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Your thoughts on guns, please... - Page 7

post #121 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Yes but swimming pools serve another function besides intended death which is the sole purpose of a gun.
Which makes it all the more frightening that one can have such a strict anti-gun nature. Guns, which are "only for killing," DON'T kill as frequently as benign things like pools.
post #122 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Watch enough zombie movies and you take a slightly more paranoid view towards home security.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
I just had to . I thought I was the only one who thought this way.
In case of zombie attack, you'd really want to have both firearms *and* a sword-type weapon.

Although this thread has me pondering the wisdom of installing a swimming pool. Or perhaps a moat.
post #123 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
yes accidental deaths from firearms.
A friend of mine when we were 10 managed to pick up a bb gun and shoot another friend in the head with it. She was maybe 75 feet away.
He'd never picked up a gun before.
Skillful shooting needs skill. But anyone can pick up a gun and fire it and have a good chance of doing some damage.
Yes, I guess that is what I would say - it's dumb luck. Also I think a lot of those kinds of accidents happen at close range, or with kids (or even adults) actually pointing a gun at someone close to them, without realizing it is loaded.

But as far as hitting something farther away, you might, but it is just as likely likely that you would hit something inanimate. Of course if you shoot into a crowd, or shoot enough bullets, odds are that eventually you will hit something.
post #124 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
We don't have guns and we don't spend time in the homes of people who have guns, period. We talk a lot about why that is the case.

We don't buy guns, with the exception of supersoaker types, where getting wet is the point, and everyone has to want to join in or we don't use them.

If kids chose to form guns out of their fingers or sticks or whatever, while we don't encourage it, we don't forbid it.

This is us. I have girls and they really have no urge to pretend just yet.
post #125 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Just FYI the bus decapitation was Canadian - it happened on a bus en route from Edmonton to Winnipeg, or the other way around, I can't remember.
Um yes but that was with a machete or large knife IIRC, not a sword and I am not really sure what your point is. All kinds of crazy things are used as weapons rather than for their primary purpose.
post #126 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Which makes it all the more frightening that one can have such a strict anti-gun nature. Guns, which are "only for killing," DON'T kill as frequently as benign things like pools.
I'm not following you here. So I shouldn't be anti gun because people drown in swimming pools? Or if I am anti gun I should be anti swimming pools as well?
Really don't get your point.

A gun's sole intent, if used properly, is to kill.
post #127 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Watch enough zombie movies and you take a slightly more paranoid view towards home security.
So.... your home security is based on Zombie movies? O.K.


Well, as long as we know what we have to work with...

...


...
post #128 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Um yes but that was with a machete or large knife IIRC, not a sword and I am not really sure what your point is. All kinds of crazy things are used as weapons rather than for their primary purpose.
I was pretty much making the point that concern about weapons is not a merely US thing since you'd kind of dismissed her point as if it were a solely US problem. We have school shootings up here as well. I do prefer Canada's approach to gun control and feel safer but it's not like it's a utopian non-violent society.

I don't believe gun play is a lot worse than sword play, but I am still more comfortable with sword play myself.
post #129 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I was pretty much making the point that concern about weapons is not a merely US thing since you'd kind of dismissed her point as if it were a solely US problem. We have school shootings up here as well. I do prefer Canada's approach to gun control and feel safer but it's not like it's a utopian non-violent society.

I don't believe gun play is a lot worse than sword play, but I am still more comfortable with sword play myself.
Oh okay
Well yes things happen here too clearly. But I personally feel a heck of a lot safer in Canada than when I lived in the US with respect to gun safety and general saftey. The culture around guns was just different.
When I was in highschool 25 years ago (omg I feel old) there were regular weekly gun/weapons searches in the student lockers in the schools I went to in Fla.
post #130 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
So.... your home security is based on Zombie movies? O.K.


Well, as long as we know what we have to work with...

...


...
Our home security was created under the belief that one day the velociraptors will escape their island.
post #131 of 163
My thoughts on guns are pretty mixed. I will never own one and I don't want one in my house. This directly relates to the fact that as a child my father held one to my head and asked me if I deserved to live. So I have some issues.

