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Young Children, and toy guns?? what's a parent to do??

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posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 07:30 AM

Originally posted by JakiusFogg
Young Children, and toy guns?? what's a parent to do??

Move to a country with some semblance of gun laws.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:11 AM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

I guess its up to you as far as it is..its also a social thing. I guess Im soon as I could, I channeled I mine into sport. Being an umpire regulated space where violence means immediate removal form the field..he's learned a different way about risk/rewards of violence of any kind. The only schoolyard or backyard game mines ever really played out side of that sport are 'tiggy' or handball...the only 'war' games weve ever had were with water pistols in summer. Guns and mimickry of actual violence has never come into his childhood at all.

For the most learn what they see so where is he seeng the violent behavior or hearing those words? Where is he getting the idea from that violence is ;ok'...reasonable or socially agreeable?
Are you are watching uber violent shows on tv? Even the news, or wrestling/cage fighting and even some cartoons meant for kids are far beyond kid safe these if you are very concerned find where is he seeing it.

I didnt buy toy guns for mine not just because of a political stance of any kind..he just wasnt interested and didn't grow up in a home or a society that is violence or gun accepting, so mines never made the same connections that guns and violence are a normal part of social behaviour as many of the worlds children have no choice but to make.
He's not had to go and learn to defend himself physically either, he uses his wits against bullies and is so physically fit he can outrun almost everyone if it came to worse..and thats worked for him so far...long enough at least for him to see for himself the real results socially for those that do rely on know for himself that he's made the right choice.

Ive not doubt though that if I had pushed him to see that or to make the choice..he'd not have fared so well or would have rebeled right the opposite way.

As an old mum of now grown boys..I say follow your instinct..and if you dont wish to make the issue of violence bigger..dont make IT an issue. When looking for solutions, dont make it about avoiding the violence/guns/swords etc.....just make something else more fun and attractive...if you tech the basics of self respect..respect for others come of their own cant over protect them without harming them.. but you can work with them and support the growth of their conscience and reason.

edit on 15-4-2012 by Rosha because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:15 AM
Young Children, and toy guns?? what's a parent to do??

Well, if one is active in your child's life then let him or her play with them. They are only toys, and when they get older and more responsible talk to them about the issues involved in the use of firearms. In all honestly I prefer this then the parents thinking the government should be involved - why should they when a responsible parent is all that is needed.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:17 AM
Relax and let kids play. If you don't want kids pretending to shoot a gun you will probably have to keep them from being exposed to the concept of a gun so they can't watch tv, movies, video games, and even music. They won't be able to talk to other kids or they might learn what a gun is. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of all kids have play acted violence in some way and it didn't affect their personalities as adults. I think when you hear of rare cases of people committing violence that were obsessed with violent games, music, weapons, or a book etc. it was not the object that started the violent tendencies but rather the person had issues anyway. My teenage son played with toy guns when he was young. Later he took hunter safety and also target shooting. He listens to music that sounds to me like the lead singer is about ready to throw up. He enjoys watching UFC fights and plays rugby. He and his friends enjoy playing video games with guns and violence. However he also volunteers at the homeless shelter, takes care of dogs in rescue, and has never been in trouble at school or with the law. You can't keep your kids locked away from the world.
edit on 15-4-2012 by TZela because: spelling

edit on 15-4-2012 by TZela because: adding a thought

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:30 AM
I am not a parent. However, due to brain weirdness, I remember my childhood from 2 1/2 years onward with nigh crystal clarity. And I can tell you this:

Mentally normal children actually have a pretty good grasp on what is real and what isn't, the line between fantasy and reality. They are consummate actors, but they know when they are pretending and when they are not. Some slip-ups may occur, of course, they're only human just like the rest of us, and the world is a shiny, new place full of learning experiences to them. Most parents, fortunately, don't give their children Real guns to learn from their mistakes the hardest way.

Children are also pretty well determined to do what they want to do, whether or not you, as a parent, approve of it. As another poster said, he and his friends made gun analogues from things as basic as sticks on the ground, and another indicated that his father had done the same thing. I know my brothers and I did as well when we didn't have enough bright orange plastic guns to go around between us. And, even in the face of significant parental disapproval, we played stick swords religiously and occasionally did injure ourselves. But it was fun, it was part of what being a kid is about, defying orders and getting the gnarly scars to prove it.

The best course of action if you are worried about your son's grasp on reality is to ask him about it. Have a conversation. You are allowed to talk with your children, even in this day and age. It isn't as if they are some strange experiment you are only allowed to modify from afar, they're your flesh and blood and they are people. Explaining to him that there is a big difference between pretend violence with toy weapons and real violence with real weapons, and then having him look at you like he wasn't born yesterday and why are you telling me this with an exasperated "I knowww daaaadddd"... might take a load off your mind.

