A Collection Of Toy Gun Commercials From The 50s And 60s

Kids playing with guns was seen as no big deal back in the day, and whether they were playing Cowboys and Indians, War or Astronauts versus Aliens guns factored into playtime in a big way.

But we live in a different world these days, one which is far deadlier and full of gun-related controversy as killing sprees reach an all-time high with seemingly no end in sight.

And as the gun-related violence rises the idea of kids playing with guns becomes more taboo, especially when you consider how many kids have been killed by cops or otherwise for waving around a plastic gun.

This Circa Now collection of toy gun commercials from the 50s and 60s seems odd by today's standards, and yet it's important to remember there was a time when kids playing with toy guns didn't lead to tragedy.

(YouTube Link)


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When I was a kid and Reagan was shot, I recall my Mom telling me about the University of Texas massacre in 1966. If you don't remember that, then I think that means you were born after 1955 or so. If Columbine wasn't when you were in school, that means you were born before 1981. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States has a comprehensive list. Most of these are not going to make the national news, not that most kids would read or watch the national news anyway.
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I agree that it's odd to think kids don't play with guns any more when a cop shot Tamir Rice, who was a kid playing with a toy gun. Why does Wal-Mart sell toy BB guns, like the one that John Crawford had when a cop shot him, if no one is buying them for kids?

"Bang bang"? We just saw ads of kids in the 1950s with a Mattel Tommy Burp; modeled after a Tommy machine gun, designed as a trench broom for the wholesale slaughter of Germans in WWI, and a favorite of gangsters. That was "ratta-tata-tata-tata I just fired off 50 shots".

But hey, I moved to Sweden 10 years ago, which doesn't have the US gun culture. Kids do play with toy guns (and without orange tips), which is safe because real guns are restricted, and people don't feel that they need guns to protect themselves, so there aren't real guns about, and so the police don't always need to worry about being shot. A white supremacist went on a killing spree at a school in my city, but as he had a sword and not a gun he only managed to kill three people.
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I think it is interesting that people think that kids don’t play with guns any more. When I was a kid we played with toy guns – bang, I got you! – Oh no, I’m dead – and then someone falls to the ground giggling. For the last 10 years the toy guns may have become less common but the digital guns have more than replaced them. Now instead of shooting your friend and giggling, kids are immersed in huge raging battles with screaming, blood and gore. SO in the 60s it was bang bang oh you got me and now it’s wholesale slaughter with blood, gore and pleading for mercy. Yeah, kids are still playing with guns.
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Same here. All summer long, we played 'war' every day, pretending to shoot each other. But we also lived in a time when our moms would have beat the snot out of us if we ever seriously threatened anyone.
Maybe that's what has changed.
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Hell we played WAR. An old piece of broomstick became a rifle, an old sock with a rag in it was a hand grenade. Don't recall any school shootings, except maybe some rubber bands.
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