That said, if my children want toy guns that will be fine. My ghosts are not their problem. I have a very close friend who is a significant gun enthusiast. He will be teaching my children gun safety from a very young age. I anticipate taking the kids (one at a time) to a gun range from when they are very young so that they can learn to understand the amount of force and power involved with using guns. I think that ignorance is dangerous. A little bit of knowledge is even more dangerous than ignorance. So there will be lots and lots of gun training and indoctrination into safe gun handling.

I'm also a pretty rabid defender of the 2nd Amendment even though I will never be a gun owner. I absolutely see the value of them.
post #132 of 163
PeainthePod has asked repeatedly for stats and links, so I wanted to provide at least one. Might have time to post more later.

Study done in the Journal of Trauma, August 1998, entitled, "Injuries and deaths due to firearms in the home."

from the abstract:
Quote:
RESULTS: During the study interval (12 months in Memphis, 18 months in Seattle, and Galveston) 626 shootings occurred in or around a residence. This total included 54 unintentional shootings, 118 attempted or completed suicides, and 438 assaults/homicides. Thirteen shootings were legally justifiable or an act of self-defense, including three that involved law enforcement officers acting in the line of duty. For every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

CONCLUSIONS: Guns kept in homes are more likely to be involved in a fatal or nonfatal accidental shooting, criminal assault, or suicide attempt than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.
post #133 of 163
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
OP: If you're still reading, I wanted to make one point that I think I hinted at earlier, but didn't state explicitly.

I don't control my children's pretend play. I just don't do it. Barring someone being hurt in real life (physically, such as sword play turning into "hit each other with sticks" or emotionally, as in exclusionary "we don't want you in this game, because you suck at it" stuff), I let them play. It feels really...icky to me to try to control what someone else is allowed to think, pretend, or imagine. To me, that's a more...antisocial? act than pointing a stick at a friend and saying, "bang, bang - you're dead" (not that I ever heard ds1 use those words), if that friend has no problem with the game. Other obviously disagree with me, but it's something I have strong feelings about.


ETA: "Antisocial" isn't quite the word I'm looking for, but I'm going to let it stand until I can figure out what word I really want.
OP here . Yes, Storm Bride, this makes a lot of sense, and is pretty much how I feel about their play as well. As I stated earlier, I think I'm going to air on the side of allowing the play and teaching the rules and safety and ramifications of guns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
Very very different scenario - and culture IMO in the States.
When I lived there as a highschool student I encountered guns in a number of situations where they would have been accessible to a child. Freaked the ahem out of me.
Karen
And I never did, and my state has very lax gun laws. People out here have guns to hunt, and the utmost safety is used with them. I knew families had guns that I went to visit, but I never ever found one. Nor did any of the friends I had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
In case of zombie attack, you'd really want to have both firearms *and* a sword-type weapon.

Although this thread has me pondering the wisdom of installing a swimming pool. Or perhaps a moat.
Thanks for keeping it lighthearted .

Well, everyone, I am still running all of this over in my head and would really appreciate my thread not getting shut down since I'm still reading over it again.

I was asking more about gun play and toy guns than real guns, the background was included so that you would know what particular ideas about guns my 3.5yo has been exposed to and what is fueling his play, not to specifically ask what you feel about personal gun ownership or gun laws. But thanks for the input anyway, since I had not read some of the stats on it. We personally will not be having a gun in the home (my DH's choice for a variety of reasons) but I don't have a problem with other people having them.

And since DS decided to use his foam sword as a gun this morning, it seems like sort of a lost cause anyway.
post #134 of 163
From the AAP statement:
Quote:
Research in several US urban areas indicates that a gun stored in the home is associated with a threefold increase in the risk of homicide and a fivefold increase in the risk of suicide.
The studies referred to are these:
Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth NB, Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home. N Engl J Med 1993; 329:1084-1091 [Abstract/Free Full Text]
Bailey JE, Kellermann AL, Somes GW, Banton JG, Rivara FP, Rushforth NP Risk factors for violent death of women in the home. Arch Intern Med 1997; 157:777-782 [Abstract/Free Full Text]
Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership. N Engl J Med 1992; 327:467-472 [Abstract]
post #135 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by InMediasRes View Post
I was asking more about gun play and toy guns than real guns, the background was included so that you would know what particular ideas about guns my 3.5yo has been exposed to and what is fueling his play, not to specifically ask what you feel about personal gun ownership or gun laws. But thanks for the input anyway, since I had not read some of the stats on it. We personally will not be having a gun in the home (my DH's choice for a variety of reasons) but I don't have a problem with other people having them.

