Violence is widespread in today’s world. From television and movies to video games and the evening news, children are exposed to violence all the time. The world is a far different place than it was when you or your parents were children, and guns are more prominent in today’s society.
Why shouldn’t children play with toy guns? Several reasons are readily evident and as a parent, you need to make sure that your children understand that they are not supposed to play with toy guns (such as BB guns or pellet guns) because of the dangers they pose.
Children do not always understand just how dangerous guns can be, and when they play with toy guns, it can lead to a fascination with real guns. They may even pick up a real gun by mistake, which can lead to an accidental shooting. Young children are unable to comprehend death the same way that teenagers and adults do. Cartoons perpetuate this by showing that the ‘shot’ bad guy just falls over and lies there, and that there is no blood. They can’t understand the repercussions of shooting someone while so young, and as they grow up, the mental scarring will last with these children their entire life.
Playing with toy guns as children can lead to wanting to play with real guns as a teenager and adult. While guns may very well have their place in today’s society, in the hands of the police and the military, they do not belong in the hands of children. By enforcing in your children at an early age that they are not supposed to play with guns, you can help to curb the violence in their lives.
While you might not have any guns in your house, you can’t be so sure of the friends’ houses that your kids visit. Let your youngsters know that they are never to touch guns, whether real or fake, and that they should immediately tell an adult if they see one of their friends (or a grown up) with a gun.
If your child becomes obsessed with or is overly fascinated with guns, to the point where you can’t deter them or (more likely) you find them sneaking BB guns into the house and hiding them, then the best answer is to go with them to a licensed shooting range for youngsters, which use rubber bullets or pellets. Before they so much as touch a gun, make sure they receive a comprehensive safety lecture from a licensed authority figure. Many shooting ranges hold regular classes or lectures specifically for young children. Teaching your child a simple rule such as to never, ever point the gun at someone they don’t fully intend to shoot can go a long way to insuring their future safety.