I allow my children to play with guns. Toy guns only, however. Which puts me into a category of parents labeled, "terrible" but I do it anyway.
While they are allowed to play with guns, there are some rules. But different rules from some houses. Because of my pet peeve.
When my children are using a toy gun, they are usually playing the good guy. Soldier, police, whatever. So when they demand that someone surrender and put their hands up when that person is at gun point, they are not allowed to shoot them once that person has surrendered. Period.
Now, sometimes, when I'm told to surrender, I put my hands up. Sometimes I run away or run toward them. So they never know when they will be allowed to shoot.
But, when we're at a park, and we are playing with kids that I don't know, or might happen to be unsupervised (one of the unquestionable joys of being a football parent - not) - and they encourage my children to play with them and their toy gun and tell them that they are going to play "cops" while running around pointing a gun at all the other little kids, saying "Say your prayers" we walk away. We choose to not play with those kids. Well, really, I choose for them that they aren't playing with that child, in that manner.
So while so many parents reluctantly allow their children to play with guns but tell them not to point it at anyone, I rebel (surprise!). But we follow rules when we point that gun. Because lets face it - we have handguns in my house. They are locked up in a safe, high on a shelf in a closet the children have no business being in, BUT, chances of my children shooting a handgun in their lives is high.
So I will teach them. From the beginning. Instead of being scared and hiding our heads in the sand, we will embrace the danger and give them all the knowledge they need so that guns will be boring, a tool to be used in a specific setting. Kind of like a toilet brush.