PopSugar Columnist Argues ‘Why Kids Should Never Play With Water Guns’

Children playing with water guns. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Water guns should not be played with. At all. Period. End of story.

Such is the reasoning of Lauren Levy, a contributor to the website PopSugar, who wrote an editorial arguing that toy guns, in particular water guns, send mixed messages to young children with regards to gun safety.

“These ‘toys’ are also sending mixed messages and diluting the most important ones: guns are no joke. Guns aren’t innocent, even if they are ‘harmless’ and in plastic form,” wrote Levy.

“These are weapons that can end lives, and as much as we want to teach our kids about gun control and safety, we contradict ourselves the second we allow them to run around with toy versions to shoot their friends,” she continued.

What’s interesting is that Levy made an exception for “water squirters,” those long tubular devices that suck up water with the pull of the handle, she writes, “We still had all of the same Summer fun, but with water squirters that didn’t look like deadly weapons and never trivialized this important topic.”

Hmmm. Levy’s carve out is an interesting one because at the end of the day whether it’s with a water gun or with a water squirter the result is the same: a child is shooting his or her friend with water. By her own insane logic, couldn’t I argue that the mere notion of “shooting” someone with anything is abhorrent as it predisposes a child to violent and aggressive behavior? Couldn’t I?

I could. But that way of thinking is, as mentioned, insane. The problem is not that we send mixed messages to our kids, the problem is that we see a problem with sending mixed messages. Life is full of mixed messages, contradictions and WTF moments. It is, particularly when one is growing up.

Here’s an obvious mixed message for a youngster as it relates to firearms. Levy writes,“ A gun is a serious and powerful object that can permanently destroy lives.” Which is true, but what do you tell a child who asks, “Well, if they’re so dangerous, why does dad have a safe full of them? Why does he keep one in a biometric safe next to his bed? Why does dad even need these tools of death?”

The early stages of a child’s life is a thorny labyrinth of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Whether the subject is bed time, using foul language, eating green beans, handling firearms, etc. children are bombarded with instruction that runs contrary to the behavior they witness in the older folks around them. This is unavoidable. Instead of trying to shelter children from the complexity of life we ought to encourage them to inquire about it early and often because that’s what leads to personal growth and maturity.

Listen, I’m not saying we throw a loaded wheel gun at six-year-old and say, “Figure it out, kiddo.” What I am saying is that we respond to a child’s questions about the contradictions of early life not with rigid dogma, “All guns are evil, all guns are evil, all guns are evil,” but with the truth: This is good behavior and that is bad behavior. This appropriate and that is inappropriate. This is a water toy and that is a lethal weapon.

Fact: children are inherently curious. They are eager to taste all the forbidden fruits. That’s why when it comes to the most dangerous forbidden fruit, firearms, the best thing to do is to slake that curiosity. Don’t shield them from firearms, educate them about firearms.  Bring them to the range, teach them the rules of gun safety, allow them to shoot a firearm under parental supervision. In short order they’ll understand the difference between the power of a real gun and that of a water gun and any message as it relates to the two will no longer be mixed.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • DDayDog May 30, 2017, 7:04 pm

    Hmm … We can’t have them play with toy water guns because it sets some dangerous precedent ? Huh? BUT … they will watch TV (monitored or not) which we will have to explain to them (while at the age of playing with water guns) the TV actors shooting people are NOT REAL and the people are just … umm … hmm “playing” war, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, invasion of the aliens, etc. … BUT that’s okay for them to do it but not them ? WTF ?

  • Vic May 30, 2017, 11:39 am

    “The Horror… The Horror ” LOL

    Thai Water Festival


    For those who want to know what’s really behind the Anti-Water gun prattling of just another Globalist Minion, Fawning Toady and Sycophant?


    Listen to a brief interview of Professor Angelo Codevilla

    If you get it.. Pass it on.

    In Liberty


  • C. Aldridge May 26, 2017, 5:08 pm

    This Levy person probably doesn’t know the first thing about firearms. She probably got anything she whined for growing up. Strange she doesn’t say anything about the video and online games these snowflakes let their kids play so the won’t bother the parents. Seems to me that, if she was so much against squirt guns, she should be more against the gratuitous violence in those games. Just like everything else though, someone needs to teach the child the proper use of most anything. She should go back into the hole she crawled out of and let parents do their job. of teaching common sense and good values.

  • stephen May 26, 2017, 1:42 pm

    Is it really that confusing for kids that some things are for adults who are mature and know how to use them only?
    I wonder how she would feel about parents use chainsaws and drills, and other power tools and tell their kids not to use them, but then buy their kids plastic toy “powertools”? should we also not allow kids to play with remote control cars, or those little battery powered cars kids can sit in and drive because it will confuse them so much that mommy and daddy say only adults can drive cars yet, they’re letting me drive a car! this must mean I can take my mom’s keys and drive the minivan down the fee way to grandma’s house!

