Yeah, we’re sick, I know. I can almost hear the heart attacks of Bleeding Heart Liberals out there. *cackling with glee*
A few weeks ago my wife took him outside to play in the apartment complex’s playground on one of the last “nice” days of the season. While there, he was apparently running around shooting the other kids with a Nerf gun. “PEW-PEW-PEW!!” Makes my heart swell with pride.
For Christmas last year, my wife got me a kick-ass Nerf machine gun. Unfortunately, there are inherent problems. I can totally see my son riddling his sister and the cats with Nerf darts. And those darts would end up chewed on by those cats, and pieces of them everywhere. So, I have yet to actually unpack the darts, and may never do so (as an aside, the gun will someday make a fine sci-fi soldier prop).
|This is the exact one I got.|
So, there seems to be two schools of thought on the whole “toy gun” issue. One is that they will trivialize guns, making them into nothing but playthings for kids, should they get ahold of a real one. My issue with that is when it happens, it can usually be traced to being the parents’ fault for not clarifying the difference between “reality” and “fantasy.” Which is the main problem, IMHO. Columbine, for instance; those kids killed because they played DOOM, right? No, they killed because they were mentally troubled kids whose parents were passively neglecting them (YMMV...this is not a political debate).
As you can imagine, I’m on the other side of the fence. Toy guns are fine, and are a long-time tradition for little boys (and probably for little girls sometimes). Since my 3-year old will probably never see a real-life gun until he is MUCH older (as in he’s an adult), chances are by the time he does, he will have learned to respect the weapon for what it is. In the meantime, it’s just playtime and make-believe. And it’s not like I encourage him to kill things. Hell, he throws things at his sister and the cats already, for which he is scolded and punished on a regular basis. However, despite the violent nature of his antics, I know that at the core, he’s just playing (you can see it in his face when he’s serious…just like me).
So, what it all this about? It’s about Christmas, and my idea for a present. I’m thinking of getting him some kind of toddler-sized rifle. Something bizarre-looking, that bears little to no resemblance to anything real. Nerf is GREAT for that sort of thing. Or maybe something like this…
After all, it is about time to start educating him on Star Wars.