How did boomers avoid bad effects from playing with guns? Most boys had them and we all shot at each other like in war and westerns.

Playing not the prob. I had the same experience. The issue is teaching and modeling appropriate respect for real guns to counteract the cavalier use of guns seen on tv. The greatest danger comes from a child with no education about gun safety coming into contact with a gun, left around by a careless parent. Teaching children gun safety and respect coupled with safe storage of any guns in the home is effective.