Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Child’s Play: Kids Exposed to Toy Guns Aren’t Prone to Violence

Monday, August 30, 2021

Child’s Play: Kids Exposed to Toy Guns Aren’t Prone to Violence

As part of the campaign to stigmatize firearms and legitimate firearm owners, gun control advocates and their allies on the left have targeted anything that resembles or is used as a proxy for a gun – partially chewed pop tarts, fingers (a level 2 lookalike firearm”), Halloween costume props, and ordinary toys.

There are more examples than we could possibly list in this space, but a sampling of the hysterical reaction to anything remotely gun-like includes:

Brick by Brick,” a British LEGO-inspired art exhibit that featured handguns” assembled out of the multicolored toy bricks, attacked by The Gun Control Network because of the public safety risk posed to the community” as the completely harmless artwork could be accessed by those wishing to use them to enable crime” (2020).

 Suspending a five-year-old kindergartner for bringing a fake weapon” to school, where the weapon” consisted of a transparent plastic Disney Princess” toy that discharged soap bubbles when the trigger was pulled. School officials stated that the bringing of weapons, real or facsimile, to our schools by students can not only create a potential safety concern but also cause a distraction for our students in the learning process…” (2016).

Several incidents last year in which students were disciplined for violations of policies that banned weapons in classrooms, after BB guns or toy guns in the home were seen during videoconference/online schooling. School officials even dispatched police to the home of a seventh-grader after a vice principal saw the boy handling a green toy pistol in his own living room in a recorded, remote-learning art class, with the school maintaining that [s]afety will always be number one for our students and staff” (2020).

The justification for these extreme actions has rested, ostensibly, on public safety rather than politics, with officials citing zero-tolerance weapon policies, the need to curtail terroristic behavior” in preschoolers, and the importance of awareness about potentially violent behavior and harmful tendencies. As weve noted earlier, though, clinical psychologist and best-selling author Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. advises that, while [e]veryone has an informal causation theory that playing with guns leads to the use of guns in adulthood,” there is no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood leads to real-life aggression.”

A recently published article on the phenomenon of children playing with toy guns (or anything they pretend is a gun) demonstrates how misguided these reactions are. Citing psychologists, psychotherapists and others, it concludes that there isnt anything fundamentally wrong” with pretend gunplay, and that children playing these games dont actually want anyone to get hurt or to die. [W]eapons are part of the real world and children are confronted with them in books, stories, radio dramas and movies, [so] I dont think its advisable to declare a blanket ban on gunplay.” Banning toy guns or prohibiting children from such games may simply enhance their attraction. One of the experts suggests, instead, that parents use the opportunity for a conversation with their children about their values, and if necessary, set some polite rules, like not to use a water pistol on anyone who is not part of the game.    

If nothing else, common sense and everyday experience corroborate the expertsobservations – the jails arent stuffed with felons and other criminals whose young lives have been ruined because of the toy pistol-to-prison pipeline.   

Of course, school administrators and other officials should take seriously and respond appropriately to real violence, intimidation, and threats of violence. The real harm in disciplinary situations which treat toys and playacting as the equivalent is that the children involved are unfairly stigmatized as unstable or violent individuals. In a case involving a five–year-old girl who was disciplined after bringing a Hello Kitty” bubble gun to school and saying to her friends, Ill shoot you, you shoot me, and well all play together,” the school imposed a medical/psychological evaluation” as part of its disciplinary response. The professional counselor who examined the child at the schools behest concluded the girl was a typical 5-year-old by temperament and interests,” and had no evidence or history of behavioral issues or poor parenting” or risk factors identified for violent behavior.” The school reportedly only downgraded the incident from a terroristic threat” to the slightly less shocking threat to harm others” because no criminal complaint was made due to (the) ages of the children” involved.

The actual lesson behind many of these policies and bans is so obvious a child can grasp it. The point of attacking toy guns and punishing kids for fooling around with bubble blowers or dressing up as soldiers is to hammer home the message that all guns (and gun owners, by association) are inherently evil, even when guns in the family are used by good people for legitimate hunting, recreational shooting or personal protection.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Toy Guns
TRENDING NOW
“Crime Impacted” Chicago Resident Told, Defend Yourself, Get a Gun

News  

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

“Crime Impacted” Chicago Resident Told, Defend Yourself, Get a Gun

A Chicago mother who called 911 after two masked men broke into her home reportedly had to wait more than four hours before police officers arrived. 

Hard Questions, But Few Clear Answers as Congress Probes ATF Tactics and Overreach

News  

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hard Questions, But Few Clear Answers as Congress Probes ATF Tactics and Overreach

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) suffered two bruising days on Capitol Hill last week during oversight hearings attempting to get to the bottom of a fatal raid and other recent enforcement ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

Paradise Lost: Efforts Intensify for Justice in Turks and Caicos

News  

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Paradise Lost: Efforts Intensify for Justice in Turks and Caicos

Recently, we published a warning for gun owners traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean and a popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

Not a Trace of Truth from The Trace

News  

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Not a Trace of Truth from The Trace

The Trace, a Michael Bloomberg-funded propaganda mill that masquerades as a “media” outlet, has been churning out lies about the Second Amendment and gun laws for nearly a decade. In April, this “newsroom” of anti-gun ...

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia – Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. v. Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

It has become a tradition in recent elections for anti-gun Democrats to condescendingly refer to opposition voters as too stupid and bigoted to act in their own best interests. 

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

News  

Monday, May 20, 2024

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting ...

Rhode Island: House Expected To Vote on Mandatory Storage Bill This Week

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rhode Island: House Expected To Vote on Mandatory Storage Bill This Week

Anti-gun politicians in the Rhode Island House are planning to pass yet another infringement on your constitutional rights this week.

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Monday, May 20, 2024

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Although New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, anti-gun politicians continue to come up with more bad ideas. 

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.