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#121 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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Thank you so much, North_of_60 That's exactly what I needed to know. I commend you and your family for being so self-sufficient. It's very admirable.
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#122 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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I doubt anyone on this list doesn't have discussions with their kids about the effects of weapons. Among other things, I certainly have explained to ds that when people die (in a war), it means there are children whose mommies and daddies don't come home ever again. We talk about how sad that is.

My posts were generally directed to the "not over my dead body" crowd that sounded like they forbade all fighting play without addressing any issues. It seems simplistic to me to think that forbidding violent pretending games results in non violent adults and allowing violent pretend play results in violent adults. Like eating and toilet training, there are some things you can not make a child do or not do (pointing fingers and making noises) so talking about it rather than over reacting and freaking out just seems sensible.

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#123 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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I think violence is a part of human nature and that's as it should be. I think killing animals for food is violent and I have no problems with it.

And, I still think playing with weapons like they're toys is misleading. This thread wasn't started b/c someone posted about her kid using sticks or fingers as pretend guns.

Yes, yes.  I'm fabulous. loveeyes.gif  Moving on...

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#124 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 09:29 PM
 
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This thread wasn't started b/c someone posted about her kid using sticks or fingers as pretend guns.
But if a stick is ok, then is it ok to break off branches to make it more gun like? And if that's ok, is it ok to make one out of clay in pottery class, or out of legos? And if that isn't a problem, why is a molded piece of plastic a problem? And if only realistic guns are a problem, then are unrealistic space age laser guns a problem?

I just don't understand how people can have hard and fast rules about it and I find it interesting how people decide exactly what is ok and why it is ok for them.

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#125 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 09:33 PM
 
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And, I still think playing with weapons like they're toys is misleading.
And to nit pick some more, how is playing with something that can not function as a weapon "playing with weapons"? No one is giving their children actual handguns and sending them out back unsupervised.

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#126 of 149 Old 08-08-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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I live in rural Montana, where almost everyone hunts for food, and owns guns. We own some for hunting and will teach dd as soon as it is appropriate, about gun safety. I don't know anyone (we have a very crunchy group of friends, too) that doesn't own a gun - our retired neighbor has a gun rack on his bicycle!! To us, gun safety is very important because of the exposure our dd will have.

I was raised without guns (not in MT ) and I dont' remember my brothers having toy guns. I've never shot one, nor do I care to learn.

We will not be allowing any toy guns in the house. Dallaschildren, you made a great point. I never thought about that. Thanks.

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#127 of 149 Old 08-10-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Does this mean that you will not discuss with him that guns can be tools to other people?
hmm...

no, i believe that at some point we will. he'll live in a world with guns whether i let him play with toys ones or not. it'll be like explaining to him that some of his friends eat meat and that, of course, it's okay to love them and respect them (and everyone) even though all their choices and values don't mirror our own family's.

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#128 of 149 Old 08-10-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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hmm...

no, i believe that at some point we will. he'll live in a world with guns whether i let him play with toys ones or not. it'll be like explaining to him that some of his friends eat meat and that, of course, it's okay to love them and respect them (and everyone) even though all their choices and values don't mirror our own family's.
This is a MUCH nicer way to answer the question than my answer would have been, but does accurately reflect the way that I feel.

Very nicely put, caspian's mama.
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#129 of 149 Old 08-10-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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What about if your child wants to build a trebuchet? Would you deny him that fine physics experiment because it is a weapon for knocking down castle walls? (We built one out of tinker toys ). Would it be ok if he built it but then didn't try to knock down blocks with it?
Death by font! (Sorry. Just had to, especially since before today, trebuchet was only a font to me. Yes, I had to google it.)

And regarding the comments that have been made about preschoolers understanding death by their actions... I have my doubts about that. Everything I've read and studied in child development classes has told me that children don't have that sort of abstract thinking. Yes, they understand hurt, yes, they understand "Fido is in heaven," but they really do often believe that they can take back the violence they've done. (Caveat... this is all based on reading--I don't have a real, live preschooler to study! )

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#130 of 149 Old 08-10-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Death by font!
And I didn't know it was a font. What would a font named trebuchet LOOK like? Probably like nothing I am imagining.


