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  #21  
Old 13.06.2011, 15:00
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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hahah. i used to make my matchbox cars kiss and my brothers used my barbies as pistols- they'd hold one leg and use the other as the barrel
You can make a weapon out of almost every toy but try to make a doll out of any weapon
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  #22  
Old 13.06.2011, 18:44
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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Recently I have enjoyed the privilege of having close contact with a culture in which guns are actually used as guns. Real guns, guns which make a very loud bang, bruise your shoulder and can send a projectile a very long way, very very quickly. These guns can cause a lot of damage. They are not toys (although they are fun to shoot!).

In such a culture, young children do not play 'guns', as there are real guns in the house, and to allow a child to think it is acceptable to point a toy at someone and go bang is to risk having the child think it acceptable to point a gun at someone for fun.
OK well firstly I disagree with the premise - the US is a big place and firearms are legal in nearly all of it. However there's a big difference between how firearms are viewed in Connecticut and Oklahoma - there isn't a homogeneous culture and the gun culture you experienced is almost certainly a microcosm. Perhaps it isn't completely unique, but surely it's not representative of the entire US - kids do play with guns in the US.

My dad grew up playing with guns and so did I (although mine were M16s made of plastic and his were rifles carved out of wood). In between, he worked in a dangerous part of Joburg and owned a chain of "black-people-focussed" record shops. He kept 7 or 8 firearms in the shop, mainly shotguns but also a Walther PPK sidearm and snub revolver strapped to his ankle "just in case". Of course he also went to the army. My dad is the most peaceable guy you'll ever meet - not only has he never been in a fight, never hit me but also never raised his voice that I've heard (his discipline method was absolute assumption of respect and civility, which I never tested). However he did buy me gun toys.

I suppose my point is that there isn't necessarily a connection at all between playing with guns and using them in anger - when I played with guns with my brother we were never angry, and on the odd occassion we were very angry with each other, we threw rocks

There are occasions, especially in the States, where the line is blurred with firearm games and reality, but that is a context problem linked to Hollywood and goodness knows what else. I for one, am a "guns don't kill people, people do" kind of guy and if a child is brought up badly then he probably shouldn't play with guns. But if a child is brought up to understand what a toy is and what mutual respect is, then I don't think there's any harm.
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  #23  
Old 13.06.2011, 19:42
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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...
I suppose my point is that there isn't necessarily a connection at all between playing with guns and using them in anger - when I played with guns with my brother we were never angry, and on the odd occassion we were very angry with each other, we threw rocks

...
What, no bro-on-bro kiddie fisticuffs?!

Mind you, rocks thrown in anger isn't exactly a soft option, especially if they hit the target! Yee-ouch!!!
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  #24  
Old 13.06.2011, 19:50
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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What, no bro-on-bro kiddie fisticuffs?!

Mind you, rocks thrown in anger isn't exactly a soft option, especially if they hit the target! Yee-ouch!!!
I had one of these. It's called a Black Widow and turns throwing a simple stone into something of an art form

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  #25  
Old 13.06.2011, 19:56
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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I had one of these. It's called a Black Widow and turns throwing a simple stone into something of an art form

[IMG] ... [/IMG]
Wow! Just looking at it gives me the shivers! *Diving for cover as I write* ...

Now that looks like a mightly effective piece of weaponry and certainly adds a new meaning to the term "stone art".
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  #26  
Old 13.06.2011, 20:05
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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Wow! Just looking at it gives me the shivers! *Diving for cover as I write* ...

Now that looks like a mightly effective piece of weaponry and certainly adds a new meaning to the term "stone art".
Yup and after that I had an air rifle (not bb gun) and just used threats on the kid brother....didn't actually want to harm the guy...
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  #27  
Old 13.06.2011, 20:14
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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Yup and after that I had an air rifle (not bb gun) and just used threats on the kid brother....didn't actually want to harm the guy...
1) Don't laugh but I had to look up what a bb gun is...

2) Don't y'all go messing with our Eco now y'hear!
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  #28  
Old 13.06.2011, 20:44
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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What do you think about toy guns and war games?
Great fun as a child. Enjoyed lazer quest as a student, and haven't had the chance to go paintballing, but would love the chance...

