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My Dad - 1950's Cowboy Christmas
My Dad – 1957

Believe it or not, this ‘triple’ gun toting punk turned out to be a fine law abiding citizen!

Sam recently received a ‘cap’ gun as a gift (which he loves), BUT it hasn’t been well received by some of his friends parents. As a former gun toting cowgirl myself, I’m not too concerned about gun play. These same parents, ‘ok’ sword fights, light-saber ownership and water pistols, yet some how a plastic six-shooter is pure evil … people it’s pretend!

Sam runs around the backyard, hides behind trees, rolls for cover and defends his ‘fort’ from the bad guys. Maybe, when he plays ‘hold up the corner store’, well… maybe then I’ll get worried.

What’s your take on it?


I am giving away TWO $100 Gift Cards

The 1st Winner will be choosen randomly from all new comments posted on all posts between January 2nd, 2007 and January 15 th, 2008 (@ 9:59 pm MT).
The 2nd Winner will be choosen randomly from all the bloggers that post about this contest on their websites (make sure to come back leave a link in the comments section, so I know who you are) between January 2nd, 2007 and January 15 th, 2008 (@ 9:59 pm MT).


You are welcome to use this linking code, but only if you want to.

Kim the owner of – a great online spot for Baby Clothing, Shoes, Toys, Gifts and Cloth Diapers is hosting the January Gift Card Give-Away @ go on over and comment and be entered to Win one of two $100 Gift Cards!

For the text and link above copy and paste the code below:


MK xo

Categories: General


Divrchk · January 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm

I think it’s cool as long as the child understands what pretend really is and there are rules.

Safire · January 2, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Honestly, I’m totally fine with gun play, as long as we are not pointing the gun at people or animals. Pretend bad guys, go ahead! Imaginary dragons or fire breathing bunnies, shoot them! But not birds, dogs, cats, or people. Just a personal preference. :)

Qtpies7~ · January 2, 2008 at 5:31 pm

We have teetered on this one. My husband’s brother committed suicide with a gun at the age of 12. So, while it is not the guns fault, we made sure that the kids new guns were tools not toys. They still made lego guns, stick guns, banana guns. There was no stopping it. We have guns in the house, it isn’t a fear, but we were just sensitive about it.
However, now guns are toys, too. All but one of our boys has a paintball gun, and they shoot each other for fun.

I’m going to be blogging your contest, I’ll leave you links when I do.

Colleen · January 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I honestly have no problem with toy guns. We had them when we were little too. I think it’s just up to parents to explain the dangers of real guns.

The photo is priceless. So great.

mama k · January 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Wow! So generous!

I have four brothers and agree that in the hands of a boy a piece of toast can be a gun. LOL
But I guess I wouldn’t want my son to have a bb gun or anything until he was old enough to really understand that guns serious business.

jenn · January 2, 2008 at 6:42 pm

I have two boys.. four brothers. i think anything that is in your house can be made into a pretend gun LOL, so having a play gun doesnt bother me. ive taught my kids the difference between real and make believe and also what guns are really for, so them playing cowboys and indians in the backyard, well it gives me lots of laughter!

Cocoa · January 2, 2008 at 6:59 pm

We don’t have one single problem with it. All my kids, well at least the six oldest, have their own cap guns, and they’re all girls! Dad even gave them their own single shot .22 called a Chipmunk for Christmas two years ago. They are only allowed to shoot it with supervision but they do know how to use it and have been taught how to use Dad’s other guns as well. Course we do live out in the country and shooting is the only sport Dad likes so I guess that’s one reason why the kids are interested in it too. Just as some families enjoy football or basketball we enjoy trap shooting.

Cute picture of your Dad!

bree · January 2, 2008 at 7:03 pm

such a CUTE picture! thats a great one to have!