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they really do often believe that they can take back the violence they've done. (Caveat... this is all based on reading--I don't have a real, live preschooler to study! )
Yeah, they don't understand the permanancy of death which is part of why I think making a big deal about weapon play with young children is pointless (safety is more about supervision). Not that I wouldn't talk about it in an age appropriate way that would progress with their age. But my ds is a big tease. Forbidding something is a sure fire way to encourage it.

I have recently added "if you find something gun shaped in our bushes, let me know before picking it up." This is the most probably way that my ds will run into a real gun and he is just getting to the playing outside w/o me close by stage.

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#131 of 149 Old 08-11-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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I have recently added "if you find something gun shaped in our bushes, let me know before picking it up." This is the most probably way that my ds will run into a real gun and he is just getting to the playing outside w/o me close by stage.
I like the idea of calling it something "gun shaped"--it makes the judgment call of "dangerous or not" easier for him to make. (Thinking of the pink "bling" gun mentioned in a previous post.)

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#132 of 149 Old 08-12-2007, 05:18 AM
 
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This is a MUCH nicer way to answer the question than my answer would have been, but does accurately reflect the way that I feel.

Very nicely put, caspian's mama.
I don't understand why you couldn't answer that question "nicely"?

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#133 of 149 Old 08-14-2007, 09:57 PM
 
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Those with an anti toy gun stance may find this interesting http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr...bang-bang.html
there was also a great article in the last month (or maybe the one right before) on how making a big fuss over toy guns might be unneccesary. i plan on not buying toy guns for ds, but i am pretty sure he will "pretend" things around the house or yard are guns...
oh, i LOVE archery...LOVE it, so i can see how the target shooters could love doing that. archery seems safe now because we don't run around shooting eachother with arrows as weapons anymore, but its basically the same thing, mastering accuracy with a weapon in a sporting enviornment.
do anti-toy gun mama's not allow any toy weapon, or is it guns only? i realize this might sound baiting so let me be clear that i am sincerely interested because i never really thought about this situation yet and am wondering what i will do when the time comes.
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#134 of 149 Old 08-14-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Well, OK then. I keep picturing little caveboys running around in their mammoth-skin loin cloths pointing antlers at each other and yelling "Kerpow, you're dead!"
they would've been throwing spears or shooting arrows depending on the era of cave man we are discussing...the gun is a point in evolution in weapondry. someday there will be moms discussing whether or not to let their sons and daughters play with toy laser beams or something insane like that.
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#135 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 12:09 AM
 
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Interesting thread.

My dh is from England and guns (especially handguns) are very rare there. His parents live in a village and respect the need of farmers for shotguns and rifles. But they don't have one and do not see the need to own one. I never had guns around growing up, either. So guns make us both nervous.

But we live in a high gun area - FBI across the street, two police officers down the block, more military and former military than you can shake a stick at ('course my best friend works in anti-bioterrorism - she knows how one could intentionally poison the food supply - but that is another topic for another time...).

I suspect about half the families I know own at least one gun. The reality of this hit home when a friend advised me to ask potential playdate moms whether there are any guns in the house and if so, are they locked up (and the answer "no, but little Johnny knows not to play with them" is insufficient).

So far, we haven't faced the situation, but I know it is there.

In the meantime, we have decided that we don't want any toy guns in our house for the reasons outlined by many previous posters. Guns are not toys - they are powerful tools that need to be respected, treated with care, and only to be used with intentionality, by people who know how to use them.

Now, I know that we have other "powerful tools" in our house that our kids do play with toy versions of - like cars.

