I don’t know what it is about growing up male, but being a boy (and even on into adulthood as a man) means that guns play an important role in your life.
For a brief time while we lived in Michigan – and even after moving to Tennessee and Georgia – my father was a member of the National Rifle Association. I can’t recall him ever shooting anything more than the occasional chipmunk in the back yard, but we did have a pellet gun and some kind of handgun locked away in the house.
These days he just shoots clay pigeons, if anything, but guns were still important to my childhood and adolescence.
We weren’t hunters – despite our rural beginnings – and most kids of my era were Star Wars obsessed, which means that our household had the mother of all toys. And I don’t mean those lame 70’s lightsabers, I’m talking about Han’s blaster:
Ours wasn’t quite like this new-fangled replica, but we did have a squirtgun that was pretty awesome:
This guy has a loving video documenting his working Han Solo Blaster toy from The Return of the Jedi. I suppose ours was early 80’s as well as it made that same noise.
We also had the very cool Stormtrooper blaster:
The reason I’m thinking about all things gun-related is yesterday’s link to the steampunk weapons crafted from Nerf guns.
Jenn just put a picture of the guns in action up on Flickr. It’s Charlie’s Angels meets kids on Christmas. Priceless.
And all my “research” today got me thinking about a game we played in high school. The older brother of a friend organized a yearly “assassination game” that was incredibly fun to play and equally hated by school administrators.
Can you imagine bringing toy guns to a high school these days? Honestly, if we hadn’t been honors students and fine, upstanding citizens we’d probably have gotten suspended.
But I still have a soft spot for the Ghostbusters proton packs. While not technically guns, we had a reasonable facsimile in the form of a backpack sprayer my dad used on weeds and pests.
The thing was lime green and had a skinny wand, so it wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough. Put on a long trench coat from the closet or a jumpsuit and you were good for an afternoon of pretend and imagination.
Honorable mention goes to another squirtgun we had that looked like the
60’s era Star Trek: The Motion Picture phaser. Sadly, the internets won’t show me their treasure trove today and I can’t find a photo. Here’s a pic of the thing:
What toy guns did you have growing up?
Was your dad briefly enamored with the Second Amendment and let you shoot pie tins with the pellet gun in the back yard?
Did you play Star Wars and make the neighbor kid play Chewbacca because he was unintelligible anyhow?
Unleash the nostalgia!