I have two girls, and sooner or later questions about weapons in games might come up (or maybe not at all – it’s different for girls, as they say ;) ).
Anyway, I liked Chris Anderson‘s Lego Rule:
“The Lego Company, it seems, has a policy of not producing toys that replicate 20th century weapons. “You can have swords, and you can have laser guns in space, but no actual 20th century guns,” Anderson says. So his four children can play games like Halo, since it contains only futuristic, fantasy war, where you’re killing only green- or blue-blooded aliens. The same goes for Roman swordplay titles. “But it clearly walls off Grand Theft Auto.”
(I e-mailed Lego’s spokesman Michael McNally, and he confirmed the company’s Solomonic logic. Lego, he wrote, agrees that good-versus-evil combat “is at the root of children’s play scenarios, and we believe is an important part of a child’s exploration of the world.” But they don’t want it infecting the children’s perception of the real world around them, so the solution is to place it decisively in the realm of fantasy.) “
If you have kids, too, you might find that useful.