Unlike a car, however, a toy gun is much more likely to be mistaken for real - and vice versa. I don't really worry about my son accidentally driving off with my car, for example (he can't reach the clutch, to start with) or think that someone's mazda is something he can try to drive off with. I do worry that he may come across a real gun and believe it is a toy.

And I am also worried that if my son - when he is older than now - were carrying a toy gun in his hands, other people (especially the police) may think he has a real gun. You may think "oh, it is bright orange! No one could think that is real." I think that asking a police officer to make that judgement (toy? Not a toy?) when his life is potentially on the line is foolish and unfair. People get accidentally shot when pulling out a wallet - why make the situation more likely to become deadly by making the potential weapon more weapon shaped?

I have a good friend who is African but lives in the DC metro area. She told me that most families at her church completely ban guns (toy or otherwise) from their homes. Most families don't allow their children to play with them - because they are completely and intimately aware of the racist connotations of a black boy holding a gun in the US.

She told me once "I don't want my son shot because he's got a water pistol in his hand and some stupid person thought 'black kid with a gun, he's probably a gangster'."

My blond haired, blue eyed kid has race priviledges that her kids will never have. But the danger is there, still, for the potential hair trigger situation which exists whenever there are two strangers holding guns in their hands.

If they choose at an older age to learn about guns, I will support them. I want them to be 100% intentional in their usage of guns - and they cannot be until they are older.

My 2 cents.

Siobhan

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#136 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 12:50 AM
 
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Interesting thread.

My dh is from England and guns (especially handguns) are very rare there. His parents live in a village and respect the need of farmers for shotguns and rifles. But they don't have one and do not see the need to own one. I never had guns around growing up, either. So guns make us both nervous.

But we live in a high gun area - FBI across the street, two police officers down the block, more military and former military than you can shake a stick at ('course my best friend works in anti-bioterrorism - she knows how one could intentionally poison the food supply - but that is another topic for another time...).

I suspect about half the families I know own at least one gun. The reality of this hit home when a friend advised me to ask potential playdate moms whether there are any guns in the house and if so, are they locked up (and the answer "no, but little Johnny knows not to play with them" is insufficient).

So far, we haven't faced the situation, but I know it is there.

In the meantime, we have decided that we don't want any toy guns in our house for the reasons outlined by many previous posters. Guns are not toys - they are powerful tools that need to be respected, treated with care, and only to be used with intentionality, by people who know how to use them.

Now, I know that we have other "powerful tools" in our house that our kids do play with toy versions of - like cars.

Unlike a car, however, a toy gun is much more likely to be mistaken for real - and vice versa. I don't really worry about my son accidentally driving off with my car, for example (he can't reach the clutch, to start with) or think that someone's mazda is something he can try to drive off with. I do worry that he may come across a real gun and believe it is a toy.

And I am also worried that if my son - when he is older than now - were carrying a toy gun in his hands, other people (especially the police) may think he has a real gun. You may think "oh, it is bright orange! No one could think that is real." I think that asking a police officer to make that judgement (toy? Not a toy?) when his life is potentially on the line is foolish and unfair. People get accidentally shot when pulling out a wallet - why make the situation more likely to become deadly by making the potential weapon more weapon shaped?

I have a good friend who is African but lives in the DC metro area. She told me that most families at her church completely ban guns (toy or otherwise) from their homes. Most families don't allow their children to play with them - because they are completely and intimately aware of the racist connotations of a black boy holding a gun in the US.

She told me once "I don't want my son shot because he's got a water pistol in his hand and some stupid person thought 'black kid with a gun, he's probably a gangster'."

My blond haired, blue eyed kid has race priviledges that her kids will never have. But the danger is there, still, for the potential hair trigger situation which exists whenever there are two strangers holding guns in their hands.

If they choose at an older age to learn about guns, I will support them. I want them to be 100% intentional in their usage of guns - and they cannot be until they are older.

My 2 cents.

