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Thread: Help: "Pros And Cons Of ‘Violent Toys’"? .. Parents welcome!

  1. #1
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    Help: "Pros And Cons Of ‘Violent Toys’"? .. Parents welcome!

    Quick summary of what I'm doing....

    An article about children and playing with toy guns. My main headings are "Should Children Play With Guns", "What Appropriate And Inappropriate Toys" and "What Are Pros And Cons Of ‘Violent Toys’"....

    For "What Are Pros And Cons Of ‘Violent Toys’", I can't find any pro's, as in why some parents would let their child play with toy guns, and not ban this type of play.. Any ideas?


    "Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you?
    But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window." -- Steve Bluestone

  2. #2
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    The kids I babysit had their guns tooken away from them by their mother, but their father as the one that bought the guns and given it without saying one word to his wife. A guy thing?
    Thanks so much Ashley for the siggy!
    Zoey Marie NAJ NA RN (flat-coated retriever)
    Wynset's Sam I AM "Sage" RA (shetland sheepdog)
    T.j (english setter)

  3. #3
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    Rather than looking for "pros" you might want to try proving how a positive relationship between parents and children will teach that playing with guns won't lead to violent behaviour. In other words, it won't matter if a kid plays with toy guns if they know that it is a toy and that it won't lead to something destructive later on. That kind on knowledge will come from an involved and loving family/parent. I hope I'm making sense

  4. #4
    I had barbies, Ninja Turtles, toy guns & shoot em up games.. I'm not going around shooting or killing people. I use to even own guns & NEVER thought of harming anybody. I still have a pellet pistol that has been collecting dust for a couple years as I have no real use for it, nor a place to shoot it.

    My dad had a .22 in his closet & not once did I ever touch it. When I was 8, he took me along with my friends to the bedroom & showed it to us. He let us hold it & look at it. He did this so if we found it while playing hide & seek, we would have no need to touch it, as we've already seen it & its nothing new.

    My friends & I use to play cops & Robbers & sometimes turn on other players & try to take over the game. We had water guns, those noise guns & nerf guns. When I have kids, they'll be raised the same way & will have fun playing with brightly coloured guns & learn that play shooting an adult is a bad thing, but play shooting a friend during a game is just fine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by king2005
    I had barbies, Ninja Turtles, toy guns & shoot em up games.. I'm not going around shooting or killing people. I use to even own guns & NEVER thought of harming anybody. I still have a pellet pistol that has been collecting dust for a couple years as I have no real use for it, nor a place to shoot it.

    ...

    My friends & I use to play cops & Robbers & sometimes turn on other players & try to take over the game. We had water guns, those noise guns & nerf guns. When I have kids, they'll be raised the same way & will have fun playing with brightly coloured guns & learn that play shooting an adult is a bad thing, but play shooting a friend during a game is just fine.
    Well said. Parents need to take the responsibility of teaching their children the difference between fantasy and real life. My father played Cowboys & Indians growing up, I played Cops & Robbers, my brother used to be a pirate, complete with a "sword" and make me walk the plank, and none of us have ever even remotely entertained the thought of actually hurting anyone else. Hell, my family used to do Civil War reenactments and my dad and brother would shoot actual guns (filled with blanks, not bullets) but not even that ever made my brother - who was 12 when we started - ever think to attack anyone with a real gun/weapon.

    I personally think that too many people these days are looking to put the blame ANYWHERE else but on themselves. The amount of ridiculous, frivolous lawsuits is enough to prove it.

    But I digress. One of the best things about being able to play games like Pirates or Cops & Robbers was that my imagination was allowed to go into overdrive. No longer was I Jaime. I was a princess who had been captured by an evil pirate. I was a brilliant detective going after the worst bad guy in the history of bad guys. One of the things that my teachers ALWAYS had to say about me to my parents was that I had a terrific imagination. It's because I was allowed to use and expand it.



  6. #6
    A positive thing about toy guns would be learning some gun safety - like not pointing them, etc. They can also learn some history by playing cowboy, pioneer and the like. Guns are a reality and they are not necessarily violent toys. All three of my kids had toy guns (I think) and they were just...toys.

