Toy Industry Association (TIA) Statement on Toy Guns and Violence
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its members are proud of the important, life-shaping role that toys, games and play have in the development and growth of children.
Toys themselves do not promote aggressive behavior. In fact, role play and fantasy help children work through and cope with what is happening in the world around them; they learn how to control their emotions through play rather than through outwardly aggressive behavior.
Toys that foster friendly competition promote both active bodies and active minds and healthy lifestyles. They keep kids moving, allow them to role-play (police, superheroes, etc.), encourage teamwork and/or strategic thinking, empower both genders, allow them to work through their emotions, and help them to forge their own identities and develop moral values. The toy industry makes it a priority to ensure the safety and well-being of kids while bringing joy to their lives.
“Aggressive play is not the same thing as aggressive behavior,” says Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D., author, professor and researcher with the Research Institute for History and Culture, Faculty of Humanities at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. “There are no 'violent' or 'nonviolent' toys. There are simply toys, many fashioned after objects found in the adult world, and others inspired by fantasy objects found nowhere else. … (They) give form to behavior by stimulating play, but they do not motivate aggressive behavior. Toys are the intermediary between the child and the world in which he/she lives. The family environment – far more than the toy itself – is the decisive factor in a child's character. How a parent behaves toward a child has much more influence than a toy.”
Parents and families are ultimately responsible for choosing the toys that they are comfortable having in their home and that reflect their beliefs and values.