ETA: how my brothers and I have turned out so far:
I am a starving artist who cries when she reads about people dying in the news. I am moderately proficient with real weapons, and my boyfriend and I enjoy shooting as a pastime. Anti-war despite the fantasy battles that rage in my imagination.
Brother 1 is in the Navy, was on the boat that dumped OBL in the ocean, has been active duty since 2010 and is doing very well for himself, wants to be a career military man. Is still in general a man of peace. The irony isn't lost on him.
Brother 2 is a recent high school graduate, and after a year of self-discovery has decided that he wishes to pursue an education in theoretical physics. Is afraid of real guns, but doesn't think much about war and violence.
Brother 3 is gunning (lol_puns) to be the youngest manager of the grocery store where he works, wants to pursue business and finance when he gets to college, enjoys collecting and playing with swords, and goes paintballing regularly.
edit on 15-4-2012 by nithaiah because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:41 AM
The answer to your question is, education. You played with guns, went on to being well trained with them. Why can't you pass along your values and the respect of weapons you were taught. We, as parents, are The biggest influence in our children's lives. They see all kinds of things on TV, in video games and in every day life. But they pay more attention to what they see us do from day to day. Taking toy guns from your kid is not going to take the idea of playing with one out of his mind. Teach him how to be safe, teach him respect for a weapon and that it is only to be used as a last resort. He's 4, now would be a good time to start lessons that will last the rest of his life.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:46 AM
Kids are probably a bit more self-aware than you might think. They learn that kind of difference at age 2 or 3, from watching cartoons, and recognizing that their own bodies don't work like that. I played with toy guns constantly - "supersoakers" early on, then paintball guns at 12-13.

I've gone shooting with real guns twice, and it felt very unnatural. It's not about having fun, but more about feeling powerful and in complete control over a powerful weapon. The motivation behind it, and the feeling you get out of it are utterly different than with typical play guns.

My advice - keep a close check on your kid's usage of modern, super-realistic video games like the Modern Warfare franchise. The friends of mine who got hooked on those war-simulation games early, went on to buy real guns later on. All except one of them - that guy joined the military. (I'm in my late twenties, my friends and I grew up with the evolution of these games) Also, and this is just my opinion, those friends of mine seem to be far more indifferent to war and the suffering caused by it.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:54 AM
I grew up in the 70's. I had all manner of cap guns, bb guns, pellet guns etc

got it out of my system, and I have never owened a real gun

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:05 AM
I owned an armory of toy guns, plastic swords, shields, projectiles, and the like..... and all my friends did as well. It didn't negatively affect any of us in the slightest, and to be honest, in the long run it gave me a broader respect for ALL weapons (guns or melee); knowing what they are used for, and which is the "dangerous end" you should never point in the direction of people. Common sense and animal instinct take care of most of the informing (this object goes boom = don't cram it in your eyeball)

I think if people in general aren't able to sit down and get an informative point across to their OWN child, then there is a whole other series of problems that must be addressed. And if that child shows signs of instability towards such actions (definitive signs of a "troubled individual"), then i state again there are much more pressing issues at hand than if he can "play with the toy".

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

I would like to add to this conversation for you.

I am a son of a gun enthusiast (That is such a mild word) and I myself am a gun enthusiast (nowhere near my Father's level) and I was taught about guns from a very early age.

My father taught me all about our rights as Americans and he was very vocal and active about using them.

He never let us play with toy guns because guns are not toys. Forget about the kids that get shot each year by police and citizens who mistake a toy for a real gun. It is the fact that you can't play with guns without pointing the gun at somebody.

You NEVER point a gun at anything you do not intend to kill. It doesn't matter if it is an unloaded gun, just the barrel, just the handle, or a toy.

He explained this to me and compensated for it by taking me to the gun range and letting me shoot real guns.

The trade off was well worth it and he never compromised his rules of gun safety.

Again, Number 1: Never point a gun (any gun) at something you do not intend to kill.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by Sablicious

Say what?

Move to a country with some semblance of gun laws.

We have over 20,000 gun laws in the United States. Everyone one of them is unconstitutional and should be erased but we have plenty of gun laws in America.

I think without guns being freely available in American the government and criminals would be much worse than they are today.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by sdocpublishing

You make such an important point about never pointing a gun, loaded or unloaded that I will star you for that but from being around a lot of kids the vast majority can make the jump from fantasy to reality and the rules and common sense that apply as they mature. When we were kids my husband and I remember neighborhood kids having pretend shootouts, cops and robbers etc. The one "shot" usually fell down "dead" then jumped up again to continue playing. I don't believe this experience altered our perceptions of real guns or death. As adults my husband and I enjoy shooting trap, skeet, sporting clays etc. and we would never be influenced by our childhood play to point a real gun at anyone. But I respect how your dad raised you too. You sound like very good advocates of gun ownership and responsibility.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:38 AM
To the OP, let your child handle the weapons but teach him responsibility and that they replicate live weapons with fatal consequences. Banning them will only increase his curiosity and work against you. You were in the service and turned out just fine from what it sounds like. Teach your child safety rules and that weapons are not "toys" in real life. Than once we turns 10-12 years old, get him a nice .22LR to learn how to plink and really understand the intricacies of the weapon and consequences of misuse. Good luck!

