I don’t remember having toy guns when I was little but I don’t remember them being forbidden either. I like to think my brother and I were smart enough to realize we had no use for them. More likely, my mom was a smart and sly parent who jedi mind tricked us into thinking we didn’t even want them.
At this point in my children’s lives I cannot imagine buying them a toy gun. I am all for them exploring the topics of power or “good vs bad” but they are going to have to use their creativity to find suitable weapons. A stick, their fingers, or a ruler will just have to do. Especially when toy guns today look like this:
Seriously? How can I explain to a child that somehow this is appropriate as a toy, but as a real object its only purpose is to inflict incredible harm on others? It’s not that I think playing with guns will make your child a violent person, but I don’t feel comfortable buying a gun for my kids under the premise that “it’s just a toy.” Even a toy gun needs a context, especially given the way violence is glorified by video games and movies. I’m not saying my kids will never play with them ever because I don’t want to make a huge deal out of it. However, there’s a huge spectrum between a toy water and that Nerf monstrosity. A toy machine gun will never find its way into my house.
Do you allow toy guns in your house? Would you? What are your limitations on gun play?
I participated in a Huffington Post Live segment debating whether our children had the “right to bear toy arms.” The discussion began with Halloween costumes but explored more, from Angelina Jolie to the media’s glorification of weapons. (Spoiler alert: I was the lone parent horrified by these objects.)