Siobhan
Now does the size of the toy gun matter to you? For example our son plays with the pirate set from playmobil, the muskets are literally the size of your pinkie nail. Personally, I don't think a cop woudl ever mistake this for a real gun.
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#137 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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Now does the size of the toy gun matter to you? For example our son plays with the pirate set from playmobile, the muskets are literally the size of your pinkie nail. Personally, I don't think a cop woudl ever mistake this for a real gun.
Of course not, they'd never see it. And I don't think a cop would mistake a spoon for a gun either. It doesn't mean I want my kid playing with a mock machine gun, though.

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.

And however we try to teach our kids about how what you see on TV, in video games, and hear in music isn't real and that guns are serious tools with legitimate uses that need to be respected, our voices are competing with popular culture which is saying "guns give you power! they make you cool and strong!"

DH recently played a video game where you get shot once, you die. He said it was shocking to realize how used he was to the entire concept of "I have four lives before I have to heal" type of game. He said it completely changed his basic gaming strategy - one shot and game over. And even with that game, he could still start over again.

Yes, kids learn to tell the difference between reality and a game - but I hope they never have to face the reality of shooting a real gun at a real person.

I don't know how to introduce real guns into their lives, especially since there is a big likelihood that they will have friends with guns in their houses. I don't think letting them play with toy guns is the way to do it, however.

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#138 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 04:33 AM
 
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they would've been throwing spears or shooting arrows depending on the era of cave man we are discussing...the gun is a point in evolution in weapondry. someday there will be moms discussing whether or not to let their sons and daughters play with toy laser beams or something insane like that.
Well, this was kinda my point. Posters were saying that their child -- having never, ever seen a gun, spontaneously came up with pointy things that went kerpow made out of waffles, hangers and penises.

I was trying to make the point that I doubted that play gun creation was organically conceived without some exposure, and that cave boys were quite likely NOT making guns out of mammoth tusks. Other weapons, sure... but gun play is just not part of our ancestral genetic makeup.

My point was lost on several, it appears.
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#139 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 07:45 AM
 
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Well, this was kinda my point. Posters were saying that their child -- having never, ever seen a gun, spontaneously came up with pointy things that went kerpow made out of waffles, hangers and penises.

I was trying to make the point that I doubted that play gun creation was organically conceived without some exposure, and that cave boys were quite likely NOT making guns out of mammoth tusks. Other weapons, sure... but gun play is just not part of our ancestral genetic makeup.

My point was lost on several, it appears.
I thought you made a great point and I agree. There were several people saying that their children had never, ever, ever been out of their sight and the kids had spontaneously come up (from their own little minds) the concept of shooting with something fashioned into a gun without having ever been exposed *at all* to guns. Um... well, I just can't believe that. If that were so, why did it take humans hundreds of thousands of years to think up the concept of guns? As vigilant as you can be, at some point, yeah, you're child was exposed to guns and how they work if they are pretending gun play. There is no way a 3 year old is going to be so smart and creative (no matter what their level of intelligence is) to think up "guns" from nothing. That's just a ridiculous claim. It's not "part of our nature". I actually don't even believe that violence is part of human nature. I think that humans, as a whole, are rather peace-loving. It has been consequences that have forced us to use violence.
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#140 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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My point was lost on several, it appears.
i got it the first time, too.

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#141 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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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.
yes, yes! thank you for your word choice there. swords and arrows, to me, have an art to them, where i feel that guns only have a single, highly unglamorous purpose. (when discussing this with dh, he forced me to acknowledge that others may see gun design as artful. i accept this; i just don't agree.)

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.