I teeter on this one as well- I own a BB gun with my name nicely painted on it, have a 22…they are at my parents home. I grew up around guns, knew they werent toys- knew gun safety and still played with pretend guns etc. My kids? We dont have any guns in the house-but they have always pretended with whatever they could make to be a gun without even knowing- its in their genes or something. I am not against having a toy gun, we just dont have one(why when the neighbohood stick and the toilet brush serve as the same..haha :) So I am not against- I am just for gun safety. :) haha

Looking forward to this new contest!! I will blog about it too :)

Deb · January 2, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Hmmm, tough one for me. Coming from a family of 4 girls and having 3 girls now myself, I never really thought too highly of them. But perhaps that’s because I have no experience with little boys, or with guns for that matter. I think teaching appropriate behaviours with guns would make a difference.

Deb · January 2, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Oh! Forgot to include that I’ve updated my blog with your link current.

Happy Geek · January 2, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Personally I don’t really like guns. That being said, I have two boys and I am certain that at some point there will be guns in my house. I totally agree with other commenters, a boy can turn a dishrag into a gun.
So, while I amy not love it, I am sure that someday my kids will be defending their forts someday too!

Amanda · January 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm

I personally don’t have an issue with it. It is just as pretend whether you are using a plastic toy gun or just holding your finger and thumb out pointing at someone. I think it is all in how parents handle it. The one area that always does concern me is how sometimes it is difficult for a law enforcement officer to know whether that is a plastic gun pointed at another kid on the playground or if its the real thing. Don’t they make all the plastic ones have a flouroscent orange band on them now for that very reason?

Lisa · January 2, 2008 at 7:18 pm

I did not allow pretend guns in my house. However my son got a bb gun at 12 and now has multiple bb, airsoft,hunting and paint ball guns. I guess I always wanted my son to respect guns. With my new little ones we have not decided yet.

Kellie · January 2, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Having two little brothers (and a son, who I’m sure will one day be turning everything into an explosive or gun), I don’t see any harm in pretend-gun play. We used to play with cap guns when I was little. Like you said, as long as the motives don’t get too unlawful, there doesn’t seen to be a problem.

I linked your giveaway on my blog–

Jamie · January 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Hmmm… I’m on the fence about the whole gun thing, honestly. I don’t allow toy guns in my home, but I wouldn’t stop my kids from learning how to use a real gun properly. I think i worry that they would get used to a toy gun, then try and use a real gun as a toy…

I also may be crazy. heh.

Monique · January 2, 2008 at 7:57 pm

We don’t allow toy guns at our house. I know it’s probably harmless, but I just cringe when I see kids pretend to shoot each other. My kids also don’t watch a whole lot of TV, so I’m not sure they’d even know what to do with a toy gun :)

Tasha · January 2, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I think some people go a little overboard when it comes to this kind of thing. We were taught how to shoot when we were kids, (three girls and one boy) but we were also taught that guns were dangerous and not to be played with. I used to go hunting with my dad when I was 14 or 15. My brother was given his first BB gun when he was 12 but never tried to shoot anyone with it – he knew he’d be skinned alive if he tried!

Nicole · January 2, 2008 at 9:12 pm

I think gun play is a right of passage for little boys. I added the contest here
Happy New Year!

Michelle · January 2, 2008 at 9:50 pm

My husband has a gun for hunting. The kids have seen it and know it is not a toy. I don’t like the idea of guns being used as a toy in any form (water gun, toy gun etc). Don’t know how my ideals will change as my two year old gets older and starts turning every inanimate object into a gun but right now I am against it. I want they to respect guns and not think of them as toys.

glittersmama · January 2, 2008 at 9:55 pm

As long as they aren’t obnoxious and point them in my face, I don’t care.

Andrea · January 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Awww…cute picture! I’m still not TOO sure what I think on gun play…I think that I think (if that makes sense!) that it’s okay as long as they are not doing things like shooting people, etc. Anyways, I’m super pumped about your next contest!! Here’s my link to it as well:

Kilikina · January 2, 2008 at 10:47 pm

count me in for the $100 drawing
btw- your daughter looks just like your dad. i’m sorry I don’t remember her name. but they look identical!

jw4mkc · January 2, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Girl..If I keep bloggin about you, people are gonna start talking – Maybe I should blog about myself in between – haha.. Well, as usual – I BLOGGED!! You are up there..

