Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cold blooded squirter?

Let's talk about guns for a moment. I thought that I had decided that toy guns were bad and I didn't want Fischer around them. I really don't want him to watch any show where people are shooting each other. Up until recently it had never came up. Of course, he is only two! At the beginning of the summer someone gave him a tiny squirt gun... I didn't quite know what to do or say... so I said nothing. Fischer didn't know what it was, he thought it was a tiny red boot! Well then as the summer has progressed more and more squirt guns are showing up. Grandma has a bucket of squirt guns and toys that she likes to take to the pool. Fischer's cousin loves to play with them and now so does Fisch. I know that he still doesn't really know what a gun is and I know that it makes me uncomfortable to "play guns" with them.... but I'm not sure if I am just overreacting. In Denver, the kids LOVED playing squirt guns and squirting each other and everything else. The bigger boys also made guns out of tinker toys, and Fisch loved playing with those too.

When I spoke to Andy about it, he didn't seem to have any problem with squirt guns. So I said, "well, we'll just teach him not to squirt at anyone". He did not see the fun in that. And my dad agreed with Andy. Hmph.

I can't make all of the rules and I am sticking to no other toy guns... but what about marshmallow shooters? Fischer was at a party at his grandparents house and one of the guests brought these really fun marshmallow guns for the little ones to play with. Before becoming a mom, I even had a marshmallow shooter that I played with with my students once (gasp)!!

We don't actually own any toy guns, except that tiny squirt gun, that is probably lost, and Fischer doesn't ask about them... but I have found him holding sticks like guns (although not making shooting noises - so I don't know if it is my imagination). The bottom line is that I do not want Fisch to be a killer nor do I want him to think light of killing.

I grew up with squirt guns and my brother had toy guns, and neither of us have killed anyone (although, my bro does like to shoot targets and possibly rabbits now as an adult).

What do you think? Am I overreacting, or am I completely valid? Do you think you can play with squirt guns and not have other toy guns and be good - or is it all or nothing? I have a friend who made the rule that you can't shoot water guns at the face... well that seemed odd as the kids were shooting at the heart!

Please help me get some perspective on this topic.


Jenny said...

Well, the most popular game during the time we were growing up was G.I. Joe and all the little kids in the neighborhood ran around pretend shooting at eachother and I have yet to see one of them turn into cold blooded killers. I'm not saying this is good logic,I'm just saying that it's amazing how times have changed. It used to be perfectly acceptable to play cops and robbers and army, etc. I'm not a fan of guns as anyone will tell you, but I don't think a squirt gun is that harmful. In the end it all comes down to what we teach our kids. A good conversation is so much more meaningful than trying to hide our children from the world. I almost get scared at how politically correct we have become, especially since the world seems to not have become a better place for all this PCness. I have no doubt Fischer will grow up to be a good human being who understands the dangers of guns.... because that is how you will raise him. But in the meantime, I think the squirt gun is probably just a fun thing to play with. And maybe that stick he picked up, in his mind, wasn't a gun but a wand and he was pretending to be Harry Potter. Maybe?

Irelan Family Blog said...

I think it is fine for kids to play with squirt guns and marshmallow shooters. They are just toys. I have a 21 month old and he has squirt guns. I am just going to sit down with him when he is a little older and talk to him about the safty of guns!

Janalu said...

Well Matt has a lot of guns. And at first I didn't like them at all. My dad had guns but never taught me about them. Matt has showed me how to shoot guns and gun saftey and even how to clean them. I think that a healthy respect for guns at the right age is the key. And a good talk about what is real and what is pretend. I know that Andy is not into guns but maybe Grampa can teach gun saftey when he is old enough to understand.

Izzy said...

I actually wrote about guns today, too. I didn't get into the toy gun aspect of the whole gun debate but I'm not a huge fan of toy guns. I know boys will make a weapon out of nearly anything, even when they know absolutely nothing about actual guns and I've observed this phenomena with my own son who is newly three and very sheltered in terms of viewing violence of any kind,including but not limited to gun violence.

Lisa said...

We have this discussion in our house a lot! It has been decided, for us, that pretend guns are not allowed in our house at this time because our children at age three lack the ability to distinguish between a gun and a toy that resembles a gun. Since there are actual guns in our house, even though they are locked in a vault, we do not find the fun worth the risk. When they are older, we are open to it after they have been appropriately educated. It is just too confusing for them right now to be told "guns are not toys" and then be given a toy gun. Fortunately, they have never been gifted a toy gun, and I am not sure how it would be handled in our house.

Lisse said...

I remember my brother had cap guns when we were growing up. Once your son gets to a certain age, he will make everything into a gun.

My boys have squirt guns and little Nerf dart shooters. They play with them, but frankly, they prefer to ride bikes and climb trees.

I'm not overly concerned about it, but we don't have real guns in our house, and we never will, nor do we live in a place where they are a big part of the culture.

Mike said...

Should I assume you wouldn't let me take Fischer deer or turkey hunting with me?


your hillbilly cousin in Missoura

Mike Mc said...

Can I take fischer hunting with me? ;)

Lisa said...

Mike - No way!!! Well, maybe you could if you were going to hunt targets and not animals and Fischer was a teenager, and you were a gun safety instructor.

Lisa said...


Lisa said...