The other day we were in a Pizza place with a little game room. Zoe, my 3 yr. old, wanted to see the games. She likes to sit in the car racing games even though she does not know what to do. Correction - she knows what to do. She gave me very specific instructions which buttons to push when, and when we arrived at our destination she told me we were in Africa.
Anyway, she saw the games with guns and wanted to play with them. I of course said that guns were not toys, but that some people play with them. She looked at the screen and said,"Why do some people pretend to shoot other people?" I said, "I don't know, but it's not very nice. Is it?" She looked serious for a moment, then softened and said, "It's just a game, Daddy!" I agreed and changed the subject, realizing that the anticipated conflict over violence in our culture as a normative behavior had begun. Ah, the innocence of youth!