Guns with kids in the house
This is a discussion on Guns with kids in the house within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; When I got married in 1988, a little 5 year old girl was part and parcel of the package. She calls me DAD today and ...
July 26th, 2006 08:11 PM
When I got married in 1988, a little 5 year old girl was part and parcel of the package. She calls me DAD today and both myself and her biological father walked her down the aisle when she got married a few years ago.
When she was little, she knew I was a shooter and she was fascinated by the whole thing. She also knew that in our house there were only two offenses that drew a spanking: Disrespect to either of us and handling any firearm without ME being present. For the record, we NEVER had to spank her, ever.
When she was seven, I had her help me take apart all the guns after an IDPA match. This was the opportuity to teach safety and nomenclature as well as function. Very simplistic. But very effective. When she was 10 I started her on a Ruger 10/22 rifle and later, a Ruger Super Single Six 22 WMR. She was hooked. A very important by-product was that when she had friends over she was hell on wheels to keep them out of our bedroom, because she knew that's where I kept the guns....in a custom reinforced key locked closet. A "do it yourself" safe.
I made her a present of the same Ruger SP101 .357 magnum she eventually settled on as "HERS" from my collection. I gave it to her when she & her husband purchased their first home a couple of years ago. She has no interest in CCW but she knows what to do.
I think however, that perhaps the BEST exercise I have ever seen in gunproofing kids and wives was during my tour of duty with the now-decommissioned 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, WA. I was a young Lieutenant and in that lowly position, I was responsible for setting up family day at the range.
Probably twice a year, we'd have this family day. I'd order up a range from Division Range Control and some of the Instructors from the Marksmanship Training Unit would come out. We'd have a huge barbeque with fruit salad, and LEMONADE...no alcohol. Every soldier with a personal weapon could come out and shoot. Single guys were on another range run by a buddy of mine ('nother LT).
Families with weapons would have an intensive safety lesson (older teenagers who'd been thru the program could go shoot with the singles on the other range under one on one supervision with an NCO from MTU.
The really little kids were the best: We'd give them a Honeydew melon and a sharpie marker and instructions to draw a face on the melon and be as detailed as they could: Eyes, nose, ears, hair, mouth the works. Then we said Johnnie, PRETEND this is your very best friend! See what happens when you handle daddy's guns when he is not home? Place target downrange say 5 meters away. Then you have the kid advance to the line WITH the parent, and the house gun. Load under supervision. The kid gets to gently place his or her hand on daddy's shooting arm so recoil can be felt. When that JHP round hits the mellon and it EXPLODES...you can see....the kid GETS it. Of course it was a help that this was a pretty crack infantry outfit and we could be sure all the melons would be hit with the first shot....I don't know as I'd want to risk the loss of impact with a "support outfit" or worse a buncha STAFF PUKES....but it was extremely effective with us. You could go to little Johnny's house and put a gun down in front of him and he'd back away saying NO! NO! BANG BANG! Kids are mostly AUDIO/VISUAL learners. If they SEE it and HEAR it and FEEL it...they will LEARN IT.
I always loved the barbeque at the end of a shooting day, too.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
July 26th, 2006 08:16 PM
I Know I Did Not Start This Thread But Let Me Thank Everyone For Putting Their Input And Personal Stories On Here. I Have A 7 Month Old And I Just Started With Guns. My Fiance And I Were Talking About How We Are Going To Teach Her About Guns And You Guys Helped A Lot. Thank You For The Ideas And I Really Can't Wait Until My Daughter Is Old Enough To Shoot;) Thanks Again
July 26th, 2006 09:21 PM
I don't have any children, but I sold a pistol to a guy last week who brought his two young sons to our place. Both of them have grown up exposed to guns. Neither of them showed even the slightest interest in our guns. They were far more interested in trying to pet our cat. Bottom line, teach them about guns, take them shooting when they get old enough, and they probably won't even think about guns.
