While working on a recent revolver-themed issue of Gun Digest the Magazine, I was reminded of just days earlier when my 6-year-old son was playing with a western-style six-shooter cap gun I had bought him during a recent trip to South Dakota.
It was similar to the any dozen of toy guns my friends and I played with when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s. My son had a new friend from school coming over that day, and he commented that he wanted to show him his guns.
“That’ll be fun,” I said, but then a thought hit me.
As a kid before video games and “play dates” became the norm, my life and those of my friends revolved around Whiffle ball, bikes and playing guns—sometimes as cops and robbers, sometimes as cowboys and Indians. More often than not, however, in a time when WWII victories were glorified in the movies and young men were returning from Vietnam with tales of battle, playing guns took the form of mimicking war.
But these are different times, and given the modern suburban disconnect from hunting and firearms common to many of our fellow citizens, I know quite a few parents who don’t allow their kids to play with toy guns. For that reason, I suggested to my boy that he put the guns up; at least until I could talk to the other parents and see how they felt about the matter. I didn’t want to make decisions for their kids anymore than I want them making them for mine.
But this concern isn’t just relegated to non-gunowning parents. I know of at least one gunowner, who in the interest of teaching his children gun safety, doesn’t allow them to play with toy guns either.
My question to you then, as gunowners and parents teaching our kids to respect firearms, should children today be allowed to play with toy guns?
When we posed this question to our magazine readers, the response was spirited to say the least, and while most of them were more than fine with allowing their kids or grandkids to play with toy guns, there were quite a few different opinions as to what type of play was acceptable. Many of these initial responses will appear in the March 27 issue of Gun Digest. Check it out if you get a chance.
In case you missed the opportunity to comment before, we’d love to know how you feel on the topic. Let us know your thoughts and we may just share them in another future issue of Gun Digest as this is quite clearly a topic where most folks have an opinion.
Are you looking for a guide to provide your children with an understanding and respect for firearms? Gun Safety in the Home is your resource. Written by renown firearms instructor Massad Ayoob, the book teaches fundamental firearms safety principles, proper firearms security and storage methods and the correct way to handle firearms, among other important concepts.