|This looks pretty innocent, right?|
Before Christmas, there was a Kris Kringle in the 3/4 classes at school, and both my boys participated. Erik came home with a yo-yo and Luey came home with a twin pack of water pistols. As mean as this may sound, the pistols went in the bin. Not only will I not buy fake guns for my boys, but I won't allow others to buy them for them either.
Bryn does have one toy which resembles a gun, and it launches a bat-like creature into the air. I have allowed him to keep this gift because it's not actually a gun, but a propeller mechanism for the bat-like creature... I'm not 100% comfortable with that decision, but I'm trying not to over-react to my complete loathing of guns.
|Not quite so innocent looking.|
Guns were solely invented for the maiming or killing of humans at a distance. Yes, they have been used for hunting, but that was secondary to their original purpose.
People often say gun play is harmless, and yet, if toy shops sold "water-boarding" kits, or "Nooses", or games that encouraged children to mimic strangling one another, parents would be appalled. My children have had Lazer Tag parties, and have accepted (and will continue to accept, I'm sure) invites to Lazer Tag parties, so I can't sit on my high horse and judge others, and this is not what I'm trying to do, either. I do wonder why I have allowed them to have Lazer Tag parties though, when the very thought of having toys guns in the house makes me anxious and even a bit angry.
My brother once had a real life gun held to his person. It was unloaded, but the threat to him at the age of eight was still very real. I just don't see gun play as harmless. At the very least it's is a form of disassociation and desensitization, at worst it makes pretend maiming, killing, and generally evoking fear as a form of power over someone else, a fun game.
|By the way - these boys are holding TOY GUNS.|