OK, my 8 (almost 9) yo son was playing with some neighborhood kids
yesterday and they were playing with these airsoft guns (kinda like a
paintball game just with plastic bb's). So, my son wants one. I want
to say yes, but part of me is wondering if that is really just not
very smart on my part???

I should say that I don't really care for these kids in the
neighborhood and they aren't my sons first choice to play with, but
since it's warmed up they've been coming over more often.

My concerns.

What would the neighbors think of me for letting my son play with
these ?? I know...who cares! I can get over this one!!

Is he old enough?? These boys are a few years older...but I wouldn't
say they're more mature. In fact yesterday one of them had an extra
gun for him to play with and he said he wanted to watch first and
check it out with mom and dad? (WOW, when I was a kid I sure wouldn't
have done that!! What's that saying, easier to ask for forgiveness
than permission?? <bwg>)

So, last night I told him I'd do some research (which I'm in the
process of and these are outlawed in some countries)! I also read that
you have to be 18 to purchase these. One website selling these, says
this is NOT a toy. Most articles I'm reading are saying these guns
are not for children unless supervised by an adult. Which I could do.
I also told him I'd like to walk down to the park and see how it's
played, check it out, see how safe I feel it is.

I know all about the safety gear (eyewear,etc.) and knowing him he'd
be really responsible about listening to the warnings and taking the
safety precautions! One of my concerns is these kids that he's
playing with and that they won't be very careful.

DS has always enjoyed weapons, light sabers, swords, toy guns, all
that kind of imaginative play! Which to be honest, before I had kids
(my son), I would have said I'd never bring a weapon into my house
(real or fake)! So, I've done a 180, but I still don't own any real
guns! :)

So, I guess I'm asking here wondering if anyone has experience with
these airsoft guns. And I guess I'm wondering if this yes should wait??

amy g



About airsoft guns: I could've written your letter. It sounds exactly where I was at a few years ago, though my son was probably 10. The kids from the hood with the guns were the kids he played with. I told them to please not bring the guns to the house if they wanted to play at our home. I had a 6 and 2 year old at the time. The kids listened and respected that. These same kids always walked the line between being great and practically breaking the law, so I had to keep a close eye on my son, who is only 1 year younger. At 11, I gave in. I say "gave in" because that is how I felt about it at the time. I didn't want to argue about it EVERY day. Yes, I was and still am very concerned about the safety....but he protected himself and I told all the kids *my* expectation that they ALL protect themselves at all times, that I was concerned and loved them all.

They played a lot for a few weeks. Then once a week, then once a month. You get it. But my son was so thrilled to be more of a part of his "tribe" and not so far on the outskirts. Which I think he has always felt being homeschooled and our home being the LAST to own any video game system etc.

His trust in me went up and mine in him as well. It did lead to paint ball------------but again, 3x a year maybe?? It really was more about the mutual trust, and ME hearing what HIS wants were.

I hate guns. I have never wanted anything to do with them. I have 3 boys. They love swords, knives, name it. But they also fully believe in fairies, knomes, elves and goodness everlasting. So that is the balance of the scales for them I guess. I try to think about the hardwiring that is in each of us. I tend to rely on this a lot to help me understand the needs of my boys. Men/boys were the protectors for thousands of years. They could not be afraid to be attacked or to attack. They were busy hunting and focusing on that ONE goal----feeding the family or group. (this might explain part of why we perceive men as only being able to accomplish one thing at a time).

My boys' drive toward guns was not brought on by MTV (never seen it) nor movies or real life dramas. They made "guns" from sticks as early as they could walk. So, I don't think it is about the violence for them. Though *I* feel guns are violent by nature.......the boys do not. We have talked for hours about his issue, and it helped my oldest be a bit more patient with me during the time he was hearing NO. But I told him that I would really find a way to make his DESIRE be realized. And I did. I had to expand MY comfort zone. Just as I ask him to expand his comfort zone by reading an article or joining me for a play. We all need to stretch.

That being said, of course--go look, observe, and continue to talk and observe your son's play with these guns. My little guys-now 9 and 5 play with them.......EMPTY. That does not decrease the fun for them. Besides, the "bullets" cost money and usually my oldest has other things he would rather do for the same cost. Now it is on to ATV's and jet stretch NOW!


"Childhood is a journey, not a race."

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> > So, I guess I'm asking here wondering if anyone has experience with
> these airsoft guns. And I guess I'm wondering if this yes should

Our family does have experience with these guns, and they are a lot of
fun to play with. I've had children using them responsibly at 8,
although it was illegal to sell them to those under 14 where we lived.
But we used to live in the middle of nowhere. Now we live in an area
where playing with guns like these would be a dangerous choice to make.\


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--- In [email protected], "graberamy" <graber@...> wrote:
> So, I guess I'm asking here wondering if anyone has experience with
> these airsoft guns. And I guess I'm wondering if this yes should wait??
> amy g
> iowa

Amy, we have been big into airsoft for years and have actually invested quite a bit of
money into the sport over the years. My youngest son is now 15 but like I said we've
played for years. I can't remember how old he was when he started playing. the "rule" is
that everyone MUST wear protective gear at all times. If someone in the group refuses
then my son is instructed not to play. All of us parents in the neighborhood are pretty
much on the same page so wherever they're playing we keep a watchful eye without
hovering. The kids "get" the importance of safety so it really isn't much of an issue. My
boys love it when I play with them which is rare. They think it's pretty funny with all of my
girly screaming and carrying ons.

My boys have always had an interest in weapons - not because of negative influences but
because it's their bent. I think it's normal for boys to have a healthy interest in weapons.
Having said that my own personal rule of thumb has always been that if I see anything
strange going on as with any other interest, I explore it and if need be pull in the reins. I
can only think of a couple times when I've had to do that and airsoft has not been one of