Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

The United Kingdom’s legions of miserable scolds are at it again. A mere two weeks after admonishing an English national team soccer player for a firearm tattoo, the anti-gun whiners have found a new target. This time the killjoys have deemed it their station to lecture the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on proper parenting.

The sad controversy erupted on June 10, as Kate Middleton, Prince George, and his sister Princess Charlotte watched Prince William participate in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy in Gloucestershire. During the match, four-year-old George was pictured playing in the grass with an orange-tipped toy revolver and a toy knife. According to an account from Gloucestershire Live, the revolver was a squirt gun the future king won as a carnival prize.

Soon after, the UK’s notoriously loathsome tabloid press got busy stoking a toy gun debate. The Mirror declared, “Outrage as Prince George plays with toy gun and knife on family day out amid surge in violence.” The Mirror cited a Twitter user who saw fit to judge the preschooler and his entire family by stating, 

Sad to see George playing with a gun when the whole country has a gun/knife crime situation. Maybe in training for killing wild life in later years. Thought he was a sensitive child. Better if he was seen playing with a toy car or football. Sadly the royals will never change.

Another tweeted, “This isn’t okay anymore...” adding, “No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy.”

Thankfully, some of the more sensible UK subjects have come to the royals’ defense with the facts. The Independent interviewed trained UK Psychotherapist Sarah Ockwell-Smith who explained, 

I understand why gun play worries parents, however research shows that any aggression demonstrated while engaging in 'war play' is not carried over into real life. ie: kids who play with guns become no more violent than those who don't.

adding,

even if parents restrict gun-toys, it incredibly likely that children will fashion their own, from a stick for instance. For this reason, combined with the evidence, I see no issue with letting children play with guns and happily allowed my own children to do so.

This is similar to what U.S. experts have said and written on this topic. Moreover, as NRA-ILA has previously reported, concerns about toy guns appear to be rooted more in the political prejudice of adults rather than any legitimate concern for childhood well-being.

When clinical psychologist and best-selling author Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. was interviewed for a WebMD article titled, “Toy Guns: Do They Lead to Real-Life Violence?,” he explained, “There's no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood leads to real-life aggression.” University of Nevada Las Vegas researchers Jennifer L. Hart, M.Ed and Michelle T. Tannock, Ph.D. addressed this matter in a chapter on aggressive play and war toys for the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. The pair wrote, “If playful aggression is supported, it is highly beneficial to child development.” Going further, the researchers noted, “Educators who hold a foundation of understanding will be better able to communicate the importance of not only allowing playful aggression but also supporting it with the inclusion of war toys in early childhood programs.”

Rather than criticize the royals’ parenting, or wholesome fun with a water pistol, a more reasonable course of action might have been to commend the royals as role models for outdoor play. The Centers for Disease Control has noted, “Research increasingly suggests that children benefit from the opportunity to play outdoors, where they can explore and enjoy natural environments.” A 2012 survey of the research on outdoor play published in the journal Health & Place explained, “encouragement of outdoor play and fostering an environment of movement among children improves the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive health of children…”

Much like in the U.S., polling shows UK children are not getting outside enough. According to the Guardian coverage of one 2016 poll, “three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.” A 2016 UK government study found that more than 10 percent of UK children had not been to a natural environment (including urban parks) in the past year. A 2016 survey from the UK’s National Trust found that the country’s children spent only half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

If history is any guide, this won’t be the last time Prince George or the royals face firearms-related criticism. Despite the family’s significant conservation efforts, animal rights activists have targeted the royals for their proud hunting tradition. In 2016, anti-hunting critics took issue with Prince William’s articulate defense of big game hunting. Prince Philip and Prince Harry have also been the targets of anti-hunting animus.

Given the political disposition of many of his future subjects, Prince George can probably expect a lifetime of criticism should he follow his family into the shooting sports. On a positive note, the four-year-old already appears to be more mature than his most vocal detractors.

TRENDING NOW
U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

American gun owners have once again been reminded that the ultimate goal of U.S. gun control advocates is firearms bans and confiscation. Since the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, American anti-gun politicians, activists, ...

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official ...

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

Hunting  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

On March 20th, the Iowa state House of Representatives voted 57-40 to pass House File 716 to improve hunting opportunities in Iowa by expanding the types of cartridges that may be used for hunting.  HF 716 will ...

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

The ongoing cheerleading effort by the international press in furtherance of the New Zealand government’s gun confiscation plans is enough to make any journalist with even a shred of objectivity blush. Worse, some outlets have ...

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

News  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

NRA applauds Illinois court ruling throwing out Village of Deerfield's ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

This week, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice and the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary will be hearing several bills affecting Second Amendment rights that crossed over from the opposite ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

Take Action  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

The precursor to the NRA-ILA Frontlines Activist Leader Program (FAL) was known as the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) Program, and it started in 1994.  The “Election” in the EVC title was there to emphasize ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.