Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Royal Pain: UK Malcontents Throw Tantrum over Prince George's Toy Gun

The United Kingdom’s legions of miserable scolds are at it again. A mere two weeks after admonishing an English national team soccer player for a firearm tattoo, the anti-gun whiners have found a new target. This time the killjoys have deemed it their station to lecture the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on proper parenting.

The sad controversy erupted on June 10, as Kate Middleton, Prince George, and his sister Princess Charlotte watched Prince William participate in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy in Gloucestershire. During the match, four-year-old George was pictured playing in the grass with an orange-tipped toy revolver and a toy knife. According to an account from Gloucestershire Live, the revolver was a squirt gun the future king won as a carnival prize.

Soon after, the UK’s notoriously loathsome tabloid press got busy stoking a toy gun debate. The Mirror declared, “Outrage as Prince George plays with toy gun and knife on family day out amid surge in violence.” The Mirror cited a Twitter user who saw fit to judge the preschooler and his entire family by stating, 

Sad to see George playing with a gun when the whole country has a gun/knife crime situation. Maybe in training for killing wild life in later years. Thought he was a sensitive child. Better if he was seen playing with a toy car or football. Sadly the royals will never change.

Another tweeted, “This isn’t okay anymore...” adding, “No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy.”

Thankfully, some of the more sensible UK subjects have come to the royals’ defense with the facts. The Independent interviewed trained UK Psychotherapist Sarah Ockwell-Smith who explained, 

I understand why gun play worries parents, however research shows that any aggression demonstrated while engaging in 'war play' is not carried over into real life. ie: kids who play with guns become no more violent than those who don't.

adding,

even if parents restrict gun-toys, it incredibly likely that children will fashion their own, from a stick for instance. For this reason, combined with the evidence, I see no issue with letting children play with guns and happily allowed my own children to do so.

This is similar to what U.S. experts have said and written on this topic. Moreover, as NRA-ILA has previously reported, concerns about toy guns appear to be rooted more in the political prejudice of adults rather than any legitimate concern for childhood well-being.

When clinical psychologist and best-selling author Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. was interviewed for a WebMD article titled, “Toy Guns: Do They Lead to Real-Life Violence?,” he explained, “There's no scientific evidence suggesting that playing war games in childhood leads to real-life aggression.” University of Nevada Las Vegas researchers Jennifer L. Hart, M.Ed and Michelle T. Tannock, Ph.D. addressed this matter in a chapter on aggressive play and war toys for the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. The pair wrote, “If playful aggression is supported, it is highly beneficial to child development.” Going further, the researchers noted, “Educators who hold a foundation of understanding will be better able to communicate the importance of not only allowing playful aggression but also supporting it with the inclusion of war toys in early childhood programs.”

Rather than criticize the royals’ parenting, or wholesome fun with a water pistol, a more reasonable course of action might have been to commend the royals as role models for outdoor play. The Centers for Disease Control has noted, “Research increasingly suggests that children benefit from the opportunity to play outdoors, where they can explore and enjoy natural environments.” A 2012 survey of the research on outdoor play published in the journal Health & Place explained, “encouragement of outdoor play and fostering an environment of movement among children improves the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive health of children…”

Much like in the U.S., polling shows UK children are not getting outside enough. According to the Guardian coverage of one 2016 poll, “three-quarters of UK children spend less time outside than prison inmates.” A 2016 UK government study found that more than 10 percent of UK children had not been to a natural environment (including urban parks) in the past year. A 2016 survey from the UK’s National Trust found that the country’s children spent only half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

If history is any guide, this won’t be the last time Prince George or the royals face firearms-related criticism. Despite the family’s significant conservation efforts, animal rights activists have targeted the royals for their proud hunting tradition. In 2016, anti-hunting critics took issue with Prince William’s articulate defense of big game hunting. Prince Philip and Prince Harry have also been the targets of anti-hunting animus.

Given the political disposition of many of his future subjects, Prince George can probably expect a lifetime of criticism should he follow his family into the shooting sports. On a positive note, the four-year-old already appears to be more mature than his most vocal detractors.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing it called, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” If you are wondering what that could ...

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud ...

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Yesterday, Governor Brad Little signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 206, into law.

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony ...

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

News  

Friday, April 12, 2019

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges are two liberal arts institutions for women in the western part of Massachusetts. Both share a campus police department that until recently was overseen by Chief Daniel Hect, who took command ...

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tomorrow, the Texas House is scheduled to vote on House Bill 1177, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), which protects citizens from being charged with a crime for carrying a handgun without a License To ...

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Legislation Scheduled for Consideration in Both Chambers This Week

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tennessee: Pro-Gun Legislation Scheduled for Consideration in Both Chambers This Week

This week, Senate Bill 403 and its companion bill, House Bill 167, are scheduled for consideration in their respective chambers.  

Nevada: Assembly Judiciary Votes to Cede Authority To Pass Stricter Gun Laws To Counties

Friday, April 12, 2019

Nevada: Assembly Judiciary Votes to Cede Authority To Pass Stricter Gun Laws To Counties

On April 12th, the Nevada Assembly Committee on Judiciary voted to approve Assembly Bill 291 with amendments and Assembly Bill 153 with technical amendments.  The amendments were not made publicly available until just prior to the ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.