Saturday, January 27, 2007

Weapons in Child-Play?

As many of you know, we try to promote the more classical type of toys here on this website. What I've been thinking about lately has been the issue of weapon-play. Aesthetically pleasing or not, a weapon is a weapon. Classical or not, a weapon is a weapon. Should we or should we not allow our children to play with weapons? It's a big issue. Below are some thoughts, disorganized they may be... bear with me as I try to hash this one out.

My husband and I have had many conversations/debates concerning the use of weapons for children's use in play. We both are in agreement when it comes to certain acts, for instance children pointing guns right at each others' heads, pretending to brutally kill one another. (This is not, in our minds, healthy play.) -But then there is the whole sword-fighting thing and bow-and-arrow thing which I really think that every little boy is entitled to, let alone that every boy (perhaps) will most likely end up playing around with anyway. Whether you ban toy-weapons or not, young boys will take a stick and pretend it's a gun. Doesn't every boy love to run around in the woods and pretend they're Robin Hood or whoever their role model is at the time??

Of course, the way a little boy will play with a weapon is very much influenced by that which he is exposed to. If he plays video games and watches violent movies, he is bound to use a weapon in the types of ways he sees them being used. If a boy reads stories of chivalrous knights or survivors in the woods, he is bound to play that type of character when he picks up a toy weapon.

-So there is the question: Do you ban guns but allow the other weapons? After all, guns are more violent-looking than a sweet little bow-and-arrow or a beautiful wooden handmade sword. (I am sort of playing the devil's advocate here...)
-There is the whole very respectable Quaker-mindset of children not being allowed to play with weapons period.
Zip, zilch, none.
...But then I find myself wondering if that type of ban is sort of like the alcohol-ban, where, upon leaving the house, children go crazy with it and get wasted because they were never allowed one sip. Hmm.
-Perhaps the way to draw to draw the line is to not allow children to use weapons for use in killing humans, but only for hunting...?
-Or perhaps you simply carefully choose which weapons they play with, observe how they are using them, and teach them noble use of that tool, so to speak. This would be the most likely way I'd end up handling the issue I think. (Logically and philisophically, my husband would disagree with me here..)

I don't have any answers... and I really don't have any concrete view on it all yet. Thank God, though, that we are Catholic and have the beautiful, wise, Mother Church to guide us. The Church doesn't teach anything hard-core on this issue, but we all know, as Catholics, that we are called to be peacemakers. I was originally inspired to write this post because some friends of mine on their blog,, posted what the Pope lately has said relating to this matter. I found it interesting and it made me ponder this whole issue a little deeper.

The following is from (Date: 2007-01-22):

Pope Urges Youth to "Change the Game" (VATICAN CITY )

Benedict XVI gave his public support to the Change the Game project, an initiative that asks children to put toy weapons aside. "I am pleased with this initiative and I would like to extend the appeal: Let's protect children from the spread of violence!" the Pope said on Sunday when greeting crowds gathered to pray the Angelus.

The project, which began in Leece, Italy, sponsors campaigns to "disarm" children of their violent play things. Since it began, Change the Game has collected some 4,500 toy weapons.

With the help of the civil authorities of Leece, Vito Patti, known as the Magician Fracasso, organized a month-long "disarmament" campaign that ended Jan. 6.

When Benedict XVI received Magician Fracasso in a private audience, the magician gave the Holy Father 12 toy weapons collected during the campaign.

The Change the Game project is now being promoted in other European cities.

~Sia, Vancouver, WA

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one of us :: 5:29 AM :: 7 Comments