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“I’d tell (kids who are my patients) that they need to shoot: They need to shoot each other, they need to shoot their parents, they need to shoot me. It’s one of the best tools they have for dealing with their aggressions, and taking that away from them only complicates the problems that the people who want to get rid of toy guns are concerned about.” – Child psychiatrist Lenore Terr in Should Kids Play with Toy Guns? The Great Debate [at]

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  1. …. Is this sarcasm? This doesn’t sound like good advice. I’m all in favor of toy guns, but encouraging kids to shoot people with toys seems like a recipe for disaster when they find a real gun.

    I mean, if you teach the kid how to tell the difference, then you’re okay. But that needs to be part of this encouraging people to shoot.

    • You don’t give the kid a real gun until they’re old enough ti know the difference.
      It’s as simple as that.

      But what, pray tell, are kids supposed to do with toy guns if not shoot each other with them?

  2. FTA,

    “It’s easy to see violence and aggression in society and in the media, and then your sweet, innocent child is saying ‘bang bang’ and ‘I killed you,’ and you get overwhelmed with fear about whether he could grow up to be violent,” Katie Morse, a psychotherapist in private practice in Seattle, tells “As a parent, those are normal, natural responses.”

    Actually, as a parent, that would be abnormal, unnatural handwringing. Hell, as a jittery old woman, that’s what it would be. Do they worry their daughters will become strippers because they keep taking their diapers off and running around the house? Do they worry their kids will become pirates because they play in the tub too long? When they get into the cookie jar, does that mean they will grow up to be bank robbers? FFS, these people will be raising their kids with tarot cards before too long.

    • I think the answer is yes. American society is going around the bend. We have no real enemies left. We’ve become like the kids that inherited a fortune then gets to work on squandering it.

      Consider this! My grandfather tried to fight in WWI, to young, but then fought in WWII and Korea. Can you imagine that generation obsessing about toy guns?

      Anyway I grew up with real guns. More fun.

      • I can’t agree that the US, and the rest of the western world, no longer has enemies. Putin is trying to restore the Soviet empire. China is flexing its muscles. Iran wants to be a regional power.

        ISIS isn’t a military threat but their kind extremism generates bloody terrorist attacks like the one in Kenya a few days ago. I think we have been lucky so far but there is no reason to believe our luck will never run out. Seven years ago, in a department store, an untrained teenager killed 8 people and wounded 4 others before killing himself. (Google von Maur shooting.) Think what half a dozen trained terrorists could do at a large mall during their busiest time.

        The best news is that the domestic crime rate has dropped in half over the past couple of decades. At least where I live, most of the violence is between rival gangs. You are pretty safe if you avoid doing “stupid things in stupid places with stupid people.”

        • Yeah all that is bad, but no one left to utterly wipe us out. No existential threats beyond Islam maybe and I don’t think they could do it.

        • As of late, I am more worried about the Communists in Washington DC than I am about the Communists in Moscow or Peking.

        • Pretty much the biggest threats to the US come from the US. Mexico isn’t muscling its illegal immigrants over the border with tanks, the president is welcoming them with open arms. Iran, North Korea, and Russia are a threat now due to wishy washy social theorist politicians more concerned with using force of government to control how much soda you drink than their one true job of national defense (and roads I suppose.)

          If people keep electing politicians who want to use their power to force people to live exactly how they say, we are doomed.

  3. Note how the writer talks about “injuries from toy guns” by using statistics for air-soft and paintball guns. Does anyone out there really think a paintball gun is a toy?

    • I played paintball as a teenager, no, they’re not toys. You could f*ck someone up with a paintball gun, if you choose to do so.

  4. I grew up playing with toy guns and didn’t grow up to be a murderer, but I didn’t become a gun guy until I was in my mid 20s. I don’t have kids yet, but I have mixed feelings about toy guns. I suppose education and proper storage are the key (rather than fear and handwringing).

    • I grew up with guns and so did my entire family including cousins. I was taught to hunt when I was 14yrs old as well how skin a rabbit and this extended to ALL the girls in the family. If I count all the cousins on both sides of the family, there 21 in all. None grew up as murderers. We are everything from small business owners to PhDs in engineering to forensic accountants. All though some us were wild Childs growing up nobody was ever in real trouble or involved in drugs or anything criminal.

      Safety was always stressed and we were always supervised until we were 18. After college nobody was forced to keep or like guns. Some have continued to stay heavy into the gin hobby, others have not but all have some type of home protection and none are anti-gun. In fact, through marriage we have converted many anti-gun spouses and in one case turned an anti-hunter into someone who hunts and fishes.

      Since many now have children, the issue comes up about toy guns. They issue is not if they are good or bad, it is the hassle of dealing with the stupid school systems. If you can get suspended for making a pop tart into a gun what happens when a 5 yr old who want to boast about a toy gun brings it school to show a friend?

      When I was growing up, one of two things would happen. The teacher would okay, play time is when get home please put the toy away or she would take the “toy” and call your parents who would then have to come retrieve the toy but it would end right there.

      Today, depending on where you live, your child may expelled or they may call DCPS because you are bad parent or maybe forced to endure 6 months in family sessions with the school child psychologist. But, for what? An effing toy?

