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I am definitely against toy guns in general - I won't be buying any. If someone gives them to ds as a gift, then I will wait and see what his reaction is to them and deal with it at the time. I am adamant about him not being exposed to violence on tv, even 'pretend' cartoon type violence (robot shootouts, etc.). He is 3yo right now, and I don't even think he knows what a gun is.

But I wonder if I'm being a bit too uptight about it when it comes to something like waterguns. I'm not talking about black ones that look like semi-automatics or anything. Just your regular orange and yellow ones like we had when we were a kid. And that's the thing - I played with these as a kid, my parents were very anti-violence, and I certainly don't feel like any harm was done.

I understand that we are living in a very different environment these days, but I wonder if getting uptight about something like water guns is really an appropriate reaction to all the violence in our world. Maybe it is, I don't know. That's why I'm posting this!

So what are your thoughts? Is it going overboard to ban every type of toy that can even remotely be related to a violent activity? And can that then make guns even that much more attractive to a child? Or is it an appropriate reaction to the constant barrage of violence in our lives today?
 

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I have no problem with them; I think to the kids it's more the excitement of shooting water rather than the feeling of holding a "gun"- the ones my kids have don't even look much like guns.

In my opinion it's not the toys themselves that contribute to violence. There are so many other socioeconomic factors, not to mention the media, that have altered our culture to one where we are more aware of violence. I don't know if modern times are any more violent that any other period in history. While I certainly would not buy my kids realistic looking toy automatic weapons or violent video games, which are part of the media glorification of violence, taking a "zero tolerance" approach is not the answer either.
 

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We had loads of super-soakers yet somehow mananged not to shoot up our schools. I think banning water guns is just a tad overboard. I see them as just a fun summer toy. I'm more against water ballons because those things HURT when you get hit with them.
 

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If I'm buying them, I buy the ones that don't look like guns. You know, the water squirters that are shaped like sea creatures or whatever. If someone else bought them a bright colored water gun, I'd probably let them keep it. Any kind of realistic looking weapon though, gets tossed out or returned.
 

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We have no issues with guns at all. We own them, our kids own them (water guns and real guns), and our daughter shoots competitively on a rifle team. So water guns don't even register on our radar
Kristi
 

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There are plenty of water squirters that don't look like guns. There's one that DS absolutely ADORES, for example, that is a Spiderman web-blaster type thing.
 

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My mom did not let us play with toy guns at all!!! WE had the dinky animal shaped squirt guns. We were getting soaked and laughed at in neighborhood water fights. Then came supe soakers. She finally relented and we got super soakers. Because they didn't llok that much like guns. And we were getting our butts beat!!!
My brother nailed together wood to make a gun. She also severly limited tv we watched.So were he got that idea? (it's a good thing though) My brother is all grown up, you wanna know what he does for a living? He is a US Marine. A lifer, and when he retires from that he is going to become a state trooper. For about 4 years in his marine career he taught weapons. He was a "weapons expert" no lie. From the boy who wasn't allowed to play with guns to that. I mean what he is doing is good, but because you don't allow something if they want they will find a way. i agree with no guns, 100 % . Except for waterguns, especially pretty colored ones. I would never do a black or really realistic looking one. But just don't let your kid be the one with the pink elephant squirt gun that shoots 2 inches (i'm not even joking)
 

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I don't let my children own any type of gun. I don't make my parenting decisions based on how popular my children will be in the neighbourhood.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Heavenly
I don't let my children own any type of gun. I don't make my parenting decisions based on how popular my children will be in the neighbourhood.
Hear, hear, Heavenly. We were just having a discussion about this on another site I'm on. Here's my opinion (copied from my post there):

Well, I come down on the no toy guns side. Even last summer I let DD play at an outdoor party with squirt guns, but I want to eliminate that by getting some animal ones. I just don't feel comfortable with toy guns any more.

No, I don't think that playing with supersoakers will make all kids into pathological killers. But let me explain three factors that led me to this decision.

1. What XXX said. I wouldn't want to risk a kid or anyone else mixing up toys and the real thing. Kids have been shot by the police over this.

2. An acquaintance in grad. school was killed in a drive-by. I worked with her friend who was gravely injured in the incident while she was still recovering from her injuries (shot in the head). So devastating. So I don't think it's OK that kids are pointing toy guns at each other and pretending to kill or hurt others.

3. My bro is in the Army and served in Iraq (as many of you know). I think the military should be reserved for a last resort. Killing should be a last resort or for defensive purposes. Yes, strife has always been a part of human society, but if we stopped making violence so clean and acceptable, maybe people would think more than twice about using violence as a first or second resort. Why do you think that Army video game is a hugely successful recruiting tool? It hardly shows what the guns actually do to people (I think if you shoot someone, you see a red dot).

Don't want to start a military debate, but I just think that guns should be treated with great respect and in our family toy guns wouldn't normally be part of that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Heavenly
I don't let my children own any type of gun. I don't make my parenting decisions based on how popular my children will be in the neighbourhood.

Ok I am sure this is not an attack on your part. It wasn't that the other kids were making fun of us, it's that we were losing so bad. We didn't have a shot against anyone else. (luckily there were 5 of us and we could play together.)
I think the aniaml guns are cute. But when I got older I wanted to be in watergun fights and I couldn't. I didn't care what the thing looked like. if it was a gun or a hose, or even a bucket. I think if you do decide to let your child play with a brightly colored watergun or whatever you should teach them responsibility with it. Never point it at someone (except in a water gun fight) I don't even let anyone point even there fingers in a gun motion at me. I will teach my children that.
 

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Spray bottles make wonderful water "guns". My parents never had a rule about water guns, but I always prefered my pink spray bottle. When it was set on stream, it shot a good 8 to 10 feet, held more water, and was easier to refill.... this was pre-supersoakers... Wet sponges were also a favorite of mine.
 

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We have about 10 super soakers right now. Our front yard is the super soaker battleground in the neighborhood. It's one way to get the yard watered and the kid bathed!
I don't see anything wrong with water guns. There will not, however, be any kind of real gun in the house ever.
 

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there are so many styles of waterguns out there that you needn't ever have one that looks like a gun.

I won't buy those kinds, but we'll definitely allow supersoakers, or any other style other than ones that are shaped to look like a gun. even if they are neon green guns, they are still "guns" and guns are for killing. whether it's "good killing" (hunting for food) or "bad killing" (murder), I still see no place for a killing instrument in children's play.
 

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This is a tough one at our house. DH is very anti-gun, & I suppose I am more anti-gun than I used to be. He says no guns what-so-ever, & I don't feel stongly enough about it to push for the kids having water pistols. I didn't realise you can get super soakers that don't look like guns, so maybe I'll check into that for next summer. I'll make sure they squirt further than 2 feet tho!


In the end, it doesn't make much difference that we've made our house a gun-free zone.... Ds makes them out of sticks instead & he's never even seen a real one.
 

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Our water guns look more like Star Trek type laser guns than any real gun you'd see. I don't mind them at all. We actually got 12 of them at the dollar store when we chaperoned a youth group camping trip.

I've also noticed that when ds is playing with them, he isn't pretending to kill or hurt people. He's chasing kids going "I'm going to squirt you!"
 
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