I did something today that I never thought I would. To be fair I never thought I wouldn’t either. It just wasn’t something I thought much about.
I bought Nerf Guns- seven of them! I bought a package of six small guns and one bigger one for Cam.
Over the years Lily has made guns out of many things, no doubt emulating what she’s seen in movies or on tv, but apart from a couple water guns Cam bought last summer she hasn’t really played with fake guns. Even those water guns he bought were a bit too big for her to manoeuvre on her own.
Some members of my local home learning group are getting together next week for a “Nerf War” in the park nearby. When I read the email I thought, why not?
Upon opening up the package, I realised they aren’t as straight forward as I thought. I had to call someone to find out how to make them work! It turns out it’s not so simple for small handed people to cock the gun (?). I had also imagined something different when I saw the “ammo” and was surprised at the strength of the shots even the small gun makes. I have to agree with my friend that the worst part of the whole thing is that they’re plastic toys made in China which we have very little of in the house and generally avoid.
I understand the arguments against having toy guns and know many mothers who would never allow their child to play with one, much less own one. I would agree with not owning or using a gun that looks like a real one for a variety of reasons, including dealing with the consequences of having it be confused with the real variety.
I wonder if one of the reasons I’m not unsettled by my child using one of these toy guns is the fact that I live in a country that has few guns, at least in comparison with the USA. In my experience, we don’t approach gun ownership and use the same at all. Generally speaking, people who have guns here are police, hunters and criminals and all to much smaller a degree than down south. There isn’t a gun in “most” households. We don’t religiously believe that it’s our right, nay duty to own/know how to use a gun. Of course this is generally speaking and I digress.
I know it’s a touchy subject for some but not unlike other topics that occasionally come up I don’t want to give more power to the toy guns than I think it’s worth. I don’t believe that toy guns alone will make children violent. I don’t want my children to think that either. We’re looking forward to running around at the park, enjoying time with friends with hot chocolate and hot dogs.