An excerpt from a recent newsletter by John Farnam (by the way, if you are not a regular reader of his, you are missing out — and his name should be near the top of your bucket list for firearms training, too).
Here he is talking about molded-plastic replica guns, sometimes called ‘dummy guns.’ They are solid pieces of plastic with no moving parts whatsoever.
This does not mean dummy guns are “safe” in some ultimate sense. It only means that there is little or no physical danger in handling them.
Dummy guns are extremely dangerous in one particular way: they are shaped like a gun, but they can never launch a bullet. This creates a constant and unrelenting pressure to handle them without thought or care. But habits built with dummy guns carry over into habits used around real guns.
This is so true.
Pretend guns — dummy guns — are made for playing pretend. And that’s what role play really is. Never use a real gun for role play. Real bullets can get into real guns, and then the gun can really fire and a real person gets hurt or killed. For real.
Back when I was in the academy we didn’t have fake/mock/dummy guns. We had to use our actual weapons. Of course we had to show the instructors that the weapon was “safe”. Ah, how the world has changed.