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Recently I have enjoyed the privilege of having close contact with a culture in which guns are actually used as guns. Real guns, guns which make a very loud bang, bruise your shoulder and can send a projectile a very long way, very very quickly. These guns can cause a lot of damage. They are not toys (although they are fun to shoot!).
Assuming that Eco is correct and that you are talking about the US, I fully agree with him that kids play with guns in the US. The other alternative is that you went shooting on your estate in Scotland or spent the weekend clay-pigeon shooting.

I enjoy shooting real guns, but haven't had the chance recently; I have a over & under shotgun at my parents' in the UK, which I've only used for clays. I've often thought about bringing it over, however, haven't had the chance. I also have an air-rifle that I've used for pest control in my parents' garden.

Having done the whole CCF thing, it was drilled into me that you never, but never, point a real gun at someone, whether loaded or not.

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...how do you feel about first-person computer games which involve shooting at characters on a screen? Does the kind of war game make a difference to you? Is laser tag, for example, being pure fantasy, less offensive than paintball with all its attempted military realism?
Confused would be an answer. To my mind there's clearly a link between violence on screen (whether TV/film/games) and violence on the street. Some people - clearly not the majority - cannot differentiate between reality and fiction. Whether these people were unhinged before hand and this tipped them over, or whether they were made this way to start with, I have no idea.

The question - to which I don't have an answer - is what to do. Ban everything or hope you catch the loons before they do too much damage?
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  #29  
Old 13.06.2011, 21:48
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Re: Toy guns and war games

Thank you all for your responses. I'm still no clearer in my mind than I was when I opened the thread...

BTW, I wasn't referring to the whole of the United States in my post - just one very small, very socially distinct part of it.

Anyway, thanks again. I'm off to play with my electric flyswat...
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  #30  
Old 14.06.2011, 09:16
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Re: Toy guns and war games

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Thank you all for your responses. I'm still no clearer in my mind than I was when I opened the thread...

BTW, I wasn't referring to the whole of the United States in my post - just one very small, very socially distinct part of it.

Anyway, thanks again. I'm off to play with my electric flyswat...
It's like going naked into a sauna: fine for some but not for others. But the end result is the same: we all have to sweat it out.
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  #31  
Old 14.06.2011, 09:28
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Re: Toy guns and war games

I think when it concerns young people, they need to experience the effects of shooting a gun at something alive. I use a powerful airrifle to cull pigeons that infest our loft and do untold damage, (i refuse to use poison as I have lost a dog to someones careless use of poison)but even then sometimes it doesnt kill them and I have to despatch them the kindest way possible (usually drowning as its less traumatic for the bird) I think that if you think its ok for a child or young man to pretend with paintball or other, then he needs to see the true effect of shooting something, as its the only way that he or she can understand what it really means without sending him off to a battlefield somewhere.
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  #32  
Old 14.06.2011, 09:48
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Re: Toy guns and war games

Eeh. This takes me back.

I remember the "All join up for army" chants round the playground. We mainly just used our hands/arms and made a verbal "uhuhuhuh" machine gun noise.

Spent most of our time arguing about whether we were dead or injured or whether the opponent had just missed.




Jumpers for goalposts. What?
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  #33  
Old 14.06.2011, 16:50
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Re: Toy guns and war games

Think I was the only mother for miles around who allowed her children to play with guns as children much to the horror of the other mothers. I based my decision on the fact we used to play with guns when children and no-one I know turned into a profi killer or ran amok shooting passers-by or anything extreme like that.

Anway, it was my turn to be horrified when the neighbour's son came along one day toting an air pistol at the age of 10 and has since followed his father into becoming an officer in the army. Of my two sons - 1 refused military service and the other only agreed to do military service if he could do it without a weapon. Maybe they got their fill of playing with guns by the time they were 7 years old.
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  #34  
Old 14.06.2011, 21:33
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Re: Toy guns and war games

Given that carrying a telephoto camera lens has been interpreted by eagle-eyed US Army gunners as being an "offensive weapon" and the camera man summarily executed in a hail of machine gun rounds, I'd be inclined to tell junior to avoid carrying anything even remotely resembling a gun as some short sighted dude sitting at his console at Creech AFB could be playing video games for real with his UAV.
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