Okay gun play – Rolling for cover – PRICELESS!!! and ‘when he starts playing ‘hold up the corner store’ – You are so witty. That is so funny!
I think he is fine as long as he knows the difference.

Last – OH MY – I thought that was Sam or Georgia at Six Flags doing the old wild west pictures!! Your side of the family must have very Potent Genes! :)

jw4mkc · January 2, 2008 at 11:09 pm

Oh..and thanks for the comments – Don’t know why, but I just got them.

kailani · January 3, 2008 at 12:35 am

I’ve never been comfortable with toy guns. Maybe it’s because I grew up with only girls in the family.

I blogged about your giveaway at


robin · January 3, 2008 at 2:37 am

It’s not really been an issue since we have two girls. But I think it really depends on the kid you know?
Just like some kids can handle scary movies and others can’t. (My daughters were watching the Nightmare on Elm Street movies before they could read – and they aren’t serial killers.)

Thanks for the contest!

Dextress · January 3, 2008 at 5:02 am

a toy gun, well and fine. but what if someday he insists on a real gun? i am only dreadful about that situation.

Christina E · January 3, 2008 at 7:16 am

With 4 brothers, I played with my fair share of guns. We all turned out just fine:) !

Carey · January 3, 2008 at 7:44 am

Ive never been very comfortable with the whole idea of gun play. I dont allow toy guns in my house. I only have one boy out for four, and hes my youngest, so there really hasnt been much of a want to play with that type of stuff.

Courtney · January 3, 2008 at 8:00 am

My brother and I had cap guns as kids and we turned out fine. I don’t have a problem with it. However we never had real guns in the house.

By the way, what a great giveaway you are doing.

Susy-Q · January 3, 2008 at 8:21 am

I am not a fan of guns–real or toy. My husband and I have not had to have this discussion yet since my son is only 17 months old but I have a feeling we will have differing opinions on this one. My hubby’s father was in the military and my husband and his brothers all had BB guns and all sorts of other things. His Dad taught them to respect them and my husband continues to enjoy target shooting if the opportunity arises. He is not a hunter though. He couldn’t hurt a fly. I know if my son eventually gets a toy gun, my husband and I will be sure that he knows the difference between “defending his fort” and “holding up the corner store”.

Tuesday · January 3, 2008 at 8:31 am

My kids are not allowed to have guns or swords but my nephews are. I let them play with them at their house but they know that is the only place they can play with them and we don’t think it is a great toy idea.
they are fine with that.

Kait · January 3, 2008 at 8:56 am

That picture is so “A Christmas Story”! Is that even a bowling ball wrapped up under the tree? As for gun play, my son is obsessed with pirates, so we have swords and guns galore. I’m okay with them as long as he doesn’t say “I’m going to shoot you” or get too crazy with them. As long as he understands that real guns are nothing to play with, I’m okay with the pirate pistols.

BT · January 3, 2008 at 9:17 am

Wow count me in! And don’t worry, boys will be boys =) Thanks!

sherry · January 3, 2008 at 9:31 am

The photo is priceless. Somehow to me the 6 shooter is real enough that a child can be taught that it is make believe. And that there are real guns and that you don’t play with them. Can you really do that light sabers and stuff like that? I see the results of the real world everyday. Kids that made mistakes mostly because they didn’t know or realize the consequences and that there is a difference between real and make believe. Anyway love the photo. Wish we could see some of those old 50’s shows on t.v. maybe the world would be a better place.

zoe · January 3, 2008 at 10:32 am

i have 3 boys. i tried to keep guns out of their hands…they just chewed their toast into the shape of one!