    • missourisam May 26, 2017, 9:45 pm

      I grew up in a household where guns were kept, and kept loaded. We lived on a farm in a rural area, and livestock depredation was a fact of life. If our live stock was killed we went without necessities and even food. I was taught to shoot at six years of age, and was taught very early on that guns were not toys, and could kill if used dangerously, and were used to kill if need be. Unless a child is raised in a vacum, or by an idiot it is not hard to teach him/her to respect life and that misuse of a gun can kill a loved one or themselves. When my son was four years old, I became a police officer. The department idea was to unload yous weapon upon reaching home, lock it in a drawer or closet, take the ammo and lock it in a separate drawer or closet. Since I was arresting people that were criminals, and many were violent, that seemed the poster child of stupid. Do you tell a criminal that has broken into your home, wait a few minutes until I get my gun from where it is safely locked away, get my ammo that is safely locked away, and load my gun before you shoot me or my family. I don’t know of a one that would have complied. Thus my gun was loaded and kept in a compartment of the headboard of the bed when I was home, and my off duty weapon was there at night for my wife when I worked nights. My son never bothered it, as he understood the ramifications of misuse of a weapon. I also got a GSD and taught him to attack any stranger that entered the house uninvited. He was much more dangerous than the gun, because once he pulled the trigger there was no stopping him until the person he was after became completely still. That would generally mean dead. My kids never shot anyone, and the dog only attacked four people.

  • harold melton May 26, 2017, 12:56 pm

    I grew up playing with cap pistol around the 50’s. It was the era of the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry and many other pistol carrying cowboys. However, being young then I never heard of gun related accidents. Also, I didn’t know of any family having a firearm in their home. What changed from the 50’s to now? You don’t hear often of children taking the family vehicle, but you hear and read of countless unauthorized gun accidents in the homes. Training youngsters in the use and safety of firearms will not stop all shooting accident. Gun owners Must secure all firearms as they secure their wealthy items in a safe.

    • George May 26, 2017, 1:49 pm

      You don’t hear of the kid taking the family car because it isn’t newsworthy. As a police officer, I can tell you it happens an awful lot but usually, nothing much happens unless the kid gets drunk or high or both and wrecks it. If they kill themselves or their friends, then it makes news but not like a kid killing themselves or others with a nasty, evil gun. I would readily agree firearms need to be secured but firearms owners need to be educated to do so, not compelled as part of a government condition for firearms ownership.

  • Watergunner May 26, 2017, 12:54 pm

    Grew up in a house in the 70s where this was the rule imposed, and with the same fallacious logic. Forbidden fruit indeed! We hid our waterguns from our parents instead! One grew up to join the military, and I have a concealed carry permit and a fine selection of firearms. Those concerned this type of lunacy will destroy us, take heart. Youngsters are often smarter and certainly more liberated than most adults.

    • Campbell A King May 26, 2017, 2:14 pm

      Well said,lol.

  • Larry May 26, 2017, 12:53 pm

    Plus, the little darlings might get wet & start to melt & we can’t have that, now, can we?

  • krinkov545 May 26, 2017, 12:21 pm

    So if pedal cars and Barbie jeeps are banned does that mean Abdulla wont be ramming delivery trucks and passenger cars into big party crowds?

  • Lou Fisher May 26, 2017, 12:19 pm

    What a bunch of crap! – Who is ‘Levy’ ? – This guy S.H. BLANNELBERRY, is quoting some other misfit and I would suppose both of them have never shot a gun – Grow up and let go of Mamma’s hemline!

  • Rickey Morris May 26, 2017, 11:22 am

    Amazing that I find I’m a Miracle since we were raised in the countryside and out working with Adults on the Farm at a very young age. I knew about Firearms and had a 22 Rifle by age 9. Gun Safety was installed along with manners, work ethics, responsibility, and respect for Adults, and others. We never had one case of children shooting each other, never threatened to shoot one another (because our parents did their jobs as parents and taught us, and did not turn us loose until they were sure we learned them) Yes it was a different time in the 50’s and 60’s, and yes the Parents actually took responsibility for discipline and punishment when required. I worry about the kids coming up that our kids raised, because somewhere in the late 70s onward, socialism and twisted values took a great bite out of common sense, and self-control in our country. No don’t spank those kids it will do them harm mentally and socially! No don’t swat them on the behind when they get out of line or steal, or use foul words in everyday language, it will impair their psyche development. And don’t counter the indoctrination they are now taught in school instead of normal education or we will need a safe place for them to recover in quiet. That is what is harming our children, not the toy guns. The rest of the Nation stood silent when the attempted takeover and control of America by these groups started, and that’s also the reason you see the left going crazy because they thought they had us. They thought our silence was submission, so they assumed they had broken America. This is why the Media is playing Politics, the Left Wing Leaders are exploding, and rumors are called news instead of truth. They still don’t understand that America still stands, and that Childeren can still be taught respect, and responsibility for their actions. That Government has no place or roll in education of morals, or common sense, or teaching the right to bear arms is as much a part of our hearitage as freedom that we fought for is. And you can’t break us with words that they use as weapons because they have nothing else. Kids can be taught to play with toy guns, and that real ones have a very different outcome. That the weight of their decisions carry very real results in the real world, but they can’t learn to make those decisions the way the new world order would like them to. By submission!