    Now that my kids are adults, two of them still enjoy target practice and are very, very good with guns. One son is a good hunter. Kids play with cars and "wreck" the cars....but that does not lead to driving into buildings and intentionally into other vehicles to make a crash? I believe that pretending and using toys is a healthy thing. Parents need to supervise smaller children and can use the toys to do this. For example - talking about safety and history the same as they might explain caring for a babydoll - see what I mean?

    Plastic or metal toy swords, guns, cars, etc - they are toys and provide fun and learning, make-believe, etc.

    Hope this is a bit helpful - is my opinion.

  7. #7
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    Hmmm....with all the wonderful imaginary things there are out in the world...painting, music, fantasy dress up, legos, etc...WHY do guns and violence need to be focused on at all? While every child that grows up with guns, knives, swords, as play toys don't go onto kill, hurt or maim, I just cannot fathom why it is a 'good' thing to encourage?

    It is all de-sensitizing activities, that really do not teach things that are acceptable in the world today. As an adult, Jonah will not be allowed to have sword fights, and 'kill' things (not if I have anything to say about it), he won't be permitted to point guns at people and pretend that he shoots them.


    Sure, there are people that go on to become Olympic athelets in the javelin throw, and fencing...and, I suppose expert marks(wo)men, but, by and large...those are the exceptions, not the rule.

    IMO, there isn't anything necessary in the violent toys that can't be accomplished with the non-violent toys. So, why stress them at all?

    Now, if I can only eliminate the noisy toys.......

  8. #8
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    As a side note, I won't be stressing for Aidan to play 'Shoot Em Up' or anything else like that, just like my parents didn't with me or my brother. But on the other hand, I am not going to freak out if he comes home and regales me with tales of how he "shot" the bad guy. I will make sure he knows the difference between fantasy and reality and reiterate it as much as I feel the need to.



  9. #9
    I don't understand why guns are such a bad thing. Its the person behind the gun that can be bad. Just like its the Person behind the Pit Bull that can be bad.

    Guns are harmless & so are Pit Bulls. If you raise your child properly to respect these things there is no harm & no stress & your not depriving them of fun/love/hobby. Guns & Pit Bulls are a part of life & are not bad (like drugs, smoking & booze, bad no matter what you do). Besides bats & fists kill FAR more people then any gun. Should we ban baseball? no.

  10. #10
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    I'm the least violent person I know . I had waterguns as a kid. My friends on summer days sometimes had such a blast running all over and trying to squirt each other with water. That's what it was too, we wanted to squirt with water, we weren't even pretending that we were killing. I was really surprised to hear that now even water guns are frowned upon as promoting violence.

    I also had one of those little hand-made wooden "gun" with a cork in the end on a string and you pulled the handle back and pushed it in fast to make the cork pop out and make a "POP" sound. I got it at Silver Dollar City (hand crafted) and I loved that little thing.

    I really have to agree with some of the others that a child playing with a toy gun of some type has little to do with whether they are of a violent nature and I do not think it is desensitizing to violence at all, because shooting with a squirt gun does nothing other than make someone else wet . I do think there are lines that should be drawn but that is really up to each parent with what they feel is best. The two "guns" I mentioned above were the only ones I had. We did play cops and robbers and those common childhood games but if we used "guns" we used our hands (index finger pointed out with the bottom three fingers folded in) as pretend ones. I guess it just comes down to what each parent feels is appropriate.

    I DO feel that some video/computer games and violent movies on TV can desensitize to death and violence but that's another subject.
    Mom to Raven and Rudy the greyhound

    Missing always: Tasha & Tommy, at the Rainbow Bridge

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by K9soul
    I DO feel that some video/computer games and violent movies on TV can desensitize to death and violence but that's another subject.
    I've played all the super nasty games & LOVED them. But in real life its quite different. Real blood bothers me (to a point I do like first aid), fake does not. Finding a dead body really bothers me, while fake does not. Smelling a rotting human body in the heat of summer nearly makes me pass out cold, hmmm can't really give a fake for that one. Seeing a fight scares the heck out of me & ALL I can think of is how do I stop it & I hope no one is hurt, but I'll make a nasty gory mess in my games & enjoy it. I've never enjoyed fights & I've always tried my darnest to get out of them & to avoid them, but I'll gladly pick a fight in a video game or cheer on in a movie.