Deanne S. · January 3, 2008 at 10:36 am

There is a toy cap gun at Grandma’s house from when my husband was a boy, our boys love it. Just had to make the rule there was no pointing it at people and “killing” them.

Sarah · January 3, 2008 at 10:49 am

I think it is fine to play “guns” as long as kids don’t aim at people. But, if it is a nerf boys (hubby too) shot at one another. Of coarse, I get in on the fun, too…who doesn’t like to get someone?

Sarah · January 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

Here is the link to your contest! I think this is a great contest!!


Jaime Stephens · January 3, 2008 at 12:05 pm

I have 2 girls so we have a lot of fairy and princess stuff around the house. I personally don’t feel right with them playing with guns. They scare me… but that’s just me. Boys will be boys. I worry about all the accidental shootings from children playing with real guns.


jenB · January 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I bet if we broke it down there would be a difference in what Americans and Canadians think. I LOVED my cap gun as a kid, but just for the noise. Eventually I just took out the cap strip and used a rock to make the sound. I am not hyper vigilant about no guns, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy any as toys. Love that photo of your dad though!

lace · January 3, 2008 at 2:28 pm

I grew up with only brothers and they always had play guns. I also took out the cap strip and banged it with a rock instead.

I guess I don’t mind gun play but I don’t encourage it either. If a kid wants to play guns they are gonna play guns even if they don’t have a toy gun. Anything can become a gun if a child wants it to be.

lace · January 3, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Here is my blog entry:

Lacy · January 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm

I think I am those parents. I know, I know…lame-o. I was just raised to think guns are BAD. No ands, ifs, or buts… they are BAD. I am getting better. I think it really just depends on whether you were raised around guns and it also depends on the child.

Lacy · January 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Oh, and here is my blog entry (fingers crossed).

Beth · January 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm

We don’t “do” guns in our house…but we are consistent and don’t “do” swords, lightsabers, squirt guns – none of it. My kids very rarely use other things as weapons and they understand (as much as they can at 7, 5, and 3) our reasoning behind it. But we also tell them that not everyone shares our view and that our view isn’t any better than anyone else’s. We have taught them to respect that other kids play with toy guns and such and it’s up to each family to decide for themsleves.

My husband went to play laser tag with the youth group kids and when the kids and I arrived we could watch on a big screen what was happening. My middle child began crying and when my husband came out she said “daddy I thought we don’t play with guns in our family”! Well he agreed with her and no longer does laser tag or paintball with the youth group.

All this to say that it is important to be consistent and also to not impose your views in a critical way on others…and to teach your kids those same lessons.

Here is the link to your contest on my blog:

Jaime Stephens · January 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Alright… so I finally broke down and started a blog of my very own :O) Here’s the link to my blurb about the contest and my love affair with your store.

Heather · January 3, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Happily, we’re not there yet with our son. However, I’ve heard from other parents of boys that even if guns are banned from the house, boys tend to play war and guns and things of that sort anyway…so, I don’t see the harm in accessorizing the play a little…particularly if ground rules are set and family values on the issue are clear.

Naomi · January 3, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I don’t think cowboy-style revolvers are much of a problem. Machine guns and contemporary handguns freak me out a little, mostly because I am afraid someone might mistake them for real guns. I definitely prefer lightsabers and wooden swords!

Posted here:

Stacey Moore · January 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Love the photo!! I think pretend play is totally acceptable!! Thanks for such a great contest!!

Shimona · January 3, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Great giveaway! Hope I win!

