"Bang, bang!" Children love to play cops and robbers, or be a cowboy hero using their toy guns. Some people believe that allowing children to play with toy guns is just harmless fun, while others think that it is a terrible idea. There are valid points on either side, but regardless of the controversy, manufactures still make toy guns and parents still buy them for their kids.
One pointer is to allow only toy guns that do not look real. There are plenty of toy guns that are clearly plastic, even from a distance, and have bright colors. Some some in a shiny silver and white plastic, and they are light-weight. There have been tragic incidents where children were hurt because their toy guns looked real, and this is one way to avoid the problem. Water guns in the summer time are the best type of gun you can allow your kids to play with.
Another tip is to keep gun play inside only. Caution your child not to bring such a toy to school or to play with it outdoors. This will keep your child from getting used to carrying a gun, and it will keep them from pretending to shoot actual people in the real world. The gun will be out of sight and out of mind, and it will be less likely that they will associate using a gun as a regular part of life.
Take the time to take to your child about gun safety. They are never too young to learn that certain things could kill them. Don't terrorize or frighten them, but help them see that real guns are not a toy, and they are not fun. Shooting and injuring another person has serious consequences, and you should make your children aware that they could hurt themselves or someone they care about.
If you own a gun, it is best that you keep it locked securely in a safe and don't even tell your kids where it is. Do not under any circumstances let them play with a loaded or unloaded gun. You can show it to them to satisfy their curiosity, but it is better not to show them how to use it, load it, or aim it. If they are very young, don't even let them know that you have one.
Taking these precautions and setting these guidelines can help your child's gun play to be harmless.
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