      The schools have made it a de facto policy to censor, shame and ostracize whatever non-PC behavior they do not like in some cases they are more powerful than the local government. And that is more of the issue than toy guns. If you ever wonder why so many schools are failing, is because the schools involve themselves in too much social engineering than on education and they can do it because most parents are to busy trying to make ends meet that it is far easier to capitulate to the non-sense policies than it is to fight them.

  5. Getting out aggression is a key factor in dealing with life, everyone needs an outlet, even kids. Toys gun won’t make them murders, martial arts won’t the make them fighters, and contact sports won’t make them aggressive.

    If the child starts cutting up the neighbor’s cat, then you have problems.

    • It’s why the violent crime rate began to drop after the release of DOOM in 1993. A healthy release of pent up aggression against fictional characters, instead of real people. As the technology improves, the crime rate continues to drop.
      Might be just correlation, but it makes for a fun theory.

      • lol. I remember coming home from school being mad at some teacher or kid. load up doom (or RoTT), type in iddqd/idkfa and go to town until homework time.

  6. I had a ton of toy guns as a kid. Hell I was pretty much the arms dealer when I came time to play “war”.
    I played paintball as well.

    I’ve never gone on a rampage and have about the highest morals of most people around me.

    The fear these “parents” have vomes from their laziness to actually raise their children. They want everything sanitized “just in case” because they have no intention of putting real effort into raising the children as good people. They just want it to “happen” and think people with good children got “lucky”‘ instead of recognizing the hard work of those parents.

  7. This is something I have changed my mind about…twice. After my son was shot in a home invasion, we prohibited play shooting amongst our grandchildren. To teach them the seriousness of real guns, I taught the 8 and 10 year old grandchildren to shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns in suitable calibers. …..they still love to shoot at each other as play. I agree with this lady. Playing at cops and robbers does not make you a criminal, nor a law enforcement officer, for that matter, later in life.

  8. Gee, When I was a kid, no one even worried about stuff like this, unless you were some sort of liberal communist.

    • My parents were very liberal and yet I played with toy guns, toy bow and arrow, plastic swords, water guns. All of us kids did. No-one thought a bit about it. Heck, the parents bought the toys! I haven’t killed any one yet nor do I intend to except in no-choice self defense. I hope it never happens but best to be prepared.

  9. Looking back at it… we used to shoot each other all the time (playing ‘cowboys and indians’) with everything from cap guns, guns that shot little plastic balls, squirt guns, dart guns, heck even (weak/old) BB guns (yeah, I know)…. Then when I got to be about 12, joined the Boy Scouts and starting shooting a real gun, (a .22, in competition), I had to un-learn all of that. Now even the thought of pointing any kind gun at anyone goes against my matrix (one of the 4 Golden Rules). Strange looking back at it. And not sure what to make of it honestly. One thing for sure, there was no stigma around guns and none of us ended up psycho murderers (or even ever having any kind of gun accidents). It seems it’s usually the kids who’s parents made guns a stigma that end up being retarded around guns. I don’t fear the person with 100 guns. I fear the person with one, who has no idea what they are doing with it – and only knows what they’ve seen on the tee vee

  10. Every kids has a gun. It’s the control consul to Xbox, play station, even the Wi. My six year old kids can out think, out maneuver, out shoot me with that bit of kit.

    It’s maintaining the next generation as THE warrior nation we are.

  11. The fact that there’s even a debate about the value of certain types of play proves that America has gone completely insane.

    While my generation and the previous one were stressing about the Soviet Union taking over the world, the Communists were actually taking over all the professions dealing with children, starting with Dr. Spock and reaching all the way down to local grade school teachers. And we let them.

  12. I was the only child I knew who had a closet full of cap guns. I had a couple of other friends who did too, but in a state like New Jersey, most kids had nutty mothers who tossed their toy guns in the trash after a certain age, only to replace them with Xbox. Oh the irony… This whole back-and-forth about kids and toy guns is just part of a greater pain in the ass anyway, the new American left’s crusade to utterly ruin everyone’s childhood fun. If Johnny wants to sit inside and play with Barbie while his brother plays GIs vs. Krauts in the yard, that’s perfectly fine. But don’t celebrate the former while demonizing the latter in an effort to make Johnny and his Barbie doll tea party “feel more accepted.” I guarantee you, even if he gets made fun of, he doesn’t really care. Kids are nowhere near as fragile as the “self esteem movement” of the 90’s made them out to be.

  13. When I was younger me and my brother ran around the parking lot (We lived next today a church.) Shooting each other with cap guns. Now days we play airsoft and we treat them like real guns; unless we’re playing a game. Stuff like this, especially airsoft, is great stress relief. But you don’t just go telling people to go shoot people. If you do that you have a future bad guy with a gun. Teach kids today respect the gun, respect others and, respect the law.

  14. My kids went to a church daycare at an early age. Playing with toy guns, anything deemed “violent” such as swords, was not allowed. As parents, we went along. No toy guns at home, either.

    Took them to a friend’s work place, one Saturday. They pulled out a box of toys. Both kids, two years apart, were perfect swordsmen, and knew how to use a water pistol. Yeah, they could have learned from watching cartoons, but they had skills I hadn’t seen.

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