July 26th, 2006 10:05 PM
My whole family has always been deep into hunting so there were always guns around everyones house . I personally grew up with the hunting rifles/shotguns stowed in the corner by the tv . I was taught at an early age that they were not toys and how to be safe around them . I helped collect brass and reload rounds and also helped to clean and take care of the family arms . When I was old enough I was given my first gun(single shot shotgun) and taught how to use and maintain it . Through it all , I was taught that guns were a tool , not a toy . To this day I still carry the respect for guns that was instilled in me and am already teaching my 3 year old the same things that were taught to me . I don't keep my carry pieces within reach ( not even the wife can reach them ) but my hunting rifles are within sight so my daughter doesn't think that they are 'taboo" , but instead , that they are tools that daddy uses and someday daddy will show her how to use . So far so good , she already points and says " daddy's guns, don't touch without daddy" . Before anyone asks , no I don't keep rounds for the guns that are out anywhere accessible(locked in the gun cab) .
July 26th, 2006 10:21 PM
A great poster made by Oleg Volk...
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
July 27th, 2006 12:02 AM
Speaking from experience, I believe educating kids as soon as possible works rather well. I've been shooting since I was walking and I've never once had a problem or a negligent discharge.
I can remember one specific incident while rabbit hunting at the age of 9 or so when I flagged my dad for what seemed like half a second if that long. Not only did he take my shotgun from me and give me a good spanking, he drilled gun safety into my head non-stop for over 2 monthes (forever when you're 9) before he would let me hunt or shoot again.
I can't thank my dad enough for that to this day. If I have children, I will do the same for them.
July 27th, 2006 12:05 AM
I have two daughters age 10 and 8. It seems to me whether you maintain firearms in your home or not, you have a duty to teach them about weapons. After all, they still may find themselves in a situation at a friend's home. Solid information goes along way towards ending the curiosity that kills.
The world is a dangerous place to live... not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. - Albert Einstein
July 27th, 2006 12:08 AM
I have 4 y/o girl and 5 y/o boy. My wife and I both carry.From the time we brought the guns into the house we were going over the rules.
1)If you see a gun in a room tell an adult. ( If you say momma or daddy at this age they may not tell there friends parents if you aren't there)
2)Don't talk about guns with anyone but momma or daddy.( If the subject comes up with there friends and they wont talk about it it is very unlikely to lead to "wanna see my dad's gun")
3)You can see and touch the gun anytime you want. Just ask. (This way they aren't courious about guns, they know about them already.)
4)When holding the gun keep finger off the trigger and gun pointing in safe direction.(At this point I just show them and tell them that I'm checking to be sure there is no ammo in the gun.)
When they are older we will go futher into rules and handeling but at this time this is enough.Of course we have a safe but I have gun on me from the time I get up till I go to bed and the kids know this. When we are playing around in the floor they know just not to touch daddy on that side.If asked why daddy and momma carry guns they will tell you "to keep us safe".
Sorry for the long post but guns around kids is an important suject to me. I believe if its done properly it can be a very possitive influence on there lives.
Last edited by pballfreeek; July 27th, 2006 at 12:12 AM.
Reason: Spelling (but I didn't fix it all)
"If a man neglects to enforce his rights, he cannot complain if, after a while, the law follows his example."- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., The Path of the Law.
July 27th, 2006 01:39 AM
Welcome pballfreeek and +1 on your response.
I absolutely agree. My sons are 3.5 and 3 months old right now. Since my oldest was old enough to speak, my wife and I have been teaching him about gun safety. He has already held my XD in his hands (unloaded, verified, and under supervision) so he knows there is no mystery about what it is. He can hold it anytime he would like to. The same will go for my youngest when he is older. My firm belief is that the faster you can turn off their curiosity about guns, the safer it is going to be for them and everyone else.
The best thing to do is teach the kids the right way before they even hear about the wrong way. Give the kids the correct tools and respect their curiosity with lessons about firearms safety. As soon as they are old enough, take them with you shooting and show them.
"You've never lived until you've almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know" - T.R.
