There was a time in college, after our apartment was broken into, when I strongly contemplated purchasing a gun. I even went to a couple of shops, asked a bunch of questions, took a gun safety course, fired off a few rounds, and then ultimately decided against it. Honestly, I'm just not really a fan. My husband owns a gun, which is hidden safely away and hasn't been used in years. I don't have a problem with other people having guns, I just don't want one. I'm not anti-gun, but I am certainly not a "cling to my gun" type of gal.
As such, our daughter was not allowed to play with toys guns and until she was almost four she thought the huge super soaker at my parents house was a saxophone. When our son was born the same "rule" extended. We didn't buy him toy guns either. However, it was like a natural attraction. He saw his older cousin using a play gun months ago and the light went on. All of a sudden this big wooden "stick" he'd been lugging around had a purpose: to shoot. Pretty soon, everything was a gun: rocks, sticks, wooden spoons.
Honestly, I was a little torn. I don't really like the idea of shooting people as a game (and he now knows to shoot things, not people), but on the other hand I am a big believer in letting boys do what comes naturally to them. I don't want to squash any of that innate behavior. So a few months ago my husband bought him a toy gun that makes all sorts of electronic noises. He loved it for a few weeks, but ultimately liked playing with his swords more. The toy gun has been in the closet for about a month now and I figured the obsession had died down.
I was wrong. Today I took him to an outdoor sporting goods store where there were racks and racks of guns on the wall. I thought the boy was going to lose his mind. "Mommy, guns! I need a gun. Pleeeeaaaaasssssseeeeee!!!!" Then pointing at every single gun, "Mommy, look at that one. Mommy over here, look at that one." Honestly, it was a little embarrassing although the people in there seemed ready to sign him up for a lifetime membership to the NRA and Nascar tickets as a signing bonus.
He spent close to an hour looking at all the guns, knives, and arrows. When I told him that he could not have a gun, he moved onto the knives, which I also told him he couldn't have, then to the arrows, which also were a negative. He settled for a sucker. It's nice to know that my gun loving, knife craving, arrow envying boy can still be bribed with a watermelon push pop.