Toy guns

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/18/2011 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I am not for any guns in the home....I have already made a post about it...a while back. Now my son wants a toy gun that shoot nerf dart things. I am not crazy about the idea, but my husband bout it without thinking. What are your thoughts? I am absolutely against toy guns that look like real guns. I am fine with water guns in the summer.

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Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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I used to be totally against them, but then realized that my son would use sticks as guns anyway. I also don't think that playing with a toy gun turns you into some gun-crazed man when you grow up, nor will it cause you to go on a shooting rampage. So while I'm not racing to the store to buy the latest toy gun for my son, if someone gave him one as a gift, I'd let him play with it.

Desiree - posted on 05/18/2011

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can't stand the things I don't care what colour they are. So the rule of thumb is Absolutley no guns in my house. Over the years my son has recieved them as gifts. Ok then with in 2 days they are gone. I make them disappear. That there are 2 many guns in this world, doesn't mean I have to have them in my home.

Krista - posted on 05/18/2011

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I can tell you that just about every first grade boy I've ever taught has found some creative way to make a gun while playing in the classroom or at recess. Lego, sticks, math manipulatives, pipe cleaners, paper...they all work! I have to remind them that it's inappropriate and that we're not allowed to make and play with pretend guns, but they do it all the time. It seems to be almost a natural thing for little boys to do, just like playing with trucks. I think that with most kids it's not a sign of aggression or anything negative at all, but just normal play.

Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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I'm just curious why some of you feel like you have to control your childrens play. Didn't you ever play things when you were a kid that involved "bad" things, like death for example. And are you really with your kids THAT much that they couldn't just do it behind your back?

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Kimberly - posted on 05/19/2011

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well my next door person is a mandating reporter. she is trying to call the cops on us for letting kids play with lego guns lol that is going to far in my mind. we all joke this summer we are grabbing all the legos and having lego gun wars lol.

Jodi - posted on 05/19/2011

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Marina, kids have been playing cowboys and indians forever.....it was fun when I was a kid, it was fun when my father was a kid, and when his father was a kid. It was a way to dress up and play imaginatively. It just HAPPENED to include a gun and a bow and arrow (of sorts) as part of the play.

September - posted on 05/19/2011

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My husband buys the newest nerf gun for my 14 year old brother every year for his birthday and buys one for himself as well, so they can play with them together. We still will not allow our 2.5 year old to play with them until he's older.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/19/2011

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It is the idea that playing with guns is fun. Fine if the have a stick in the yard using their imagination...but having something that resembles a real gun, to really play with and shoot things out of for FUN bothers me. Yup, the star wars style nerf gun my husband bought for my son yesterday, the pieces broke...My son didn't want it anymore, and that was our chance to rid the house of it. But no, my husband is literally at the store as we speak on his way home from his 1 1/2 hour commute at the store exchanging it right now. I don't like it, and he knows that. He promised this is the last time he will buy a toy gun. Still doesn't make me happy.

Jenn - posted on 05/19/2011

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Sorry Sherri - I don't want you to defend yourself, and I'm not slamming you for anything if that's how it came across. I'm just saying that kids should sometimes be left to their own devices and let their imaginations rule, and we can't always be there to guide their play. I'm sorry that you have no parks where you live - that makes me sad. :(

User - posted on 05/19/2011

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on the fence with this one..... my husband and I own real guns (and, yes, they are locked up quite appropriately)... and I want my daughter to also learn about and respect guns when its appropriate with regards to personal safety and overall responsibility that comes with gun handling. I want her to learn at a young age that these are not toys but rather can cause death if mis-used.. i dont want to teach too late but want to build a healthy respect early in life. WIth that said, no, my 2 year old will not be handling a real gun of course, but I want to make sure that a healthy respect for such a weapon is learned early and that it isnt something to play with. who's to know 100% that when she is 6 years old over at a friends house for the afternoon play date that somehow she comes across a gun during the course of play, that she responds appropriately? I'd like to say that I would have friends that are as vigilient as I am but there is never a guarantee unless I just keep her home in a bubble til she's 18 (and we know that just isnt possible)..
I understand that children play and they mimic others but I want her to do so intelligently.. not sure how to accomplish all of that so I guess I just go with my gut on when I feel she is right for each stage of gun safety and handling. I just dont want her to have a fear that leads to curiosity (which can lead to a rather serious situation)... She's only a year old now, so I have plenty of time to devise my plan as she grows.. I just dont know if toy guns can interfere with that healthy respect.

Sharon - posted on 05/19/2011

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When I was in the third grade, I had a friend whose mom was a huge soap opera fan. she came over to play and wanted to play a game.



I have no idea what the game was called, but it ended up with her "giving birth" complete with screaming & moaning and a doll shoved in her crotch, then she dies.



It was friggen weird and creepy as all fuck.



My mother was sincerely disturbed by this play. "I" was disturbed by this play. I didn't even like my doll afterwards.



So uh what about death? they don't need to play it? What about the three lives of Thomasina? I totally remember doing something similar as a kid with a dead sparrow and frog we found in the neighborhood.



We even gave them a back story for how they died. The sparrow was hit by a car and the frog was run over by a car.