KathrynB · January 3, 2008 at 6:30 pm

You know, I thought we could be one of “those” families that didn’t play with guns (and I carried that over to ALL toy “weapons”), and probably, couldn’t have gotten away with that with our oldest, incredibly mellow, son. HOWEVER, our second (now 6 year old) was one of those kids who made a “oot” (shoot) out of toast. Yeah, we’re good w/gun play now.. we just try not to point at real people or animals..

holly* · January 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

gun play is something that kids do. i personally dont see what the difference is between a cap gun, a water pistol, or a kid using his thumb and finger as a mock gun. in fact, my MIL didnt buy her two sons toy guns. the two boys seldomly watched tv and when they did it was early sesame street. regardless, one day she sees them using their fingers to “shoot” each other.

i dont plan on keeping toy guys our of my son’s playtime if thats his toy of choice. but, at the same time, i do plan on telling him all about real guns and how harmful they can be and how we should respect them and yada, yada, hippy bullcrap, yada. (i have no love for guns, but i see why people have/enjoy them. my husband on the other hand is a big war-mongering butthead… kinda)

ps. awesome shot of your pops and THANKS for the giveaway!

Cathi · January 3, 2008 at 7:43 pm

This is an incredible giveaway!!

Christi · January 3, 2008 at 8:02 pm

I love it! Thanks for the giveaway!

I also don’t think gun play is anything for people to be worried about! My little ones go around ‘killing’ each other regularly, but does that mean that they are violent in their real interactions? Not at all! There are other things we need to worry about, in my opinion!

frannie · January 3, 2008 at 8:40 pm

I would love to win a gift card!

as far as the gun goes, I agree with you. I had working guns by the time I was 10 and no one ever got hurt… much less a plastic pretend fun.

Caryn B · January 3, 2008 at 8:53 pm

Hmmm….that’s a difficult and personal decision.

Guns personally scare me so I would hesitate but I have a little boy so I don’t know when he grows up if he has other little friends who pretend play how that will be….

DAnielle · January 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Boys love guns…I don’t think that will ever change and I don’t have a problem with it, but maybe thats because I’m a mother of only boys! LOL!
dansan826 at yahoo dot com

Check out my blog!

Erin Read · January 3, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Oh I would love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

Noreen · January 3, 2008 at 9:55 pm

what a cute picture!!

Alyson · January 3, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Thankfully, with 3 girls, it is not a major issue in our house. My hubby has much stronger feelings on the subject than I. He insists that guns be referred to as weapons (military training) to help keep the seriousness of them at the forefront. This applies to toys as well. With boys, I do not think they are an easy thing to avoid, just teach responsable behavior. Just my 2 cents.;)

Taowyn · January 3, 2008 at 10:27 pm

What a cute photo. And a great giveaway.

Angela C · January 4, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Very cute picture. BUT, I am NOT a fan of toy guys or real guns for that matter. I totally understand about wanting to play cobs and robbers, or cowboys. But in today’s society playing with a toy gun can be dangerous. I just vision a child playing with a toy gun outside and someone mistaking it for a real gun and who knows what could happen. I don’t like it, but that’s just my two cents.

Diane · January 5, 2008 at 12:38 am

I don’t like guns myself but we haven’t crossed that bridge with our son yet… we’ll have to see then!

Krista · January 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Wow this would be so awesome! Here’s my blog post about it:

Not the Queen · January 5, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I think it depends on the child. At almost 4, I don’t like my daughter playing gun games, because she insists on killing everyone and everything. She doesn’t understand. However, older children may be fine playing with guns. I think there needs to be an understanding of what guns are and what happens when real guns are used for children to safely play games with them, real or not.

Alexia · January 5, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Growing up…my siblings and I played with guns, swords…really any weapon we could come up with (I recall a whip and nunchucks once….) I don’t see a problem with it. Guns are a part of life. I see more harm coming from a child who has never been introduced to a gun and then comes across a real one than in the child who “played” with them while growing up and was taught proper behavior with real ones. My boys will have guns to play with.

I’ve plugged your contest here:

Chris · January 5, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Guns are not toys. I played with them…then grew up and joined the army. Coincidence?

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls · January 6, 2008 at 1:08 pm

We don’t let our girls play with guns at all either, but I remember playing with water guns and other toy guns while growing up and it never affected me – somehow I just can’t bring myself to buy any though.

