I just saw this and wanted to comment, a little.
First, although I am mostly anti-violence, I fully support squirt guns as a necessary part of every childhood and even most adulthoods. For my 19th birthday, I had a sleepover in my parents’ basement with lots of snacks, some movies, and squirt guns. Most fun ever.
But this also made me think of a funny story about my husband. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it here, but I think of this blog as a “for posterity” kind of thing, so that one day my grandkids can access it – through the web access they have installed direclty into their brains – and hear all these stories about their families.
Anyway, my husband as a pre-schooler had a penchant for dressing up as a cowboy. His parents had gotten him the full outfit – vest, fringe-y pants, sheriff’s badge – and a little toy gun. It didn’t look realistic, exactly. It was plastic and sort of “old-timey”-looking. But it also wasn’t, you know, neon green or anything – so you couldn’t necessarily tell at a distance that it wasn’t real. Well, one day he was at the mall with his grandfather (and I think his parents, too) and he was playing in the hall and he handed the gun to his grandfather – and then dashed off! So his grandfather ran after him – waving a “gun” and screaming, “Jason! Jason! Get back here!” in a crowded mall.
If I’m remembering correctly, security did stop him, but then Jason saw that and came back and everything was fine. Of course, now, he’d probably be arrested, either for child neglect – allowing the child to be alone in the mall – or for being an adult male trying to interact with a child at all.