Kids gaining access to OUR guns

This is a discussion on Kids gaining access to OUR guns within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; Okay, this may be the incorrect place to post this thread, so moderators, please transfer it to the correct place if necessary. I am divorced ...

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Thread: Kids gaining access to OUR guns

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    Member Array Jackster's Avatar
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    Kids gaining access to OUR guns

    Okay, this may be the incorrect place to post this thread, so moderators, please transfer it to the correct place if necessary.

    I am divorced with no children of my own. My father had no idea how to handle firearms, but my maternal grandfather had rifles and shotguns on a rack on the wall of his bedroom, and loaded pistols under most couches in the living room. All of my cousins (7) and I knew NOT to touch them unless he was there. We knew, beyond all doubt, that these were not toys. I never saw a demonstration of what a bullet could do to a watermelon, as I recall Wayne Rogers demonstrating to a child in some movie long ago, but it was drilled into me from the dawn of creation that guns were not toys, and only adults could touch them. If I had friends over, they were not allowed to touch the guns, and since they were my friends I was the one expected to prevent them from doing so.

    So, I read about children these days getting ahold of daddy's gun and unintentionally shooting friends or relatives, and I am amazed that parents did not teach the child better. I had a stepson for years, and trained him not to touch...and took him to the range so he could fire rifles under supervision to remove his curiosity (no, that was not a contribution to the eventual divorce).

    I apologize in advance if I anger anyone with children, but I am at a loss as to the cause...and yes, I know there is more than one variable. But, I grew up with Looney Tunes, and those were violent cartoons. I never even considered imitating Yosemite Sam or Wily E in blowing someone's head off, so saying that violence on television is the cause just does not cut it.

    I keep my guns out of sight and locked away, but that is more to deter theft. I never had an incident with my former stepson or his friends handling my firearms. After my divorce, ROOMMATES got hold of my guns, but never kids.

    I even read near/at the end if last year that a child shot and killed his father with a handgun that was kept unsecured. What am I missing here?
    Last edited by Jackster; March 14th, 2014 at 12:48 AM.
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    Senior Member Array dV8r's Avatar
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    It is not about the gun. It is all about teaching the kids who to respect and who to "listen" to.
    As my children grew up my guns were easily accessible too and all four kids were taught how to use them when I felt they were mature enough to learn. Before that they all knew not to touch certain items in the house without permission, like the guns. However, either my wife or myself were just about always around.
    One of the problems today is that too many kids have too little supervision by someone who loves them and who cares about them and their future. A lot of that is because of a lack of two parent households and the rest of it is because there has been a shift from what is really important to a false belief of reality.

    This false reality is what the Bible calls "satan's lies".
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    Quote Originally Posted by dV8r View Post
    It is not about the gun. It is all about teaching the kids who to respect and who to "listen" to.
    THAT IS IT - in a nutshell!

    When my brother and I were growing up we knew beyond any doubt that our parents were to be obeyed!!! They loved us dearly and we loved them, but there was a fear factor involved also. Never harsh physical punishment.

    And when I was raising my children, I know for sure I am not the only mother who looked up at her teenager and said in no uncertain terms, "You may be taller than I am, but I AM STILL THE MOTHER!" No clarification was needed.

    We seem to have lost that parent-child relationship.
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    Member Array deaconswife's Avatar
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    Growing up in a home where dad was in the Army, CID, and he grew up on a Boys Ranch in Texas, also an avid hunter...We had handguns and shotguns around all the time. We knew where they were and what they were used for. Dad allowed us to handle them UNLOADED and took us out to shoot them. We knew unconditionally that they were not toys and NEVER to touch without his presence and permission.

    My children grew up with a dad that was in the Navy, an avid hunter and target shooter. They too knew where the guns were and how to use them. They knew that the were off-limits unless dad gave permission and supervised their interest in handling the UNLOADED guns. They were taken out to shoot the various handguns, shotguns and rifles.

    My children are now grown and on their own. My daughter's husband is an avid gun owner and they both go to the range for quality time together. We're still waiting for grandchildren, but I am confident that they will have the same respect for guns that my children had. My son is also very much into guns and has a healthy respect for them today. I suspect he'll never marry or have children, but am sure that if he did, they would also have a solid respect for them.

    It's all about training, teaching, and allowing the children to see and experience with supervision to take the curiosity away. IMHO!

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    Member Array mlk18's Avatar
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    I agree completely with the sentiment thus far, however I would add not to forget to monitor your children's friends as well. They cannot be as easily trained, taught or have their curiosity removed. So your children have to be stronger and stricter so as to control them. Gun safes, alarms, etc. all just helps keep them honest. Kids are amazing at getting into things they are not supposed to (or not supposed to be able to).
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    So, I read about children these days getting ahold of daddy's gun and unintentionally shooting friends or relatives, and I am amazed that parents did not teach the child better.

    ... I am at a loss as to the cause...and yes, I know there is more than one variable.
    I think you already nailed it. Parenting. Or, rather, the lack of it. That's gotta be 90% of it (or more).

    Quite simply, we're much more of an urban culture these days, and much less likely to encounter households with one parent working and one staying at home to raise/monitor the kids. Parenting suffers when the folks aren't around as much, no matter the underlying drivers. And without that guidance, kids are going to go astray, have gaps in their knowledge and experiences, or get downright looney when it comes to appreciating common sense situations.