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#142 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I thought you made a great point and I agree. There were several people saying that their children had never, ever, ever been out of their sight and the kids had spontaneously come up (from their own little minds) the concept of shooting with something fashioned into a gun without having ever been exposed *at all* to guns. Um... well, I just can't believe that. If that were so, why did it take humans hundreds of thousands of years to think up the concept of guns? As vigilant as you can be, at some point, yeah, you're child was exposed to guns and how they work if they are pretending gun play. There is no way a 3 year old is going to be so smart and creative (no matter what their level of intelligence is) to think up "guns" from nothing. That's just a ridiculous claim. It's not "part of our nature". I actually don't even believe that violence is part of human nature. I think that humans, as a whole, are rather peace-loving. It has been consequences that have forced us to use violence.
I can't say for sure that my ds had absolutely no exposure to any guns when he was 3 but he was coming up with the idea of things being projected out of other things with very little to work with. Maybe spray Windex gave him ideas. Maybe his penis gave him ideas. His first pretend shooters did not shoot bullets but they shot a myriad of other things like pee or candy. Even without actual guns, there are enough tools in modern life, like staple guns, for an intelligent 3 yo to come up with the concept of an object projecting a smaller object. If you have a child who will throw a block at a person then "shooting" a person with a projectile is not a big leap for that child.

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#143 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I can't say for sure that my ds had absolutely no exposure to any guns when he was 3 but he was coming up with the idea of things being projected out of other things with very little to work with. Maybe spray Windex gave him ideas. Maybe his penis gave him ideas. His first pretend shooters did not shoot bullets but they shot a myriad of other things like pee or candy. Even without actual guns, there are enough tools in modern life, like staple guns, for an intelligent 3 yo to come up with the concept of an object projecting a smaller object. If you have a child who will throw a block at a person then "shooting" a person with a projectile is not a big leap for that child.
I'm sorry, but it's not a natural progression to think of "shooting" things when you see a projectile. A projectile is just that - something thrown with the arm... to say that it is coming from a device shaped like a gun simply from the imagination... no amount of "intelligence" at 3 years of age is going to trump the imaginations of man for hundreds of thousands of years. I think it's ridiculous to think that your 3 year old came up with a concept of shooting to kill, on his own,when the human race (with millions of very intelligent people through the years) couldn't form the concept until relatively recently. I think the "windex" example is, to put it bluntly, lame. A 3 year old thinking up "bullets" coming out of a "gun" from seeing you using windex?? Come on.
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A 3 year old thinking up "bullets" coming out of a "gun" from seeing you using windex?? Come on.
That is not what I said. He did not come up with the idea of shooting bullets from guns for the purpose of killing people. As a matter of fact, he has never shot a gun with a bullet and killed a person. He has pretended to shoot many different types of projectiles which people somehow think will cause him to come to that end.

He was exposed to the idea of small things coming out of bigger things and realized it could be used in a variety of ways. A staple gun can staple my upholstery fabric. My ds wants to know how far the staples can pop out and thinks about what that can do. He has a staple thrower. He is aware that it could shoot a staple at a person. Take the vacuum. The hose can be put on the other end of the canister and it can blow air. Ds discovers he can put small balls there and shoot balls. He has made an air gun from household objects.

Men for thousands of years were not living with staple guns and vacuums. My child is. He comes up with these ideas. Every object in his life, he figures out all the ways they can be used. I'm constantly surprised with the innovative ways he uses his toys.

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#145 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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So, you made the point... they are exposed to the concept... it's not part of their nature and they don't come up with it all on their own.
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#146 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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So, you made the point... they are exposed to the concept... it's not part of their nature and they don't come up with it all on their own.
Is throwing a rock at someone or something when angry human nature? Is using a tool to do that not human nature?

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#147 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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Studies indicate that even the emotion of anger is not innate so I'd say no, throwing at humans to injure them is not innate.

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#148 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Uh yeah I definitely don't think throwing things at people in anger is innate at all.

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#149 of 149 Old 08-15-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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My son has been known to throw things when angry. This is not something he was taught. I doubt his intent is so much to injure as to express anger with injury being incidental. I doubt I have the only child who has hit or thrown things at people.

Intent to injure wasn't my point, anyway. The point is that one of the defining characteristics of humans is tool making. To throw a rock for whatever reason isn't different than using a tool to throw a rock for whatever reason. It isn't less natural for a human to use a tool to suit their purposes.

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