When I grew up in the 70's, toy guns were banned in my family. If you played war or 'cops and robbers' you would surely grow up to be overly agressive and emotionally blunted. At least if you were playing with the ugly, 'capitalist' plastic guns you could buy in stores, because somehow homemade toy guns were okay. So if you could get your hands on some plywood and a broomstick and did not mind getting a few splinters in your fingers, it was okay to pretend to kill each other.

In the meantime many things have changed, but the fact that boys play with guns is not one of them. A stick or a coathanger becomes a 'gun' from an early age. That many parents don't like plastic guns is apparently also unchanged.

Recently, I was in the workshop making wooden guns with my son and nephew. They helped make them - we sketched and sawed and hammered and had a great afternoon. Afterwards, they were off, playing with them for hours. Later in kindergarden and school, the homemade guns were a big hit. All the other kids wanted play with them - even those several years older.

Small Arms gives fathers (or mothers of course) without access to tools or a workbench the opportunity to experience the joy of creating something with the child. Something that can be played properly with afterwards and that kids perceive as 'cool'. (rarely the case with a bird house or homemade cutting board). Moreover, they part with the perception of wooden toys as 'educational' and 'wholesome'. I think many fathers are tired of 'wholesome' and want to bring some of the atmosphere of scraped knees and endless summers from their childhood into their children's lives.

Kristoffer Zeuthen, Industrial designer. KILO ZULU Design
Industrial designer Kristoffer Zeuthen during the toy gun prohibition - not seeming to mind too much. Please notice the sheriff's star.