1-2 | Gun Play

Article

Gun Play

Jay Mechling

Abstract:

Biology and the particular gun culture of the United States come together to explain the persistent and powerful attraction of American boys to both real guns and toy guns. The 1990s saw adults begin to conflate "the gun problem" with "the boy problem," sparking attempts (largely failed) to banish toy guns from homes and schools. Following the approach of play scholar Gregory Bateson, this article offers an understanding of play with guns, maintains this moral panic about boys and gun play is unfounded, and suggests some developmental and other benefits from boys' play with guns.