Thursday, August 11, 2011

Real Guns Versus Toys

Someone recently purchased a Nerf gun, which shoots little dart like things that are supposed to stick to whatever they hit, for my oldest daughter. This did not make me all that thrilled to say the least.
Even though my wife and are in agreement on guns, or at least I thought we were, she thinks this new toy is fun. She did agree with my rules that it cannot be shot at windows, others or the dog, but thinks it's okay, that it will teach her hand eye coordination in targeting things and then shooting them. I prefer to think that a toy gun invites regular guns to be seen in a less serious light, to which she disagrees. She says that as long as it's being used for target practice then it's okay.
I objected to this logic and said that if she wants her to learn to shoot targets then we should go out and buy her a BB gun and teach her the seriousness of guns, true gun safety and how to shoot. My wife objected to my logic and said that not only was the Nerf gun safer, which she is right about, but that it would teach her more. That I disagree with.
She also pointed out that my brothers and I had toy guns when we were growing up, which I conceded, but our guns did not actually shoot things. We had cap guns, and machine guns that made a lot of noise, but nothing actually came out of the barrel.
I also have to note that our toy guns looked like the real things, but that was before they made toy guns that looked real illegal because cops were shooting too many kids. They kept the real things though. (Maybe if they made real guns look like the toy ones gun violence might go down a little since no one could be considered to be cool by pulling out a gun that's large, orange and green.)
We did have BB guns, but we had to learn gun safety, and set up a safe target in our backyard. I'm okay with doing something like that because I want her to respect guns, not think of them as toys. I do think the voices on both sides of the gun argument have gone a little crazy and are way too strident in their opinions and as a result no one is getting anywhere. But I'm still left with a little girl who wants to run around shooting things and me being uneasy about that.
One cute statement did come out of this. After my wife and I were done talking she came up to me and said "Dad, why do you want me to go store shooting?" To which I replied, "What's store shooting," and she said "You want me to shoot at targets," and of course the only targets she knows is the department store. Out of the mouths of babes....

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