Why guns are not “toys” and should never be?

Kids don’t always need toys. I mean it is good to have them but they could do just fine with utensils from the kitchen. I realised this after filling up the house for the elder one. Sigh. I bought all sorts of toys, those that are just fun, those that develop skills, etc. Kids grow up fast though and eventually want to have a say in the kind of toys they buy. Try taking a walk down the toy store with your little one and you would know exactly what I am talking about!Now I know one shouldn’t be helping the kid ‘choose’ what you want him to ‘choose’ but I do it just the same. Especially when it is a gun that he wants, or sometimes when it costs way more than what I have in my wallet, or even bank for that matter (Toys can be really expensive!!)I hate guns. Yes even toy guns. Who came up with this bright inspiration of having kids play with. Now, hate is a strong word, but that is just how strongly I feel about giving little kids guns to play with as toys. I don’t want my kids playing with guns. My husband and I don’t agree on this point (one of the many which we don’t agree about when it comes to parenting.)My case against toys as guns -
  1. Gender profiled toys - I have heard this said a million times and I detest it, each time. Guns, kitchen sets, dolls, etc. apparently can be played with only if you are a certain gender. Ha ha ha! The very premise that boys play with guns ticks me off. Why? There are so many other toys children can play with, look around, and take your pick.
  2. The over enthusiastic violence - Ever seen a child with a gun in hand? Wow, they are so charged... ddddddddd... shooting everything, everyone who stands in their way! I would rather channelize that enthusiasm and energy somewhere else. Somewhere where there isn’t so much of violence!
  3. The gory details - Kids will visualise the scene right from the shooting to the blood spurting out to you collapsing on the floor. No kidding! The detailing they can get is scary. How can imagining something violent and painful be fun let alone a learning experience?
  4. Playing is supposed to be fun - Guns are toys. So now violence is fun, is it? No don’t shake your head, is this not the message going through? How can shooting someone, injuring or killing be a game? Does this not internalise the concept that violence is acceptable? Killing could be fun? This,I know first-hand. I accidently shot a pellet gun at my brother. He still bears the mark apparently (only to his eyes is the mark still visible.) At the time, it hurt. He (and I) was lucky the injury was not major. Imagine getting hit on the eye by mistake *shudders*
  5. Toy Guns or Real Guns - In India having a gun (licensed) is not that easy getting one without a license is a different But accidental deaths happening due to children using guns is a reality in many other countries. I don’t even want to think about what would happen if having guns got easier in India.
Sure, pretend playing is good. It is great for kids! But there is so much we can pretend to be. Choose to be a superhero or a commando or a police man or a spy or a shooter, anything does not mean you necessarily need a gun. There is so much more to being those than brandishing a gun. So yes, play all you want but avoid the gun; and no pretending your fingers are guns. As for me, well the walk down the toy store was not always with me. So my son  managed to lay his hands on a toy gun. And once, one of those things made its way home, well a lot many others did too. Now till the time I can get my husband and son(s) to understand my point of view, I am hiding them so well that they can’t find it. Well four got ‘accidentally got left behind’ on our last trip to my parent’s place so the remaining two just need to remain hidden in between the stash of bedcovers.Now, to make sure the husband doesn’t read this!What is your view point? Am I overreacting?
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