    I don't know but I'm still sensitive to all the daily life goings & I'm ok with a gross movie (just not at night when I'm tired, stupid mind games)

  12. #12
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    I believe they CAN desensitize, not that they will in every case. Also I was talking about young children playing/watching these things, not teenagers/adults. But again, that's not this thread topic so I didn't want to go into it .

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by king2005

    Guns are harmless & so are Pit Bulls. If you raise your child properly to respect these things there is no harm & no stress & your not depriving them of fun/love/hobby. Guns & Pit Bulls are a part of life & are not bad (like drugs, smoking & booze, bad no matter what you do). Besides bats & fists kill FAR more people then any gun. Should we ban baseball? no.
    King, where do you get your statement that bats and fists kill FAR more people than any gun? That is an interesting comment, and one I would have normally said, "no way" too. However, always being open minded...I would like to know where you came up with that.

    I am not sure many people would agree with your statment that guns are harmless...really, that is kind of out there. Here, in Cincinnati, guns are far from harmless.

    And, on a personal note, I drink 'booze'. I take exception to your comment that this is 'bad no matter what you do'.

    K9soul- water guns shoot water. That is their 'job'. You don't normally kill someone with water, though, I suppose some of those super soaker ones are pretty damaging. I see a difference (big, or slight, I don't know) with water guns, and chasing everyone all over the yard with the intent on getting them wet, versus chasing someone all over the yard, to 'kill' them, even in jest.

    As for the movies/video games? I think, like pot, they are stepping stones to other things, starting with violent hobbies (as I think someone called them above) as younger children.

    I don't condone violence, or violent actions, in jest, in play and in real life. That is my parental stance. I figure kids will do what they do without being 'encouraged' by the adult in their life purchasing violent toys/games, etc., for them. Possibly, some of the people reading this thread, or, even posting here (egads!) watch the movies, play the video games themselves, and can't/won't make the changes themselves. BUT, these people aren't impressionable children (or, they shouldn't be...he he he).

    Like the others have stated- they turned out fine without being 'deprived' of these toys as kids, and I turned out fine BY being 'deprived' of these toys.

    To me, it is an outlook on life, on values, and on standing up for what I do and don't believe in.

    Jonah will have to be deprived. Shudder...I hope he can recover from it!

  14. #14
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    Personally, I can see both sides. I think it does depend on the parents a lot, teaching about safety, etc. There are plenty of kids who are not harmed by playing with toy guns as kids, but if they don't understand that real guns are not toys then there can be a problem. Our society is so violent already, it's so sad. I never had toy guns as a child, basically because I never had the desire. I think I do remember playing cops & robbers with neighbors, but we used our fingers as the guns.

    I don't have kids yet, but when I do I think that I will try to keep them from playing with lots of violent toys, and certainly keep them from the violent video games and tv.

  15. #15
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    I definitely believe it is an individual parental decision and I see nothing wrong at all if a parent decides they don't want their children to have those types of toys. I certainly wouldn't call a child deprived for not having it. I think if a parent does allow it, there should be rules set down about it and lines drawn. I guess what I'm saying is if a parent does allow it I don't think it necessarily will do any lasting harm and doesn't in of itself reflect them as bad parents. Would I, if I were a parent, get my children toy guns? I might get them squirt guns like I had as a kid but as Johanna said, I'd keep my focus to the myriad of other toys and games out there. There are so many cool and inventive toys out there now, certainly much more than when I was growing up!
    Mom to Raven and Rudy the greyhound

    Missing always: Tasha & Tommy, at the Rainbow Bridge

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