  • Andrew N. May 26, 2017, 11:17 am

    Utilizing this idiot’s logic, we should take most toys away from children. Changing a doll’s clothes in public teaches public nudity is OK. Boys who “crash” their cars together should NEVER be allowed to drive as they will crash into other cars intentionally. I used to watch the “roadrunner” cartoons, and I never got the urge to drop (or even try to procure) a 5-ton weight on anyone. Maybe this idiot ought to spend some time in the real world before commenting on it. Utopia is a myth.

  • KimberproSS May 26, 2017, 11:09 am

    I was clearing the barn of pigeons when I was 10 with a BB gun. I would be charged with murder today, or placed in protective custody and observed as a budding psychopath. Unfortunately, today’s children are bombarded with this nonsense. If one of these little girls in the picture took that water gun to school, they would be suspended, maybe expelled and a black mark on their record for life. possibly even ruining their lives. That is BS. All we can do is stand up to the BS. Vote out all these liberal pin heads.

    • Andrew N. May 26, 2017, 9:34 pm

      Kids have been suspended for pretending their fingers are guns. I’m pretty sure a squirt gun would get them the “Chair”

  • Michael Keim May 26, 2017, 9:39 am

    Just another “Pant load” running off at the mouth

  • Earl Gabbard May 26, 2017, 9:24 am

    Oh my gracious goodness, how did I ever survive my childhood playing with toy pistols, toy rifles, toy machine guns, toy hand grenades, toy knives, squirt guns, and playing good guys and bad guys with my friends??? I do have to admit that my rebel flag on a stick caused me to break my left forearm when I climbed up in the tree to rescue it when it began to rain, slipped and fell. But maybe all that helped me to make the decision to join the Marine Corps, and later the Army (that’s another story) for a total of 23 years. And I’m sure all that childhood play with toy weapons caused me to ride motorcycles as well (gotta blame it on something, right?).

  • kb31416 May 26, 2017, 9:03 am

    Pop Sugar? Does anyone ever read that crap?

    • ~ Occams May 26, 2017, 9:31 am

      Sadly, I would say millions of millennials. This country will be lost, entirely, in 20 years.

      ~ Occams

  • kb31616 May 26, 2017, 9:02 am

    My daughters are 18 and 21 now, but they have both been trained on firearms from an early age. Our first training exercise was firing a small single shot 22 loaded with bird shot at balloons that were filled with confetti. This occurred while sitting on my lap when she was 18 months old. We both enjoyed it, and she lost interest after about 5 shots, so we quit and went on to do something else. I also shot a watermelon with my deer rifle so that they could see what guns do to targets that aren’t made from paper.
    The point is that firearms were normalized in our home, and so there was never an issue of wanting to sneak access to a gun without supervision. They knew that if they wanted to look at, inspect, handle, shoot, use, etc. a firearm, all they had to do was ask. Now they are both well trained marksmen, and each have appropriate rifles and handguns for whatever purposes they may need. Their favorite are matching AR15s that they received for Christmas several years ago.

    • ~ Occams May 26, 2017, 9:53 am

      Some of my earliest memories was going out to shoot with my parents and siblings. We grew up with guns, knew what they were, and held no ‘mystery’ or ‘taboo’. My father was a ‘vet and a gunsmith, and one of my ‘toys’ was a 12g, firing pin removed. Now, my father would be arrested and I would be placed in a ‘home’.

      We also grew up with alcohol. My mom was French, my dad, Scandinavian. If we wanted a drink, we could have one. Liquor was left out, rarely touched, and as we grew to adults, my siblings and I rarely even drink.

      Again – it held no mystique or taboo. Like anything else, it’s there, and just because the crisper is loaded with apples, I don’t eat 20 of them.

      But that was back then. Now, like Hillary’s examples, few have any responsibility or self-control. We’re a nation of excess with no accountability for our actions.

  • Doug McKinney May 26, 2017, 7:22 am

    I’m wondering what kind of childhood she had, she probably sat in the house all day and stared at her computer cause her parents wouldn’t let do anything.

    • ~ Occams May 26, 2017, 9:37 am

      Sadly, like most, nowadays.

      If they’re ‘bad’, they are punished by no phone, pad, or computer, and, horror of horrors….?


      Hurry! Call CPS!!!

      ~ Occams

  • Hank May 20, 2017, 10:49 am

    Yes, real guns aren’t toys. But toy guns are real, so deal with it. Fantasy is not a substitute for reality.

  • Tom Stelene May 19, 2017, 2:52 pm

    “Be fearful of guns and likenesses of guns, for they can controleth thy minds for evil, thou stupid, lowly peasants!” Certain objects and certain words contain evil powers which can take hold of us and only these virtuous witch-doctors can save us – which is by controlling what is in our environment and how we think and act. In their minds, they are entitled to do this. It’s people like her resurrecting and spreading the mentality of pre-scientific-era superstitious peasants who feared certain inanimate objects, and who fanatically created this Era of Irrationality & Mental Illness we stumble deeper in to. Sorry, virtuous witch-doctors, I am not going along.

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