Question, do you allow your kids to play with toy guns? If so, what approach do you use in educating them on dealing with real guns?
Yes, my kids had toy guns to play with. I used a toy gun to get my kids ready to hunt, and carry a gun safely in the field. But it was understood we treated that gun as if it were real, so it was not played with and kept in the safe. The kids went with me when I was shooting real guns. Letting them see what a 12 ga can do to a water filled milk jug makes an impression. Kids have toy cars, toy power tools, toy lawn mowers etc , because they are frequently around real cars, power tools, and lawn mowers they quickly know the real thing from a toy… they will pick up the differences between toy guns and real guns just as fast.
Thanks much for the feed back
Nerf guns, and some cap guns. That was where we started with the rules of gun safety. I shot him in the butt with a Nerf gun, and told him “see, even that can hurt.” As he got older, we too did the “squishy” target demonstration. .357 mag will splatter a pineapple, and a 12 gauge will make mush of a pumpkin.
^^^ excellent explanation.
Thanks for the feed back Jim
My boys like the modern versions of the Nerf dart guns. I bought them 2 of the little pistol versions but they lost the darts & aimed at each other’s heads too often. So that was a fail. Now, only the laser tag guns remain. As far as the the real thing, I’ve taught them the basic parts. I stress SAFETY & RESPECT more than anything.
When summer rolls around, we do family water fights with brightly colored super soakers & balloons.
But, I will not buy them air rifles or BB guns or any other thing that even closely resembles a real firearm. I will feel them out & introduce them gradually to the real thing. At least that’s my plan…
Thanks so much for your feed back
We’ve started the great grandbaby on her first BB gun… shes 6. It goes in the safe with the other guns. She wears eyes and ears when she shoots. It’s full adult supervision only. She gets to recite the 4 safety rules before shooting. And shes got to cock it herself, which takes every bit of her 6 yr old strength to do, but she does it.
That was my biggest rule for my kids. They were not allowed to take head shots with their nerf guns. Guess who ended up getting shot in the head more than anyone else during nerf wars? Because I would duck, not because they were aiming at my head.
They learned quickly that if they aimed at anyone’s head, the guns were gone and so were other privileges.
So, they are doing “games” at school tomorrow. My son is taking a Nerf Gun, and 15 empty soda cans to set up a “shooting gallery.” I’m so proud(wipes away a tear).
My kid slept with her disc launcher under her pillow(for monsters) and her stuffed rabbit under her arm when she was 5. She is 40+ now, the rabbit has been replaced by a dog, the disc launcher by a 1911.
I gave up on that. Now I just require them to wear eyepro. Probably not a big risk if a Nerf dart hits you in the eye, but I’m trying to slowly prepare them for the range.
I will echo Greg1’s remarks. Of course every kid is different, but my 4 year old has shown a real interest in guns. You might not believe it, but I have a video of him at 2 helping me reload. He was able to run virgin .44 mag cases through one of the single stage presses. One video is him doing the first one that he does it on his own and it clicks in his mind is amazing. Then a couple minutes later, he is running them through the press like he had been doing it for 20 years.
Why am I bringing this up? Cause he always seems to have understood the difference between toys and real guns. We got him a nerf rifle, one that came with plastic cans to use as targets. He has little to no interest in it, but when we are in the gun/reloading room, he has all the interest in the world and is asking if we can take them outside and shoot.
Now, the real question is what creates the real distinction? While we can make the observation that kids know the difference between real and toy, but yet do not always know what that difference really means.