And since DS decided to use his foam sword as a gun this morning, it seems like sort of a lost cause anyway.
No more real gun stats from me. Just wanted to provide them since they had been asked for.

As for gun play, I was once in the "staunchly against it!" camp, but now think allowing it is better. I think play is how kids process things, and I don't want to limit that. (I do agree with the only consensual players rule for the comfort of other kids.)

I also have never been convinced of any link between gun play as children (or violent video games as teens, for that matter) and attitude towards guns and violence as adults.
post #136 of 163
I used to love to play with those little cap guns that looked like old six-shooters from the cowboy movies:
http://www.moretoyguns.com/Merchant2...ry_Code=Cap150

We had the kind of guns that "shot" the long rolls of caps and ones that "shot" the ring caps. Yes, we shot each other. No, none of us has ever picked up a real gun and shot anybody. I truly don't believe that in one generation kids have lost the ability to define what's "real" and what's "play". We always knew it was play, and that real guns were not to be messed with. I guess it depends on the child.

I did have another cousin (not one that used to play guns with me) that died from a gunshot woound as a teenager. He and his foster brother decided to skip school one day to reinact something they saw in a movie. They didn't think the gun was loaded. It was.

I think gun safety is a valuable tool to give any person, whether you own guns or not. And maybe showing an appropiately aged child/teen how to be safe around a gun, including letting them see and handle an unloaded one, might take the mystery out of it so they won't be tempted to try to handle one that might not be properly secured.
post #137 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Our home security was created under the belief that one day the velociraptors will escape their island.
Sooooo, basically, you have a T-rex tied up in your backyard. In which case, my sons will want to visit asap.
post #138 of 163
We dont know anyone with guns, and ds doesnt watch TV so has never seen them there, but yet ONE time seeing kids play 'shooting' at the playground, and he has been making weapons ever sense!

I HATE guns/weapons of any kind, and I constantly have to tell ds to dissasemble his 'weapon' (usually he cuts one out of paper), or 'throw away' his 'gun' (his hand used as a weapon)

He is not allowed to play with weapons of any kind, even at friends houses (most of his friends this is not an issue, but the ones that do have toy swords and things put them away when we come over and its not a big deal), but it is VERY hard to regulate/explain to him WHY weapons are not toys, and playing 'kill someone/something' is not o.k. (we are vegetarian so this applys to animals too). Even his squirt gun is shaped like a turtle and refered to as a 'squirter' not a gun.

Camping last night there was a bear 3 feet from me on the picnic table, and today ds keeps saying he wish he had a gun to shoot the bear! The poor bear didnt do a thing, we were sleeping in his woods after all, and it had no interest in us anyway (we just went and sat in the car until it left, a little scary, but we were safe!)

I dont know how to discourage it any differently, but what Im doing doesnt work, he still makes weapons out of everything.
post #139 of 163
Okay, just reading your post and responding- I don't really have the time to read 7 pages of responses! Anyway, I'm speaking from personal experience here. I have grown up in a household with guns, and my children have been in households that have guns. They are everywhere even if you don't realize it.
So the question is about playing around with toy guns and shooting people? It sounds like there are two issues here: One is that you don't like the play shooting (and especially being the target), and the other is that you are worried that the play shooting might lead to a real shooting in the case that he actually gets a hold of a gun?

First, I cannot underscore the importance of teaching gun safety. Most likely, you have been in several houses with guns and haven't even known about it. Many gun owners choose not to disclose that they own guns, and some gun owners may not be very cautious about gun storage. Chances are, your ?grandfather? (or was it your DS's grandfather?) is a great person to teach this. This is how we've dealt with it in our household. We, of course, give the whole schpeel about how if someone is hit by a bullet it can maim or kill them. My oldest has seen some violent media (not a part of the gun safety training), so he gets the point, and we're quick to point out that in real life the person shot does not just get up and walk away. We've talked about it at length, that if a trigger is pulled, the bullet has the capacity to kill. THere are some basic safety rules, I'm sure you can find a comprehensive list of these online.
The first rule that applies to every child is:
If you see a gun, and you think it might be real, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Run and get an adult. Even if it might be a toy gun but you're not sure.
The general rules that apply to young and old:
Treat each and every gun as if it's loaded, even if you think it isn't.
Do not point a gun at something unless you intend to shoot it (clarification here is needed for a 3 yo- maybe simply "never point a gun at people or animals")
Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are pointing the gun at what you want to shoot (this is called trigger control)
Always point the gun at the floor when you are looking at it (muzzle control)

If those rules were always followed, no one would ever get unintentionally shot. You can drop a gun and it won't go off. The only thing that will make a gun go off is if you pull the trigger while it's loaded and "cocked" (there's a round in the chamber) with the safety off.

