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Guns or Toys: The Dangerous Illusion

Updated on September 8, 2012

Kids don't play like they did in the 60s.

In this day and age kids don’t play like we did back in the 60s. In the 60s we didn’t sit around playing video games. We were made to take our adventures outdoors where even the girls played cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. Prime time television, comics, and books most likely give way to this idea of play. Toy guns became a favorite toy for many kids. Many toy guns were hand made from wood. For some kids a stick of wood was the imaginary gun they played with. Back in those days with the exposure to endless westerns and cop shows on television toy makers gave their young playtime friends a more realistic gun to call their own. Most were modeled after their favorite cowboy hero’s weapon. Safe and fun toys that no one thought were dangerous.

Jump ahead thirty years.

Jump ahead thirty years. Crime is at an all time high. And the police force especially in the big cities must be on guard for even young assailants as being a threat to them and their community. As toy guns look so realistic even a criminal may try to hold up a convenient store with one, knowing full well his victim will not know it’s fake. According to, in 1994, a thirteen year old playing cops and robbers with his friends was fatally shot by New York City police because the toy gun looked real to them. The problem only increased after that event. As the same scenario became common across the country something had to be done about it. This gave way to Federal laws banning the sale of toy guns that were not brightly colored or transparent. If they were the color of a real one, they had to have a bright orange tip at the end of the barrel. Now if one attempts criminal acts with a toy gun they could face the same charge as with a real one.

And Today

Jumping ahead nearly twenty more years and the world has dealt with issues involving the toy guns on a bigger scale. Regulations are set in place at different levels of law to prevent any confusion to what is real and what isn’t. To ensure facts from rumor it’s a good idea to check out your government websites to get the exact scoop on laws dealing with the sale of toy guns. For dealers and collectors of old toy guns, you may be glad you did. Laws are different in regards to collecting antiques and the sales of them.

Toy guns can still be a favorite toy for kids. It’s a part of growing up with imaginary play acting enhancing the minds by which we live. Whether it’s an old western cowboy, a policeman or a military hero, our young people need their fantasy world to prepare them for the chaos the real world will endure upon them. With the worry brought on by shootings in our schools over the past few years it’s time to educate our kids now more than any other time about firearm safety. This is America and owning firearms are still a privilege the government has not taken from us yet. Guns are an important part of our history and in the right hands safety issues are a minimum. We should not deprive our young people of playing with these toy replicas. And we should not discourage them from playing the part of their heroes either. But they all should be aware about the laws dealing with toy guns and their use as much as adults are. Danger often dwells on the uninformed.


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