Thursday, November 19, 2009

TFT: Kids playing guns

Or should I say.... BOYS playing guns.

From the time Porter was little, I was very anti-guns. I didn't see the point in letting my child "pretend" to be violent. It seemed so... vulgar and just not necessary.

I've stuck to my guns (haha... pun intended) and we don't own any toy guns. I don't allow them in my house and I just plain don't care to support that type of play in my own home. However, Porter has friends that DO play guns and DO have guns at their house and Porter, despite not ever playing at home, has picked up the "fun" idea that boys LOVE playing guns... and he LOVES to go "bear hunting" with Donnie. I have to say, its frickin cute to see them tromping through the woods "hunting" bears and building little stick campfires.

But... what about when it goes beyond "playing hunting".... I guess hunting I can see... hunting I can allow. Many of my friends' husbands hunt and my dad hunted and well, it was always something I was exposed to as a child. However, as a "girl" I never really cared to play "hunting".... (I was more of the 'play veterinarian' type LOL!). Anyhow, there have been a few instances where Porter made the comment to "shoot that person" for being wrong etc.... like if someone cut me off on the highway and he asked why I slammed on my brakes. "I'll shoot that car!"

Uh.... no. frickin. way. So of course we have a long talk about how you DO NOT shoot people. It is NOT RIGHT and you would GO TO JAIL. Its enough to make me want to say NO playing guns ever.... no matter if your friend is playing guns while you are stuck playing with cars etc...

I'm just not sure what to do... it seems like such natural obsession for boys... you should see my 1st grade class... boys are building guns out of legos and peg blocks and crackers and snipping them out of paper. Its just so WEIRD how natural an obsession it is. And I hate it.

So... what is your stance on guns... on playing guns, owning toy guns, playing "hunting" etc.... Am I being overprotective and anal, or am I being sensible in not wanting my boys to play this gruesome fantasy game?


  1. I TOTALLY agree with you! Although I will never have to worry about this as my home is filled with estrogen lol...I still feel the same! Good for you, for stickin to your guns :-)

  2. I agree with you 100%. As far as the hunting goes, I don't see that as an issue if Porter is exposed to it. However I am totally against shooting other people, even for play. It's not necessary.

    What if your child is really into starwars, or some other action movie and they are playing that? Is that allowed? It's a toughy. I just don't know what I'll do, we haven't gone through this with Bennett. We are still into trucks and stuff.

  3. I dread the day guns become an issue because I really hate guns. Like I cringe when I see a kid even walking around with a play gun. I'm going to reserve "what I would do" until I have to live it. Although I hope I don't.

  4. Boys will play guns, no matter what, they are BOYS. If you don't allow toy guns then they will make one out of legos, paper, their hands (just like you stated). Just like girls will place dress up, would you take that away from a girl?

    As a responsible parent you teach them gun safety and appropriate play behavior with guns (like you are doing).

    Remember ALL boys played guns and MOST men don't kill people, but are responsible gun owners and hunters.

    I believe in guns (it is a constitutional right to bear arms) and I believe they make our country safe and my family safe too!

    Just my opinion.

  5. Oooh, this is a good TFT!
    I completely agree with you.
    I always swore I wouldn't do "guns" in our house.
    And we've all heard it must be some inborn things in boys to shoot things, and that's proved true in our case as well... Sawyer on his own started making "shooters" from legos and such. So he does play things like that, but one of the biggest rules (not in that we have to emphasize it all the time, because he's really not shooting all that often, but in that it's one of the rules I am most adamant on and will not let even come close to crossing the line) in our house the big rule is we DO NOT SHOOT AT PEOPLE (or domesticated animals). EVER. My kids shoot down block towers and imaginary jungle/wild animals, stuffed animals... it's more like target practice :).
    We did get Sawyer a nerf foam/suction cup dart gun thingie this past summer after he completely fell in love with it at a friends house. But it's never been an issue of shooting people... he just knows "shooters" are for fun. He makes up targets and they have shooting competitions and stuff.
    We don't even call it a gun... my kids refer to them as "shooters". I like that language better just because it infers play and shooting for aim or for knocking things down, rather than guns for injuring or killing, you know?

