Posted: September 13, 2011 in Guns, Humans

As most of you know, I am a fan.  But, anyway, about a week or so back Vlad sent me a news article about a program where a community group buys back guns from the public…..but not real guns, and not from adults (a common program around the US actually-done by law enforcement), but toy guns from kids…they trade the toy guns for pizza and such.   You know, NERF guns and squirt guns and so on… because apparently even fake, neon yellow and purple toy guns are dangerous business….


Now, sure enough, I know folk who do not let their kids play with toy guns, or swords or any such thing for that matter.  No plastic green army men, no nerf sword and shield, no violent toys at all.  I suppose that is their right as parents, but hey, I buy into the forbidden fruit theory with kids and I reckon those kids who aren’t allowed those things at home jump at the chance to play with such things at their friends houses! And I remember when there was a huge move,  back in the day, to make toy guns look less realistic after some kid got shot buy the cops for brandishing one of them old skool water Uzi squirt guns- which you know, looked really REAL.  I actually don’t think changing the colors was a bad idea really.  I also know even replica/stunt / paint/ airsoft/ guns which do LOOK real often have a bright orange cap on em to distinguish them from the real deal…. (heh, ask Bullet Tooth Tony about that, he has a great speech on it), and frankly, all these little safety things that determine fake gun from real gun are good IMHO…


The idea that merely playing with squirt guns, ect.,  deadens kids to the realities of violence and gets them used to holding firearms?  Humm.  Kinda a stretch I think.  I can tell ya, all I gotta do is look out my front window to see a ton of happy, well adjusted kids, from super girly girls to rolly polly little wanna be tough guys runnin’ though the hose and having epic squirt gun fights and tossing water ballons  (those are next I bet, they get kids used to chuckin’ grenades!) and having a great old time in the dead of summer heat and I really, really doubt ANY of them will ever actually SHOOT someone with a real gun.  And these kids?  They are not uber yuppie kids of peaceniks either.  Plenty of gun owners in my neighborhood.  Hunters.  A couple cops.  Military folk.  All sorts of adults who have guns.  And you know what?

I am willing to bet cash money that ALL OF THEM encourage gun safety and the proper use of firearms and have been over the dangers and realities of guns – real ones- with their children 100 times and see that they keep the real guns safe.   And if their kids are old enough/interested in shooting? I bet these gun owning parents see that their children  know all the safety rules and are taught properly in secure locations and all that stuff that goes with being a safe, cautious, educated, and responsible Gun Owner.  Which is how ALL gun owners SHOULD be.  And THAT is what people and communities should be doing- IMHO- when it comes to educating kids about guns.

Hell, when I was 12 or so, I went hunting for the first time.  My family had educated me about gun safety and the proper way to use, load, hold, carry, and care for the rifle I was loaned for the hunting trip.  I also got to see, up close and personal, what a gun can do when it meets a deer.  And that was MORE than enough to show me  the truly lethal nature of the weapons we were using.  I never assumed for a second a human would fare any better than that deer did.  I also worked, for a time, in my late teens, in a morgue.  I got to see what guns can do to humans there too….and thusly, while I do like my guns, I have an ultimate respect for them and what they can do.  Now I may just be a hick and all, but that sure as shit taught me to respect and fear guns more than trading out a water pistol for a pizza and a new shirt.  I grew up around guns- not in a gansta laden neighborhood- but rather with a family and circle of friends full of hunters and law enforcement folk (well, okay, and few who had been on the wrong side of law enforcement) and WWII, Korea and Vietnam Vets and well, people who used but respected guns.  The respect part is the key part I reckon…and the part that should be taught.  THAT is what seems to be lacking when it comes to teaching kids about guns…and taking away toys that can provide a kid with hours of fun and recreation is NEVER gonna teach them anything about the realities of firearms and the respect they are due. 

As for people, kids, so on, becoming deadened to the realities of violence?  Well, that is a whole different post, and it’s in the works….