I blogged about your contest! :)

Doreen · January 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I remember when my brother and I were little playing with the cap guns but I just think these days I just wouldn’t personally let my children play with those. Safety first and there are MANY other things that that they can play with for fun instead of guns. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with them in my home. Oh and I blogged about the giveaway!! :)Cool contest!

Tara · January 6, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I’d love to win this!
As for gun play… well… I must admit that I had trouble with it at first. I was an only daughter of a single mother and guns just seemed evil. But now that I have two sons I don’t see how we can avoid it. I suppose I would rather have them play pretend now than get a real gun later.

I blogged about your contest at

Cindi Hoppes · January 7, 2008 at 4:08 pm

My two sons had pretty many weapon type toys. They really never dueled or anything with them. The funny thing is when another boy came over who wasn’t allowed any type of weapon toys, that is all he wanted to do!
He tried to collect every toy he could and have it on him!!!!! Cindi

liza · January 9, 2008 at 10:24 am

I have two boys and I don’t have a problem with them playing a gun toy as long It doesn’t really fire dangerous things. I see you have a great collection of photos here..I envied you having beautiful girls that the only one things missing in my family..;)

Kevin · June 17, 2008 at 8:44 am

Lol.. this sure bring back memory, I still kept the first Airsoft Sniper my dad bought me, I still recalled he told me, ‘Go now, protect your sis with it.’ Strange when you think back, I think that’s why I became a cop. :P

James · July 21, 2008 at 2:09 am

Personally I think if it’s make believe, then they are no harm. It is almost impossible to have kids not want to play with toy guns and such, and even water pistols can be considered harmful in that they promote kids running around trying to shoot each other, if one thinks extremely. But it also removes a part of what growing up is about. The right thing to do is to educate the kids as they grow up about the negative aspects.

Debbie · November 3, 2008 at 7:25 pm

cute picture reminds me of my brother years ago

Debbie’s last blog post..Kingman Paintball Gun

Airsoftking · November 25, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Super photo! I think boys (and some girls) should have their guns…For kids, they should be toys. For grown-ups, they can be airsoft guns. Participating in an airsoft game allows you to play out a fantasy role, escape from the routine of day to day life and lose yourselves for a few hours. People come to play airsoft from all walks of life, estate agents, bankers, teachers or housewives can handle a gun and be transformed into a member of the FBI, a criminal on the run or whoever takes their fancy at the time. I think it’s more important to teach kids about safety and responsibility than to keep them far away from anything that might harm them…

Airsoft Rifles · December 4, 2008 at 8:09 am

Parent’s can use guns to teach children respect and also bring them together possibly share a hobby. Guns don’t need to be just for protection/shooting animals. Shooting can be a fun, competitive sport that can teach discipline and responsibility.

Airsoft guns are great replacements for your traditional BB gun which is much more dangerous (especially the ‘pump’ guns which can shoot close to 1000 FPS)

Airsoft BB’s are plastic, and don’t pack the same punch that lead BB’s or even paintballs do. Just wear eye safety.

T.Power · December 30, 2008 at 7:55 pm

I fall into the “we had them when we were little and I’m still sane” category. It is up to parents to teach children the proper respect for real weapons (knives,swords, or guns) and for the child to understand play weapons can be fun but can also hurt.
Just be careful or you’ll shoot your eye out !

about airsoft · January 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I think as long as a child has the level headedness to realise that guns (airsoft, bb, paintball) can seriously injure someone, and therefore will never ‘mock’ aim a gun when not appropriate to do so, its ok to teach them to use one.

troy - Nerf Guy · January 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Well having read the article and many of the comments I know that there are many feelings on such a topic as thiis, but one of those that as long as you teach kids good principles, and teach them proper ethics and that toys are just toys and shouldn’t be treated lightly even as toys I think children can grow up knowing and understanding the differences and turn out just fine.

troy – Nerf Guy’s last blog post..Our Top Picks For The Best Nerf Guns with Reviews updated Thu Jan 15 2009 7:35 am CST

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