That basic education, given as occasional reminders (in the same way that you might randomly quiz him on what he would do if he got lost) is only part of what I consider to be a true safety course on firearms. The second part isn't for the squeamish, but I consider it to be very important as well (and yes, I think 3 is an okay age for this, but you're his mom so you know best).

We all know that kids like to explore what intrigues them. And if something is completely prohibited, then it's even more interesting. That's why I consider it to be almost as important to let the little one actually handle a gun IF HE'S INTERESTED. Have someone who is completely familiar with the gun unload it, and double check that it's unloaded (no round in the chamber or magazine). Do this in front of the kid while talking through the gun safety rules again. Then carefully hand the gun to the child, reminding him of the rules (tell an adult IMMEDIATELY if you see a gun; never touch a gun unless I'm present; when handling a gun, keep the muzzle down and finger off the trigger; treat every gun as if it's loaded). Let him look at the gun, making sure that he's following the rules while he does so. Then, let him point the gun at an inanimate object and attempt to pull the trigger. Put the gun away carefully after he's done exploring, and remind him of the rules again. Then let him know that anytime he wants to look at the gun, you will try to say yes, but he ALWAYS needs to ask and you must be present. Keep the gun under lock and key. Whenever he wants to look at the gun, try to say "yes" and then repeat the rules as he's looking at it.

This little exercise is beneficial in a few ways.
It helps to satisfy his curiosity about what a real gun looks and feels like.
It brings the issue out into the open, facilitating further discussion.
Having him actually pull the trigger allows you to see when he's actually physically capable of doing so (though keep in mind that guns vary in this respect, but your average 3 yo isn't going to have the strength or hand size to pull the trigger on your average gun).
Actually handling the gun and practicing the safety rules will help to cement them in his mind.

As far as playing with toy guns, I view this as inevitable. I don't really think that refusing to let him have a toy gun is going to help keep him from being hurt by a real one (knowing the rules and keeping the lines of communication open are much more likely to prevent injury or death). But if being "shot" or seeing him point "guns" at other people or animals makes you feel icky, maybe you could tell him so. Maybe you could express that you know he's just playing, and it's just a toy, but when he does that you can't help but think of what real guns do to real people. I've read the "Playful Parenting" take on playing with toy guns (making it a kissing gun), and while I think that has its merits, it left an icky feeling my stomach as well because I consider this to be a very sober topic. So I would try to be honest with him about it.
post #140 of 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Watch enough zombie movies and you take a slightly more paranoid view towards home security.
Oh, now, this sounds like me. I sometimes wile away my time planning how to respond to a zombie apocalypse.

Actually, this thread started out great. I've been wondering where I want to stand on the whole play gun issue as DS1, nearly 3, has been interested in guns for a while now. He got interested in swords pretty young - around 18 months (we let him watch The Princess Bride). Now he's seen bigger kids playing guns (especially water guns, as it's now summer), and I have to deal with it.

My dad was vehemently against gun play, in a kind of emotional, disgusted way. I still played, but I've always carried this weird guilt about it. I don't want to make a knee-jerk policy. I've been doing like what some other PPs discussed - gun play is allowed, but you can only shoot targets (trees, posts, etc.), unless you are playing WITH other people who have AGREED to play. Basically, he has to ask and receive permission before shooting anyone.

I don't want to discourage the pretend play. I think there's value in seeing a violent (play) act through - it gives kids an opportunity to think about the consequences. I discuss with DS that shooting hurts people, and he doesn't want to hurt people. But I think gun play is also a way of exerting control over a powerful force that kids are trying to understand.

Good thread.

ETA: I am also on the side that there's not a huge difference between swords and guns.
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