That is an interesting article.Thanks.
You know, we aren't gun people. No hunting,no self defense,no antique guns,etc. We don't watch violent tv/movies,etcf. If one of my DS's wants to play at a home he's never been to, I have called these neighbors/friends houses before,to ask if they are gun owners,and if so,if their guns are locked up. I don't really care how/what their reaction is to me and my line of questioning. Some people have been very respectful of my questions,others have treated me like I am "one of those" moms. Whatever. If there are BB guns, I make it clear,that while my DSs are there, I do not want them playing with those.My Dss know our rules,and they haven't budged in all of these years. These guns are not allowed at our home either. Period.
That being said, one day a few years ago, one of my DSs picked up a stick,and started using it like it was a gun. I was shocked. I wondered where he could have even gotten the idea to use a stick for a gun.And, that the gun was to be aimed,and "shot." Talking with my DH later, we concluded, that he had seen kids with water guns(we allow those),so thaqt's how he learned the how to shoot and aim thing. Then, we realized, that he was obviously really listening to the older kid's read alouds-which were about world and american history, and had wqatched his faqir share of Little House on the Prairie! The little stinker put it all together,and thus the pretend gun from a stick. I didn't stop it-just let him play it out. Harmless, in my opinion.
Skip ahead a few years. A couple of my DC are really into all things mysteries-books. Two police officers moved in down the street. This really impressed one of my Ds's! Then, our street started having trouble with one of the neighbors-drug dealers with dangerous dogs. MY youngest DS was scared to even walk past this paricular house.One day, I saw my DS at the window,with a water gun, talking about killing the bad guys!
We had a nice,long talk,and I really think he was feeling powerless in that situation, and this was his way of dealing with these over whelming thoughts and feelings.
All of this to say...it can be harmless play,that doesn't need direction from us adults, or, it can be a "useful" type of play...to work through thoughts and feelings. Nothing huge to dismantle and analyze.