  1. You know, I remember one Christmas as the best of them all from my childhood. I got a big huge stuffed Scottie dog plushie, a pup tent (in which to snuggle my new teddy…dog….presumably), a very pretty ruched-bodice dress with a lavender print, and a Winchester rifle cap gun. I was over the moon. I had not yet discovered sci fi, I think. But all my interests were there except for books, which were like meals: about three a day.

    • Ren says:

      Gin, well,you too are a….hick. Which is a GOOD thing IMHO. Learning to use a gun properly and being taught the respect they are due is key IMHO.

      • Yeah, I think you may be right about that. I call a bitch a bitch and boy, is that ruffling feathers.

        I remember chatting with a woman at the bus stop one day, and my job came up and this very delicate, ladylike little shudder and said, “Oh, I could never do that.” Jeez, how nice to not have to do the dirty jobs and know that somebody else has to, you know? She didn’t have to do that job.

        Right now I’ve offended delicate sensibilities by pointing out that appeasing men is….appeasing men and they’re trying to make it into slut shaming. Some people still don’t have to do shit, and so have conveniently convinced themselves that that’s the same thing as being better than people who do do shit. Like, you know, handling guns and shit. I’m picturing Mr. Bill in a wig.

  2. (heh, ask Bullet Tooth Tony about that, he has a great speech on it)

    Best. Speech. EVER! I was going to watch Snatch tonight but since I’m not doing anything now, I’m gonna pop it in.

    Okay, my parents aren’t gun enthusiasts or anything, but they didn’t see anything wrong with my brother and I playing with toy versions. A former neighbor of my parents, who was a Chicago police officer, years ago when my brother and I were young lost his son because the boy was playing with his sidearm. Still, we didn’t confuse toy gun with real gun and we knew how not to handle real guns. But, the operative concept is the fact that my parents raised us, which seems to be an increasingly novel idea apparently.

  3. rootietoot says:

    Initially I gave much thought to not getting toy guns for the boys, but by the time they were 3, they were picking up gun shaped sticks and shooting at each other, so I said “what the heck, get them some squirt guns and by the way, Terry, I want one too.” We’ve followed the Southern Model of Gun Education, that is, a bb gun at 6, a .22 at 10, a shotgun at 12, and a hunting rifle (30.30) at 16.When they turn 21, they get enough money to buy a handgun, if they want to. No one has ever shot themselves or anyone else and they know how to handle guns. Like you said, hunting allows them to see firsthand the results of getting shot. My 12 year old’s Scout troop teaches gun safety (next weekend is a skeet shoot). I understand why people don’t want guns in their house, and respect that. What I resent is the idea that if they don’t want guns then neither should I. We’re not snarling gunnut rednecks (at least I don’t think so)…(ok maybe CJ looks the part with his new muttonchops), and we don’t parade them around for the whole world to admire, but it’s comforting knowing that we all have a skill set that is practical for both feeding us and self defense. Plus it’s fun….that’s the biggest part for me.

    • Ren says:

      CJ is rockin’ the muttonchops? AHHHAHAHAHAHA EXcellent! 🙂

      And as my good friends in AZ, the Doctor and the UFC Instructor (married, 4 kids, good practicing Presbyterians) have been known to say. “We’re gun owners, that doesn’t make us psychotic barbarians”

  4. Roy Kay says:

    I probably had a cap gun when I was 4 and shot my first .22 at age 5. Never did get a bb gun, since the .22 took the charm away, but I did have a Daisy Air Rifle as well as a toy burp gun.

    Taught the kids gun safety at an early age and they always showed due regard. I’d like to own an AR-15, but have no idea where I’d shoot it. I have 600 feet of woods behind the target backstop and I wouldn’t trust it to stop a wild shot.

    Weird thing I ran into was a cop patrolling the garden apartment building I lived in. He said he’s shot a couple bullets into the air on New Years Eve. and I was dumbstruck that je would take such a risk.

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