In my mind, toy guns, especially given to very young kids, encourage cavalier attitudes towards guns, which I think is dangerous. The problem we all face, I believe, when dealing with the gun question is that we all live in a context where gun violence * is* treated cavalierly in the popular media.
i don't know. maybe it just comes down to me being a big ol' geek. i feel so proud when he's galloping in circles around the yard, brandishing his plastic light saber and singing the "brave sir robin" song. he has been exposed to violence, but i feel that we're helping him to overcome the constant love/hate of it which consumes this society.