Unbelievable boy's toy gun ad from 1964: “Johnny Seven OMA (One Man Army)”


I was the proud owner of a Johnny-7 back in the day. It was an awesome toy. Though, you did tend to lose some of the small pieces pretty quickly. A friend of mine had the Mattel Tommy gun, and another had the Mattel M-16. We were pretty unstoppable during our frequent neigborhood-wide games of war.


One of my childhood friends had one of these. I was sooo jealous.

Nope, it was made of plastic.


FTFY. Or rather, removed your cultural bias and inserted my own.

Maybe. Or maybe it is a symptom of the gradual and continual reduction of the acceptance of violence, war and killing in human culture. Which is a development that I am wholly happy with.

Note: This is not a gun ownership debate. You could advocate total gun control and still take your kids to a museum of firearms to drool over the coolest exhibits. Or you could view firearms and private gun ownership as essential, but also as a necessary evil that should never be glorified.

The question here is whether we/our TV ads should be teaching our kids that war is a cool thing and it’s the greatest goal of a True Hero to fight in a war and win, or if we should be teaching them that war is a terrible thing and that the true hero will find a way to avoid it before it starts.


It was also featured in an episode of law and order, where Detective “Pyle” Goren is shaking down a pawn shop owner.


I was going to say the same thing. Very similar to Megatron Gen 1.


I actually beg for and got that toy when I was a kid.
It was mostly plastic. And I think I lost interest after a while and just played with the pistol portion. The cooler toy gun of the time was the Tommy gun. the cap functionality never really worked right but that was ok because it still went rat a tat tat.

When I got a bit older I became obsessed with the Shwinn bikes that looked like dragsters. Sissy bar, Candy Apple paint job, Small front wheel . My folks got me the knock off Sears version with Butterfly handlebars and a five speed stick.

I was awesome

My Brother, can you remember what it was called? For the life of me I cannot

I would agree with that. Lately-ish(a decade or so?) children who have been raised under the “keep them kids as long as possible” mentality are now adults who are being, and on some level think they should be, infantalized.


Show me where I advocated “arming children?” I said they lack responsible exposure. I never said they should be armed.


I use guns occasionally. I rarely kill anything with them.

At no time in this thread have I advocated gun ownership, gun proliferation, arming children, or using firearms to kill anything.

I’m pretty sure I’ve advocated responsible exposure(education).


I think the big difference in safety is that nobody gets the idea to toss regular darts over a house into an unseen yard.


There’s an old, not-very-good first person shooter known as ZPC, in which your weapon is in fact known as the Johnny Seven and is capable of firing a diverse variety of ammunition. I never knew it was based on something else. (It does make a little more sense than the space marine walking around with seven different guns in hammerspace.)


I had that one!

My Brother, can you remember what it was called? For the life of me I cannot


No, what he’s saying is that lack of education relating to firearms and the lack of receiving consequences for improper actions is resulting in kids who don’t “get” it.

See here: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/06/08/strict-gun-laws-in-japan-scare-the-yakuza/

Where the author says:

I was studying Japanese. I volunteered for a program to assist Japanese foreign exchange students. My job was to help facilitate their exposure to American Culture. Part of that was taking them places to experience American Culture. I took them to a local indoor pistol range. The first two guys rented revolvers. One of them immediately picked it up and pointed it at the other and asked him to take his picture. I immediately grabbed the barrel and pushed it down to the ground.

Kindness is raising children to understand the ramifications of their actions in a loving manner–that actions have short, medium and long term consequences. This is both kindness to the children and kindness to the people who have to live around them.

The communities that are currently experiencing the highest levels of gun violence do not have extensive involvement in the shooting sports (Hunting, trap and skeet and the various rifle and pistol disciplines), and the fathers aren’t passing the traditions of gun safety and safe firearm handling (And yes, this is a somewhat sexist remark, but it’s almost always passed down from older male to children. These days there are more women getting involved in the shooting sports–which is awesome–and maybe in the future it’ll be moms and dads passing it on to girls and boys, but that is then, this is now).

Additionally what we’ve seen since that ad was contemporary is the rise of the anti-hero, and the cultural denigration of authority figures. Helped (one must admit) by those very same authority figures being corrupt and vicious.

Society has complex and non-linear causality, so blaming any one event or trend is likely to be incorrect.


Anti-tank rocket AND anti-bunker missile?


Boy have I been misunderstood :slight_smile: .

Well, I was not referring to the kind of guns used for hunting or target shooting. Those are indeed intended for benign purposes and are only dangerous when misused. The kind of gun that this toy gun imitates, however, is intended for killing people.
You can’t make a meaningful use/misuse distinction here. These firearms are built to kill people. Maybe it matters what cause you’re fighting for, but it better be a cause worth killing people for. Either way, when a soldier uses his gun, the immediate purpose is to kill (the killing might have a purpose that excuses it). When an ISIS fighter uses his gun, the immediate purpose is to kill. I don’t accept his excuse for killing, but he is not misusing his gun, he is using it just as it was intended to be used.

Your distinction between “using” and “misusing” firearms just felt like too much a euphemism for me. At least when applied to weapons of war such as the one imitated by this toy gun.

Nor did I want to imply that you had.
Just to be clear, my “Note” about this not being about gun ownership was not in response to anything you said, but rather to make clear that I do not want to trigger a debate about gun ownership.

My point was that the toy gun and the accompanying ad promote the idea that this kind of firearm is “cool” - and this is not a message I can support, so I don’t want children to be influenced this way. And I don’t think that exerting less pro-war influence on children is a bad thing or is a symptom of “infantilizing” young people.


That is just semantics.

What is the difference between a hunting rifle and a sniper rifle?

How is the average bolt action hunting rifle any different than the top of the line battle rifle ~100 years ago?

Which is more powerful, your average .30 caliber deer rifle, or an AR?

What is the different between an “assault rifle” and a “ranch rifle”?

While the development of things like the AR was fueled by finding a better battle rifle, we have found many uses for them besides war. Just like GPS was initially developed to track and move soldiers to kill people, and ICBMs to launch warheads, we have found peaceful uses for them.

The much maligned AR15 is very versatile, comes in a variety of calibers, and actually makes a great rifle for hunting, especially varmint shooting, though many people hunt deer with them. Though to be clear, they don’t shoot it 30 times just because the magazine holds that much, just like you don’t drive 100mph because you car can go that fast.

There are Heavy Barreled National Match versions of the rifle for the marksmanship rifle contests like the famous Camp Perry, which has matches for “military rifles”, such as Garands, 1903 Springfields, M-14/M1-A1s, and the AR15.

One of the fastest growing sports, 3 Gun Competitions, user ARs, or similar weapons. These are timed shooting courses where one has to use 3 types of weapons to finish the course.

The AR15 platform has exploded in the last 20 years. It has gone from “what do you need that for?” to basically becoming adult legos. I actually think the AWB of 94 helped make it more popular. It doesn’t make one more or less likely to want to kill someone. If you look at the FBI stats, rifles are rarely used in crime. But they are continued to be demonized because they look scary.


It was one of their more forgettable tracks…


Is the statement: “so much more barbaric in the 1960s–but gun violence numbers in America were lower back then.” actually true?

Lots of conservatives talk about how much better the Good Old Days were and ignore the actual facts. (And that’s how I define ‘conservative’, Xeni.)

1969: 73 murders/million; 2013: 45 murders/million US population
so unless the popularity of firearms has increased by more than 60% compared to all others modalities, there is less gun violence (at least for murders/population) than there was in the 60s.

What are the actual numbers?


Commercial should end with a girl running down the street pretending to be on fire from napalm.

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