Nature vs Nurture – Toy Guns

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Category: Lifestyle

The cause of violence?

With gun crime and violence at an all time high in many countries across the globe, experts and parents alike are trying hard to pinpoint the cause of such unfortunate aggression. It is claimed by some that this violent and antisocial behaviour might be linked to experiences as a child and that protecting the younger generation is the only way to reduce the amount of these types of crimes. Others believe against this idea of it being the individual’s upbringing that contributes to aggressive traits and that it is instead the biology of each individual that results in the violence levels often depicted in older teens and adults.


The debate: both sides of the tale


At the heart of this debate is the idea of children playing with toy guns. It is a topic that has caused heated debate on both sides of the table.  Some parents are extremely strict in the view that no weapon type toys of any kind should be allowed around children and they prohibit any such play. In many cases parents with these views have even led protests and boycotts of toy companies, insisting that manufacturers should be more responsible and end the production of any type of toy that could have violent connotations. On the other hand, other parents believe that toy guns and weapons such as the Nerf N-Srike Elite Retaliator are actually an extremely healthy way for children to learn how to channel their aggression and learn the boundaries of violence in social contexts. Certain parents would even argue that it is potentially more dangerous to keep children ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’ and that exposing them to violence, and how to avoid it, is key to a healthy attitude towards other people.


The Law

Toy guns in particular have been given a huge amount of attention in the media recently due to the number of gun crimes that are reported in parts of the western world. Sadly, there have been handfuls of situations where police have tragically mistaken a toy gun for a real one and this has led to extremely tragic outcomes. Due to such awful situations, it is now the law for all toy guns to have an orange tip to clearly mark out to anyone who might be observing that it is in fact a toy. Many state that this is more than enough to prove the difference between a real and toy weapon and that any more unnecessary precautions might lead to an ever increasing ‘nanny culture’. Others claim that the orange tips could easily break off or might not be clear from a distance and that this could cause a potentially risky situation for any police officer or authority member that might witness children playing with toy guns.


Your choice

As with everything else when it comes to parenting, it is your own personal opinion that is the one that matters. Both sides of the table have extremely convincing claims and us here at TopMum do not feel that it is our place to take any sides, we believe that this decision is extremely personal. However, we are interested to hear your views on the subject, so please do drop us an email to let us know whether you allow your children to play with toy guns.