Is Gun Play OK?

 

 

 

” Jennifer L.W. Fink is the founder of BuildingBoys.net, a website that helps parents, educators, and communities build healthy boys. My house is littered with plastic weapons. The toy box contains light sabers and plastic guns. My teen’s closet looks like it’s home to an arsenal; in reality, his “arsenal” is a stash of Airsoft guns. My boys have spent hours jumping off the couch and running around in the woods, pretending to shoot one another. My boys are not psychopaths. (Well, not most of the time anyway!) They are not even particularly violent people. But they—like most American boys—love to play guns.

Does that fact make you uncomfortable? Many Americans are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of gun play, despite the fact that a generation ago, toy guns and holsters were considered appropriate birthday presents for young boys. But as mass shootings become more and more common, Americans’ discomfort with gun play has increased. We want the violence to stop, so we’ve passed strict zero tolerance policies that ban weapons at schools. The result? Seven-year-old boys are suspended from school for chewing pastries into gun shapes, kindergartners are required to write notes of apology after bringing tiny plastic weapons on the bus and seventh graders are suspended from school for a year for using Airsoft guns on private property.

While citizens and legislators debate the pros and cons of gun control, our boys are getting in trouble for gun play. In some places, playing guns is treated almost as severely as playing with guns.

But the research has never shown a link between gun play and a propensity for violence. Playing with toy guns does not increase the chances of your child shooting up a school. Did some school shooters play with pretend guns as children? Surely. But there’s a good chance that your pastor or your kid’s soccer coach played with toy guns too.”

 

 

   Isn’t it peculiar that growing up in the 60’s and 70’s  , when every boy played with toy guns that we didn’t have the plague of violence that seems to be the way in today’s society ? The more risk-averse the nanny state would make us , the less capable we become of conducting ourselves in the real world .

   Come to think about it , another difference between then and now is the fact that , not only did most boys of our generation play with toy guns , but we also were taught how to use and respect REAL guns . We didn’t go around trying to settle our disputes at the point of a gun, now did we ?