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by JakiusFogg

I dont think theres anything wrong at all with a kid playing with a toy Son has more toy guns,knives and swords than any other kid I know ....he is a very loving kind young man and doesnt lean towartds violence at all!!!!..I've also been able to use the toy guns to teach him respect for firearms !!(never point guns at people or his animals) The VIOLENCE you see in youth of today does not come from Violence in movies or playing with toy guns or weapons...It come from what THEY see YOU do while you are RAISING them!!!!!! and how you react to different situations.(arguments and such) If they see you blowing up over the simplest of things then thats how they are gonna react when they grow up!!!!! Kids are almost a carbon copy of you!! You get back what you put in them!!! If you put love and kindness in,then Xpect Love and Kindness out of them!!

Now for the peeps who are gonna disagree I do believe violence on tv and vid games will desensitize them...somewhat but not as much as some say .

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 11:48 AM
Now is the perfect time to let your child learn how to respect a gun. If he points a toy gun at someone (outside the realm of playing a game of war or whatever), you can let him know it's wrong. Do it now, before it's a REAL gun, and he has no clue, and winds up killing someone.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:03 PM

Originally posted by navy_vet_stg3
Now is the perfect time to let your child learn how to respect a gun. If he points a toy gun at someone (outside the realm of playing a game of war or whatever), you can let him know it's wrong. Do it now, before it's a REAL gun, and he has no clue, and winds up killing someone.

Wow...the rhetoric on ATS gets better and better!

What is wrong with your statement?........hmmm where do i start?

Why is pointing a "toy" gun at someone so wrong if he is allowed to play war?

what is it you tell him that is wrong if he thinks its ok to "Play" war?

with your rhetoric he will end up killing someone with a real a soldier!

No wonder we have thousands of teenagers around the western world just dying to join the armed forces, because they know no better!
I say shame on you!....Shame on you all for letting our children down!

War is not ok, death by the gun is not ok!
Whats up with you lot!

I feel sad that i'm a total minority here......there is no hope for our kids until war becomes unacceptable!

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:07 PM
Well based on most of these comments I don't think you have much to worry about. I had a really sweet toy machine gun when I was a kid, and played Mortal Kombat on the SNES all the time, yet never had any trouble with violence or the law, got my college degree etc. As long as your kid understands the difference between fantasy and reality, everything should be fine.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by zerozero00

I think you should just put your kids in a rubber room, they might get hurt.

Guess what, boys (and some girls) like to play WAR when they are children, I know some of you might not like to admit this, but violence and brutality are part of human nature.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:54 PM
I know it's been said before and it'll be said again in this thread, but I can't stress it enough. Education is the key here, you MUST educated your son about the real life effect of weapons on the human body. Explain that real death means you don't get to get back up and go home when mom calls you for dinner. I was raised around firearms from an early age and not once did I pick up one of the real guns that were perfectly accessible to me when I was 5, 10, or 15 years old and use them for play or in an unsafe manner.

Does this mean I didn't play war or GI joe with my friends? No you can bet we played war and enjoyed the heck out of it. Hell we even had a couple of kids in the neighborhood whose parents wouldn't let them have toy guns and knives. We of course found them spare toys of our own to use in these neighborhood wide war games or equipped them with the old standby, sticks and a good imagination.

Children are not stupid. I'll say that again for those that don't want to believe it, Children are NOT stupid. Growing up I knew the difference between a real gun and the toys we used when playing in the neighborhood. Your child will too, especially if you take the time to explain the difference to them in words they can understand.

To break this down though here are the facts:

1. Guns exist and will continue to exist for the foreseeable future: Like the old story of Pandora's box goes you can't put them back in the box and have the world unremember them,

2. you are not going to stop your kid from playing cowboys and indians or war or whatever they play in your area: Whether you give them toy guns or not they will play these games with their friends, even if they have to do it while you're not looking.

3. This leaves you with a choice. It can be YOU or someone far less responsible that gives your child an education about guns: Your child will get the information somewhere whether you want them to or not. And if it's not you giving them the information god only knows what your child could end up believing in. Education about guns needs to start at an early age for it to be effective IMHO.

With all this said I respect and empathize with your predicament, and hope you find a solution that works for you and your child.

posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 12:54 PM
I think you need to relax and teach your son the difference between a toy gun and a real gun. The consequences of role playing and real life.

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