Mom never liked guns.
I suspect that the cap gun I had around age 5 was courtesy of my father (and that year’s trip to Disney World and time spent in Frontierland). When my brothers came along and being the supreme ruler of our humble roost, Mom didn’t buy the boys toy guns or allow friends to gift them, either. Not that this stopped them from constructing massive machine gun-like structures out of lock blocks.
The exception was water pistols, but only the ones that looked nothing like actual guns: neon colors, space or sci-fi looks or the big reservoirs on the top that signified “this is not a real weapon.” At least not to anything that wasn’t my hairstyle.
It seemed like the bigger my brothers got, the bigger the guns got, until one year they each had one of those super-soakers with the backpacks that held even MORE water and were easily refilled by submerging in the neighborhood pool.
These may have gone missing for periods of time. I’m just saying.
And then, in high school, some friends of mine thought the appropriate response to my long-distance boyfriend and I sitting out in our hotel hallway and talking (since boys weren’t allowed in the girls’ hotel rooms and vice versa and, yes, ALL we were doing was talking, sheesh!) was to “cool us off” via a spare water gun someone had brought. This prompted a bit of a feud for the weekend but things did settle down and my birthday that year featured a gift of 4 mini water guns all labeled with little in-jokes between us.
I came across one of those guns when cleaning out my office, recently, and wondered if I was the only one of the 4 of us to remember.