Toy guns for kids is a controversial issue nowadays, but opponents of toy guns fail to recognize the many reasons they’re good. Firstly, kids loves them!
My son, Chase, is like many boys and girls – he loves toy guns for kids. His arsenal includes nerf guns, tommy guns, machine guns, shotguns with realistic bang noises and even a gun that smokes from the barrel. He knows more about guns than most soldiers … I’m okay with that!
Opponents of toy guns for kids will point out that real life guns are wreaking havoc in our society. While that’s certainly true, there’s a difference between imagination and reality. Kids will fantasize and act out cops and robbers whether you stop them or not. There’s a ridiculous Toy Gun For Kids Buy Back going on in Hayward California where elementary kids are taught that imagination can be dangerous. By teaching children that toy guns for kids are unacceptable, we are also removing one of the props they use for exploring what it means to be a good or bad person in our society. Real guns are used 80 times more often to prevent crime than to cause it.
As parents, we’re certainly concerned about teaching our children responsibility and preventing crime. For this reason it’s worthwhile listing 10 reasons toy guns for kids are good:
- He’s not practicing for a malicious act
I’ve seen the imaginative little scenes he has acted out with his toy weapons, playing and pretending within imaginary situations of conflict and resolution. His methods for reenacting scenes of struggle and pursuit depict good versus evil with a resolution that nearly always end with the triumph of justice and honor. So don’t tell me he’s practicing for a malicious act!
- Boys need “aggressive” play
An article in The Atlantic very nicely admits how boys are boisterous and enjoy “aggressive” play. Boys will be boys, as they say, and what’s wrong with that?
- Most kids are not sociopaths
Mental illness is something we should take seriously, but we, as parents, also recognize the importance of letting healthy children learn in their own ways. By recognizing my child’s ability to express empathy with his toy guns, I am positive he will continue to explore different ways to express it.
- Toy guns for kids don’t lead to real guns
Despite the opposition against toy guns for kids, toy guns don’t lead to real guns any more than video game shootouts are training children to go on mass shooting rampages. Even toy gun opponents begrudgingly admit, “The act of playing with toy guns doesn’t appear to have a direct influence on violence or aggression.”
- Forbidding toy guns for kids doesn’t work
Even when a child doesn’t have one of his guns available, he’ll always find something nearby that magically becomes a weapon. I think it’s a boy thing, and experts agree.
- Toy guns for kids are better than dangerous toys
Frankly, I would rather have my son waving around a harmless gun-shaped piece of plastic than a big, potentially pokey stick. Kids understand that weapons are weapons, so by banning toy guns for kids you are likely to find the kids sword fighting with golf clubs or stakes, or finding other make-shift weapons that are really dangerous.
- Toy guns for kids teach good versus evil
Teaching kids that we live in a world full of evildoers who are held accountable for their actions is just the type of role play most kids use when playing with toy guns. Toy guns for kids are how they learn about hostility and the dangers with real life strangers who mean to do them harm.
- Gun safety can begin early
For parents living in large cities or places where hunting is not possible, perhaps there’s an argument not to talk about guns. But let’s face it, guns are a part of our national character for many families, so toy guns for kids can be a way to introduce rules and safety early on. Together my son and I have gone over the rules of real guns – they are not toys, you always treat them like they’re loaded, and you never point them at anything living (the lessons of using guns for self-defense will come much, much later).
- Policemen and soldiers are cool
There’s no doubt we need to have role models for our children. When children learn to model themselves after our honored civil servants, we raise productive citizens who protect our neighborhoods and fight to preserve the freedoms within our country.
- We need to teach kids about violence
The need for understanding how violence is part of our society, with the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other, is something that can be taught through role play and imaginary games. While toy guns for kids aren’t required, kids readily accept them as tools for settling disputes. We should encourage their understanding for why good should triumph over evil.
Over time, I suspect my son’s fascination with guns will lessen, and he will move on to be interested in playing obnoxious music too loudly, driving his car too fast, and the girl next door — all of which seem more dangerous to me than a plastic toy gun.