun, my son is told NEVER point it at anyone. He is not allowed to say things like, "I'm going to shoot you!"

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