Are NERF guns a good idea for kids? - Page 2

Are NERF guns a good idea for kids?

This is a discussion on Are NERF guns a good idea for kids? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Nerf Guns, squirt guns, cap guns, blow guns, caulk guns, nail guns, etc. are toys & tools. Toys & tools are NOT dangerous to children. ...

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Thread: Are NERF guns a good idea for kids?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Nerf Guns, squirt guns, cap guns, blow guns, caulk guns, nail guns, etc. are toys & tools. Toys & tools are NOT dangerous to children. I took 3 pieces of 3' long, 1/2" PVC pipe and 3 bags of mini-marshmallows to my in-laws over Thanksgiving for my nephews. For less than $7 total, we got to laugh at those three boys shoot marshmallows at one another for HOURS. I couldn't have made them any happier if I had brought them all a new bicycle. But the next time we visit, I gotta' remember to take a self defense blowgun for me. 'Cause I got marshmallowed almost...to death!
    pgrass101, AK_Brian and sauerpuss like this.
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  2. #17
    Senior Member Array palmcoaster's Avatar
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    They are awesome!!!!!!!! We had full neighborhood battles when my kids were young,capture the flag and such. Kids dont associate nerf guns with the real thing.

  3. #18
    Member Array afcarpenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walden View Post
    I am wondering if NERF guns teach young children (elementary school age) poor gun safety and desensitize them to shooting at human targets. I had no idea where to post this, but it is kind of a training thing.

    Most people agree that children should be introduced to firearms in a controlled environment under the supervision of a competent adult. In this way children can learn how to safely handle guns and come to respect how dangerous a gun can be. NERF guns, on the other hand, are far less dangerous and do not require the same sort of safety lectures. Young kids may not fully understand the difference between NERF guns and firearms, and such a misunderstanding could lead to improper gun safety later in life. Also, children prone to mental illness might first be exposed to the idea of gun violence by NERF guns. NERF guns are very different from violent video games in that you are shooting at a real person. Maybe children should not be exposed to the concept of fighting with guns until they are old enough to paintball (maybe middle school age).

    This question is not motivated by hoplophobia in ANY WAY. I grew up around guns, I hope to raise my kids around guns, and I hope my kids will raise my grandkids around guns. This is not a call for an assault Nerf-weapon ban (although that would make more sense than most of the proposed gun control bills). I am just wanted to hear if or how people approach Nerf guns while training young children.

    I had the very same debate with myself when my oldest was born. I grew up around guns and my dad didn't do crap to teach me about their safety or use. It took the Army to do that for me. I look back at some of the stupid things I did as a kid playing with his guns when nobody was around and I see that I treated them much like I did my toy guns. So, I seriously debated this very subject within myself when I had kids. I came to the conclusion that the problem with my handling of guns in my childhood revolved around a dad that didn't want anything to do with me rather than take time and teach me something. As a result, I have let all three of my kids (ages 11, 9, 7) have nerf guns. I also let them handle real guns under my supervision. I have gone through great pains to teach them how to handle guns safely to include letting my oldest two just walk in the woods with me with an unloaded 22 as I watch their muzzle control. I have noticed they don't treat nerf guns like the real ones at all. If you're astute, you can see the little switch in their mind flip when they get a real gun in their hands. They know the difference between fake and real and they know how to handle both. Kids aren't stupid. They just need a good parent to teach them the right way. I don't regret my decision at all but that was the right decision for me. You'll have to make that decision for yourself.
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  4. #19
    Member Array AK_Brian's Avatar
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    Echoing above statement. My kid has more nerf guns than I care to think of (she's probably gotten one or two per birthday for at least the last four years). She loves playing with them and her friends and cousins, but she also received a .22 Remington Youth single-shot bolt action when she was 9. I can assure you she has no issue distinguishing between the two. I think any child without serious mental development issues would be able to immediately recognize the difference, even if they aren't cognizant of the details. I made sure she was before and after, and when she got her first nerf gun, and it's never been a problem.

    As with most things that come up raising a child, they can be solved by a strong parental figure or figures spending time with, and educating, their young. I don't think you'll have an issue.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Array Caertaker's Avatar
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    I think that video games where you actually hold a controller than resembles a gun is worth your concern. Think this:
    Lt. Col. Grossman discusses these games/controllers in his Pulitzer Prize nominated book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society: Dave Grossman: 9780316040938: Amazon.com: Books NERF guns not so much.
    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations” – James Madison 1788

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Nerf guns make kids violent killers the same way the spoon made Rosie O'donnel fat. I was raised with nerf guns, cap guns and real guns, and was taught very early the difference between them. However, safe gun practices were always required even with the nerf guns. Dont shoot pets, dont aim at something you dont mean to destroy, and we were required to treat them as a loaded gun, to include checking them to see if they were loaded and doing it properly. Why all of this for a nerf gun? It drove proper firearm handling into my head and reinforced sound practices. When I got my first gun, my father was comfortable knowing that I was safe in handling it. We still shot each other with nerf guns and raised hell, but we always followed the basics of firearm safety before we turned into the nerf version of our favorite gun toting movie star ( i was always arnie from the first predators !) We knew the difference between play and real, and did not mix them. Some might say its overkill, but I did the same thing to teach my 9 yr old cousin to shoot. He wanted join a shooting club for kids, so i bought him a nerf gun. Long story short, not only is he a better shot than me with my own rifle, when he took his hunter safety class ( I went with him for a refresher) he was one of two younger kids who not only cleared the rifle when it was handed to them prior to loading on the range, but also finger checked it. Both were recognised for their outstanding safety practices by the gun club where he took his course.

    What does all this mean? Toys are just that..toys. But there is nothing that says they cannot be intrumental tools for kids as well. Its all in how you use it. Nerf guns are no more dangerous than a good pillow fight, what matters is the values that are instilled along the way.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Heck, we hunted our house cats indoors with wrist rockets & pingpong balls. Folks are just currently looking for something/anything upon which to blame the swift societal decline of; rational thinking, a moral compass and responsible behavior. Nerf guns are just as reasonable a scape goat as video games, Roadrunner cartoons & G.I Joe action figures. We are so determined to blame this on something that we've forgotten the clear & obvious answer. Not toys, not TV, but it rather is we who the eventual responsibility. Me, you...us.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  8. #23
    Member Array MJClark's Avatar
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    We bought our oldest (4 yr) two Nerf pistols for Christmas and started using those to teach him gun safety. (now to handle it, not to look down the barrel, how to line up your target). We also made sure that he understood that he is NEVER to shoot the dog and NEVER to shoot any other person, less they too have a nerf gun and will be shooting at them.

    I have also had him sit with me as I clean my guns and explained that he is to not permitted to touch any gun unless I hand it to him, or my father-in-law hands it to him. I then handed him an unloaded 410, a 30-30, and a bb gun pistol. He followed all my directions very well, and it took the mystery out of the guns. He will not have as much desire to ‘check it out’ now.

    I also explained that when he is a few years older, we will go up to my in-law’s farm to shoot a .22 rifle and maybe the 410. Until then, it is nerf guns at targets.
    JoseRomeroJr likes this.

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