    Guns hold bullets, and bullets poke holes. So, you don't want to poke holes in anything you can't afford to lose. Not so different than a kitchen knife, the power saws in the garage, or anything else you can think of. Duh, one would think. But when the only example many kids see of guns is as a "super hero" weapon of self-righteousness and as a felon's method of gaining "street cred," then they take on almost mythic proportions ... and the basic message of "holes" (and the safe handling guidelines that go with that) gets lost.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlk18 View Post
    I agree completely with the sentiment thus far, however I would add not to forget to monitor your children's friends as well. They cannot be as easily trained, taught or have their curiosity removed. So your children have to be stronger and stricter so as to control them. Gun safes, alarms, etc. all just helps keep them honest. Kids are amazing at getting into things they are not supposed to (or not supposed to be able to).
    They need to understand, when at your house they follow your rules or they are not welcome there.
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    Simply my solution YMMV at my home no kids firearms are available to Mrs tdave and I. Staying at relatives when weapon is not on or next to my person it is secured with cable lock. I take my kids and grandkids shooting. To remove forbidden fruit and teach safety.

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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    I teach my kids gun safety, they know they are not allowed to touch a firearm but my guns are either on me or locked up. There is always a chance that a kid's curiosity will get the better of them and it is better to ENSURE they don't have access to a firearm. One of my safety rules; If you have kids and guns, have a safe, use the safe, BE SAFE!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    They need to understand, when at your house they follow your rules or they are not welcome there.
    Agreed, however you have to remember that one falls back to their most ingrained training, always. If the guests have not been trained in safe gun handling and have not a had a healthy respect for the damage that mishandling can cause then they have no concept of the responsibility and cannot be counted on to behave as you would expect your children to behave. It is, therefore your responsibility as a gun owner to ensure that your guests do not have ready access to your firearms. Whether that means no guests or that you lock your guns up is entirely up to you.

    I keep several loaded guns in various places most times. My kids all know where they are(even the ones who have moved out on their own) and are trusted to leave them alone unless the need arises. Their friends, not so much. If I am leaving, the guns go in the safe. If there will be gusts, the guns go in the safe. It only takes a minute.

    It all boils down to a lack of parenting skills being taught to the kids as they grow up. Children learn more from example than from preaching, though there are definitely times for preaching! Unfortunately we have families now that have 3-4 generations of irresponsible self entitlement as examples of how to parent.
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    I taught my kids and now I'm teaching my grandkids. Except for my everyday carry gun they stay locked up in the safe. When I take my gun off at night it goes up on a high piece of furniture that I can reach easily but my young ones can't. Heck my wife can't even reach it. But even with this I worry sometimes. I do everything I can to make sure they are completely aware of the dangers and that they are under no circumstances allowed to mess with it.

    I remember the days when every rifle and shotgun was hanging on the wall. There were pistols sitting on the stand beside the recliner and none of us kids touched any of them. That's what I try to teach.
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    Member Array virg's Avatar
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    With this "everybody gets a trophy" age we live in, im just glad my kids are grown. Way back then, my kids knew what to touch and what not to touch, and they knew what would happen to their rear ends if i had to tell'em twice.
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    My dad had a rifle and shotgun in the house mounted in the closet within reavh as early as I could remember. As a kid my frienss and I played with toy guns practically every day playing cops and robbers or playing army or whatever.

    I never remember my dad teaching my about guns but I was smart enough, my brother as well to know not to touch the guns.
    Maybe he did teach us but I remember like elementary level the guns being accessible and me not having the slightest temptation or want to touch or go near them.

    I think most kids are this way but Occasionally you get a bad apple. LoL. I dunno maybe im a genius or just lucky.

    Either way, as a gun owner and father I will always have my guns locked away in a safe.
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Children who gain access to guns and shoot themselves, friends, family or strangers have crappy parents. End of story.
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    VIP Member Array NONAME762's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    They need to understand, when at your house they follow your rules or they are not welcome there.
    That which I have put in bold print is exactly how I've ALWAYS run my house. Twice in my life I remember specifically where friends of mine came over with their boys. The first instance the boy about 3 or 4 at the time grabbed one of my favorite toys (an army jeep) that was friction powered and promptly stripped the gears out and broke it. The father refused to understand that as the father he was on the hook for it. We had words. It didn't go my way so I flat told him never bring him back here he won't be welcome.

    The second time a friend brought his boy around who was near the same age. I had been working on a bag of chips when they'd dropped by. The boy sat down in my rocking chair. Every time he rocked forward he bumped the table that held the chips. Remembering my broken Jeep I mentioned this to my pal Bo. I told him he's your kid and you need to deal with this.
    Bo's attitude was he's just a little boy-you need to lighten up. Well the kid got real rambunctious and the chips ended up on the floor getting crushed into chip flour. I'd had enough and picked the boy up and parked him in another chair. Bo didn't care for my actions and said so. I told Bo you either discipline your kid or I WILL. He never brought his kid back and that was fine with me. My folks would have tanned my hide had I pulled anything like that when I was little.

    Everyone here from the OP on is spot on. I chose Archer51 to quote from as his words are word for word my words.

    Poor parenting and the mistaken belief that some village somewhere is responsible for raising the kids. Well people that still go by 'a village will raise these kids' will no doubt find these kids in jail or under the dirt. If they want to blame someone for this they only need to look into a mirror to see the person responsible.
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