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Saturday, 7 February 2009

••• Toy Guns

Some modern-day experts contend that violent video games encourage savage behavior in our young people, while others say that's just another example of the latest entertainment medium becoming society's scapegoat du jour. Keep in mind, the same breed of expert said the exact same thing about comic books in the 1950s - and look at how great the baby boomers turned out.

Long before technology gave us realistic video games that allowed kids to simulate predatory gun fighting electronically, America's children took to backyards and playgrounds with toy cap guns to battle it out in the neighborhood. Playing army or cowboys and indians in the dirt was how many American kids spent their playtime in decades past.

When did this behavior start? Perhaps at the very beginning of recorded history - the 1950s. Cowboys like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and The Lone Ranger ruled the daytime TV airwaves, attracting a legion of kids who wanted to play shoot-em-up at home.

Not a problem, since all of the television cowboys and detectives had their own line of realistic-looking toy firearms for sale at the nearest dime store. And best of all - no pesky background checks!

The most popular western cap gun sets of the '50s were Mattel's Fanner 50 realistic Winchester rifle, Buc'N Bronco, and the Hubley pistols.

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