Um yet another way to die, had nothing to do with guns.



We also played with guns. If we weren't lucky enough to have a good toy gun, we used sticks. If you were slightly luckier, you could make your gun out of legos, but you were a goober because it would be a stupid mish mash of colors.



My oldest always had toy guns. He couldn't care less about them now. My younger boy had the same toys, he's obsessed with them. My daughter had the SAME toys, she still prefers her pokemon cards and Nintendo DS.



My younger son and his friends get together with their toy guns and stage mock battles. I have yet to see one "die", somehow they all miraculously avoid being shot.



Both of my boys hunt with their dad. My oldest is a crack shot and brings down his limit of quail & dove without half trying. It disgusts my husband to no end. My younger boy is still shooting targets, he's not a natural like his older brother. For a while that diminished his fun with his toy guns and all of them were relegated to the closet for about half a year. He's finally decided that just because he isn't very good with the real gun, doesn't mean he has to stop playing with his toys, actually with his toys, its better because he can always "win".



Mostly they have nerf guns. Huge blocky & bulky things. He has a few cap guns that are vaguely realistic, he banged out the orange tips, and a few defunct air soft guns. One of which is VERY realistic looking but the others are pretty fake looking. His favorite guns are still the nerf guns, they have pop up plastic sight ins, "laser" targeting, clips to pop in and out, lol its funny and fun. I find it funny as hell because even though most of the kids have nerf guns, none of them have the bullets. they're all lost or dog chewed, or cat chewed, etc. So no projectiles at all, just their imaginations.



So yeah, we have toy guns. I have always kept an eye on my kids in regards to their play activities but I haven't directed them much.



We've discussed safety, the boys have taken classes for real guns. And for certain all three understand the difference between real guns and fake.



(edited to change site to sight, geeze I can't believe I swapped those.)

[deleted account]

I think some things are out of your control to some degree.

I absolutely detest toy guns that look like real guns (not colorful Nerf or water guns). At the park next to my flat, there are a few boys who have these black plastic guns that look like shotguns and AK-47s. They're brats who run around with them, shouting, and sometimes they even point them at adults, which I find incredibly rude.

But the thing is, the other neighbourhood boys are fascinated by them and want to borrow them, etc. Not all, but some.

If my son had a toy gun, it would obviously look like a toy for one thing and for another he wouldn't point them at adults more than once.

[deleted account]

We have Nerf guns, and personally, I LOVE them....we play as a family and have a blast (J's an only child, so we have to play with him sometimes).



When he was little, I was completely against any guns in the home, but he was making his own guns out of fingers, sticks, and blocks, long before he was even 3 years old. I was not going to inhibit his play, so I made a rule that we could only shoot Monsters and Dragons. I still didn't buy guns--why waste the $$ when he was having great fun with the imaginary ones? But he eventually got a few as gifts from others. (EDIT: We still only allow the brightly colored, clearly toyish guns).

September - posted on 05/19/2011

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We have yet to introduce toy guns to our son who is 2.5. My husband is a nerf gun freak and has tons in our basement but our son has never seen them. I have mixed feelings to be honest. I want our son to be able to enjoy some water guns this summer but I don't think we will allow him to play with any other types of guns until he is old enough to comprehend the importance of gun safety. I had a friend die at the age of 12 due to a young boy that knew nothing about gun safety. I grew up around guns, my Dad's a hunter so I'm comfortable with them but I'm not ok with my 2.5 year old running around with a toy gun pretending to shoot em up!

Sherri - posted on 05/18/2011

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@Jenn well of course they play in there bedroom but since we have a whooping 4 room house and it is all on one floor pretty simple to know what they are up too. In the yard yup with me I have little ones that can't be without an adult as of yet but I still watch I know what they are doing. At a friends house on occasion usually though as I said they always end up here since I am the SAHM and most parents work. At school yup but my older two are older so no more recess or free time other than lunch. At the park nope don't have any here. My little guy is in preschool and I know for a fact no gun play at school for any reason and since there is only ten kids and three teachers I know that rules are pretty much adhered too. Honestly not sure why I am feeling the need to explain myself. I would be slammed if they weren't watched and left to there own devices and slammed for watching them and caring enough to know where my kids are and what they are doing. So what exactly do you prefer??

Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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Don't they play in their bedrooms? In the yard? In a play room? At a friend's house? At school? At the park?

Sherri - posted on 05/18/2011

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I am a SAHM Jenn were would you like me to go exactly?? They go to school and come home. I am here. They have no friends within walking distance so if they go anywhere they must be driven or more often than not there friends will come here since I am the SAHM. It isn't because I don't trust them it is just simple logistics.

I don't prohibit their imaginations just certain supposed toys that I feel are against what we deem appropriate.

Jodi - posted on 05/18/2011

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My kids have stick guns. They just find sticks and use them if they are wanting to play like that. I rememeber seeing them use cricket bats as guns once. And yes, water pistols in the summer are allowed. I've never BOUGHT a toy gun. The kids will make guns out of whatever they can find.

My son now has some of those nurf guns - he purchased them himself from his account when he was at his dad's house. Oh well. I don't think it will permanently damage his psyche or anything.

Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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I don't think kids NEED to play death games Sherri, but to not allow a certain time of imaginative play is what gets me. If they're just not into playing that way, that's up to them, but I can't imagine that I would tell my kids they couldn't play a certain pretend game, or that I would feel the need to be with them 90% of the time.

Nikkole - posted on 05/18/2011

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My son has a few nurf guns and a lazier gun that has buzz light year. I don't think playing with toy guns are going to turn our kids into crazy shooting monsters it's parents that don't teach gun safety and kids that have other problems that go on shooting rampages!

@Jenn when i was little we played cowboys/girls and Indians a few times and we had so much fun running around (my grandmother lived in the country she had a lot of land) we also pretended to be bank robbers,and policemen! I feel that kids will pretend to play with anything they want so i don't really see the difference between a stick or a Nerf gun with plastic suction cup bullets (well a stick can be more dangerous when running i know from experience lol)!

I also respect all other views about guns but i don't like to live my life in fear and while guns can be scary i have taught my son about gun safety since he was one!

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We don't do guns in our home in any shape or form. Not even squirt guns. On Jacob's second birthday someone bought him some squirt guns. I politely thanked them, hid them, and went and bought him squirt toys shaped like animals (same concept as the guns, even with the trigger). I'd rather him point a whale at me or a shark than what looks really really like a gun. He's recently been exposed to the Nerf guns though. A friend of my husband has started a new hobby with his 12 year old son. They buy Nerf guns and modify them so they shoot faster and farther. They paint them and play war in their back yard. We were visiting not long ago and I found my son out in the garage with the guys, holding a giant nerf assault weapon. I escorted him over to the sandbox to get dirty. No guns. Not until he's old enough to legally learn to shoot and handle one safely and only if he wants to learn how so that he can hunt.

Rosie - posted on 05/18/2011

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i used to not have a problem with them. it's just playing. however after my oldest son found a real gun (a beebee gun) in someones yard and proceeded to take it and play with it, thinking it was a toy gun i get rather skeeved out by them now. i had taught him NEVER to pick up a gun that wasn't his own toy gun, and to tell an adult about it. well, he didn't do that, and god suspended a day from school because he found it on the way to get his brother from his school (so he was on school property with it). he still to this day doesn't believe that it was a real gun.
my child may have a high functioning form of autism (still trying to get him diagnosed) so it may be just a special case, but it still freaks me out. my other boys still manage to make guns out of everything still, so i'm kinda at a loss of what to do.

Ez - posted on 05/18/2011

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Death may be an unavoidable part of life, but where I live, guns certainly aren't. I have no intention of exposing my child to something I disagree with so vehemently. And I hardly see banning toy guns as somehow hindering her imaginative play.

Sherri - posted on 05/18/2011

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I know my kids have attended more than there share of wakes and funerals and have never been shielded from death there whole life. They don't fear it in the least, but that doesn't mean they need to play it??????? Nor have they ever wanted too.

Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011

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That is very sad that the kids do not get ANY time to play alone. I don't know that I had toy guns as a kid, but we did play all sorts of pretend games, and sometimes playing dead was part of it - I really don't see what is so horrible about that - death is, afterall, a part of life, and is something that kids need to learn about and not be taught to be feared.

Sherri - posted on 05/18/2011

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HATE them period!!! I have had kids bring them over to play with for play dates and I have gently handed them to the parents and said we don't allow those here, it would be best if you took it back home with you.

No Jenn I never was allowed to play with toy guns as a kid, never played death. Also my children are never without an adult present and 90% of the time it is me, so I know they are not doing it behind my back.

Tabitha - posted on 05/18/2011

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I am fine with any toys guns. The only thing is i would teach them from a young age that there is to be no pointing at each other and pretend shooting, they can shoot the trees and the ground and the sky but not each other. And if they refuse to comply then they dont get to play with them.

Carol - posted on 05/18/2011

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I am against guns of any sort, toy guns included. However, I went to my brother's house the other day and his 10 year old had one of those nerf guns and all the kids were having a lot of fun. The "gun" was yellow and orange colored and did not look like a real gun at all. BUT, you do load the nerf "bullets" and you have to pull back the barrel?shaft? (I don't even know what it's called) like a rifle before you pull the trigger. It bugged me, but my toddler really was delighted by it.

Ez - posted on 05/18/2011

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There are no toy guns in this house. I despise when kids point them at each other and pretend to shoot. Yuck.

[deleted account]

my son is into swords more than guns so when it comes to pretend play I'd almost rather him pretend to shoot me with a toy gun than run up and hit me in the leg with a toy sword, hurts less

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/18/2011

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I don't like pretend shooting. I don't like guns period. I don't like my son mimicking guns. Oh well I suppose. Boys will be boys, painted nails and all! LOL.

Krista - posted on 05/18/2011

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I'm the same way. I won't be letting my son have any guns that look like the real deal, but I'm sure his dad will be buying him Nerf guns and water guns. As long as it's the two of them playing outside and I don't have to pull a foam suction cup arrow off my forehead, I'm okay with it!

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