Boys and their toys

by Gene on Jan. 07th, 2008

The British government is encouraging schools to allow young boys to play with toy guns. Their studies have shown that such play helps boys’ development, by allowing them to experiment with risk-taking behavior in a safe environment. This in turn helps their intellectual development.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Ben's picture
Ben says:

Great, Lets teach kids that guns are toys...

How about we teach them what a gun is, how to handle it safely, effects of a gunshot wound, and what the responsibilities of owning a firearm include. This way the kids could safely assume risk and the excitement of operating a firearm without the poor training of pointing the guns at each other and pretending to kill other kids with the guns. I was taught at an early age how to safely handle firearms and learned that they are not toys. I think even at an early age if you take away the child’s curiosity and replace it with knowledge; you can help prevent accidents.

posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 8:15am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Indeed. Of course, toy guns are toys, by definition. And playing with them can be the first step toward the sensible solution you propose.

(Children will make-believe all sorts of things. Many like to pretend they are pilots or firemen or race car drivers -- not exactly safe activities for a child, either.)

The report was trying to counteract the widespread notion that aggressive play should be repressed. Actual aggression -- sure. But play aggression helps children learn how to deal with real emotions. Repress that play, and the emotions, and the behavior associated with it, won't develop properly.

posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 4:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Gene,

I understand what you are trying to say. Unfortunately on this topic I think there is a much better way to have them learn about guns and the emotions they can cause.
For playing a game of cops and robbers you don’t need the look-a-like toy gun to pretend that you are shooting someone; grab a stick and point, you now have your gun. Another problem with toy guns is that the police like to shoot kids that are out playing with them. Once again, if it looks like a gun, it needs to be treated like a real gun; because you might not be the only one who needs to know if it is a toy or not.
The closest thing I can come up with that is like a toy gun is a BB gun or pellet gun. Those are still capable of causing great bodily harm so they need to be treated with respect. 'I' would still allow my child after proper education and level out to shoot cans or targets for fun. Shoot a squirrel and you get to feel the emotion of killing, you get to know that the living thing you just killed will never come back, it is not a game, gun violence has a level of finality to it, and you can not go back once you pull the trigger. I think that is a much better lesson on the true ability and nature of gun violence.

-Ben

posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 8:24am
margarita's picture
margarita says:

well personayl i ahte guns i dont think kids for sure shouldnt be able to play with gus excpecialy not in school

posted on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 11:22am
carol's picture
carol says:

I agree with you on that especially now a days innoceint people are getting shot for know reason.

posted on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 11:26am

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