    I think gun play these days is a scary thing... even in the "innocence" of kids. Like you said -especially in this day and age- (I always feel so OLD saying that phrase) there is nothing positive about letting your child pretend to be violent. Sure it was one thing 40 years ago when boys ran around and played cops and robbers or cowboys and indains with guns... but now gun violence is just to real in our world and just too much of an everyday thing that it is, in my opinion, not something to make light of.

  6. Jennifer Cowan, my thoughts exactly!

  7. Ditto to what Jennifer Cowan said.

  8. Thanks for posting this Nicole. Although I think nothing will help to get this drilled into Tony's head about the mother's perspective of toy guns and shooting. Tony and I have completely disagreed about this from day one. He has the mentality that he grew up playing 'cops and robbers' and 'cowboys and indians'. So he's done the shoot the people thing, and I HATE it! I Wouldn't so much have a problem with the hunting aspect, but his whole persepective hasn't been 'hunting' its the 'cowboys and indians' and 'cops and robbers'. And that is what irritates me. Its people shooting people. He raised raised in that sort of house, and granted I was too. We both have southern blood in us. But still doesn't mean I have to agree with it and allow my 3-4 year old child to have a misconception about it.

    So what happens?!? His parents buy Lukas a toy shotgun, rifle, whatever it is. Its long and it was obviously against my wishes. And this gun stays at their house. Their point is, its not in my house, and they think that is the funny part.

    And what did Lukas now get for his birthday from them? A toy Nerf Gun. Like this one is suppose to be better than a toy rifle, and I 'need' to be okay with this?! WTH!? I was soo not happy with this. But then what do I do? Get into another heated battle with my husband about this? Who obviously doesn't take my side anyway?

    Tony continues to play these games with Lukas and it irates me. They shoot the nerf gun at each other. And in his defense, he says what is the difference from this and paintballing with friends. Which I don't know why he brings up, because we don't ever do that, but anyways. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck here and I hate it!

    So I'm apologizing for my idiotic husband and his choice of mis-using toy nerf guns. I agree, the hunting aspect could be cute, because that is something that is done around here. But I absolutely hate the idea of shooting people. So I'm sorry if this has stemmed from anything from our house and Porter has brought home. I feel ya.

  9. I. HATE. GUNS. Whether they are for target practice, hunting, shooting people, whatever. I hate them. We don't allow toy guns in our house. We will not allow video games that have shooting in them. We have asked the kids' grandparents for the same at their houses. My parents are anti-gun too, so it has worked out great with them. Ben's parents are not anti-gun, but they still respect our wishes.

    As far as the hunting thing goes, I wouldn't allow it in my house because of my (and Okis') huge love of animals. I am not a fan of hunting. That is a personal thing though. I hate the idea of it in my home, but I wouldn't go telling other people not to do it.

  10. WOW!! I was wondering whether or not to comment after reading the first few comments, but Jennifer covered this TFT with the most logical, realistic point of view.

    It should go without saying (but I will anyway) that...whether parents/family members/friends agree with it or not...this is a natural thing and nothing a parent does can stop a boy from liking or doing what boys like or do. Just like it is only natural for girls to be the way girls are.

    It's easy to say things like, "My child will/would never do _____ when I have kids/or he's that age." The truth of it raise your kids to be respectful and educate them about both the seriousness & the fun aspects of what they are responsible for regarding their behavior. Then, it's up to them.

    This is why so many Moms are shocked when 4th-5th grade rolls around and the REAL workload is laid out for our kids and they don't all handle it well or in the same ways. Because, in reality, all those perfect, cute little report cards up until 3rd grade or so...are just the basics.

    My point is, no matter what the topic or what the opinion you have can and will change over the years. Just like your child will. And that's a good thing.

  11. I have to say ditto to Jennifer also...I tried with my almost 7 year old to say no all together but then he would make guns out of anything and everything so now its only Nurf guns that dont look anyhting close to real and no shooting at people unless they have a Nurf gun too no cars animals etc Also my husband plays Call of Duty and the like but my son knows thats a no for him ...I have not solved this problem fully but I have talked with my grandma who raised three boys and they all played cops and robbers cowboys and indians and no one grew up to kill anyone...soooo like I said Im still having a hard time with this.