I bought my son his first gun when he was barely two years old.
It was the first summer that he could walk and he was also really into bubbles. I came across a clear plastic bubble-maker with colorful tubes and wheels inside, and I remember being so excited to bring it home and fill the yard for him.
At first he watched and chased the bubbles as I pumped them out—the toy was very efficient—then he wanted a turn at the trigger. And that is when I realized what I had bought him was actually a gun. A bubble gun.
Suddenly, this idyllic afternoon in the yard seemed off. There was my toddler, with a gun in his hand, chasing me. Yes, of course, I know it was just a toy, but it felt wrong to see his hands on the trigger, to hear him make little poof-poof sounds (how does he even know what sound a gun makes?), and the fact that the gun was pointed at me made the situation even worse.
At the end of the summer I made the gun disappear and since then our house has been a no toy gun zone. No water guns. No bubble guns. No wooden guns. No. Guns.