<----My LT was unhappy that I did not have my PASS-Tag at that fire. But I found the body so he said he would overlook it. :)
July 27th, 2006 01:59 AM
I was given a .22 and a single shot .410 shotgun for my eighth birthday by my grandfather and one of my great uncles. Before that my grandfather used to make me clean his 20 guage Browning every day after pheasant hunting. I got dirty, oily, and confused trying to put that sucker back together, all before I got to shoot my first gun. After living with guns literally my whole life, including the US Army two times, when I had my own child, I put away the guns until my son was eighteen. I no longer hunt and shoot only paper targets for fun. My wife and I both like to shoot, and my son has become a good shot and VERY respectful of fire arms. I can't say my own experience as a child is the best way to introduce gun safety, or the way we raised our son. Both seemed to have worked. Probably the only thing I have more respect for than guns are power saws. Those are the MOST dangerous things in the whole world.
July 27th, 2006 03:36 AM
Eddie Eagle, train them young
USN 78-82/USAF 82-93 Medically Retired
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
DAV Life Member
NRA Life Member
July 27th, 2006 03:57 AM
My wife and I have been married for 17 years now. We have 5 children. A 15 year old boy, an 11 year old girl, a 10 year old boy and 4 year old twin boys. So, you could say we have quite a troop here. It is never quiet at my house by the way.
We started teaching our children about guns from nearly birth. The twins, just like their siblings, shot their first guns on their 4th birthday. (a single shot, bolt action .22) with plenty of adult supervision and lots of praise when they did everything correctly and in a safe manner.
My oldest son who will be 16 in December is an expert shot with a rifle and quite a good shot with a pistol. There is a Glock 26 on layaway right now for him. I will own it until his 21st birthday at which time I will "sell" it to him for $1.00. It will be his first carry gun. Same thing for the other kids, although my daughter is asking for her first gun to be a small 1911 in .45 ACP. She's going to make some lucky guy a hell of a good wife some day. She loves 1911's and Jeep Wranglers, hunting and fishing but still loves to dress up do all the girly things too. All I can say is, I hope the guy she marrys behaves himself because she is a great shot.
None of the kids have ever tried to sneek a peek at one of the guns, or "play" with one or given me any reason not to trust them around them. They are aware of the power of the gun and what they can do when not respected.
Now, that is not to say that we leave guns laying about the house. That is not the case. We have a nice Liberty safe in the master bedroom where all the guns are kept. There is a smaller safe mounted in the master bedroom (a one gun safe with the finger pad keys on top) that holds a Springfield XD .40 at all times. I know the combo, my wife knows the combo and so does my oldest son. He knows the combo because he is occasionaly asked to watch one or two of his brothers and sister while his mother and I have to run into town or some other errand that might require both of us. He needs to be able to defend the home if need be. There is a way to tell if the safe has been opened or not. He is not aware of this but, he has never opened the safe just because he could. I trust him.
So, even though my post is somewhat rambling, my point is this: our kids have been taught about guns from their earliest days. Both Mom and Dad carry all the time, even at home. Guns are a normal part of every day life for them. They are not curious about them. Guns are not a taboo subject to them. There is no secret thrill in handeling a gun because they have been told not to. They know what to do if they encounter a gun in a friends home.
I do not worry about them doing something stupid with a gun. And, we keep the guns secured in a safe when they are not being used since we do have 4 year old twin boys and since my kids are constantly having their friends at our home. I can not trust a child I have not raised, so logic dictates that I keep the guns out of reach of other peoples kids who are guests in my home.
Kids who kill their friends by accident do so most times while playing with a gun or showing it to friends. This is without the consent of the guns adult owner. The cild almost always knows nothing about guns except what they have seen in TV, and have no real understanding that the object they hold in their hand has the ability to kill when not handled correctly and safely.
July 27th, 2006 04:36 PM
Just what type of house did you grow up in Betty?
Originally Posted by Betty
It takes a college degree to break'em;
and a high school education to fix'em!
July 27th, 2006 05:57 PM
It was a two-story colonial. Usually there's a 1/2 bathroom or closet under stairs, but the floorplan had the closet by the stairs, not really utilizing the space under it, but you could access that space through the closet. Dad built a wall that he could screw on and painted it the same color as the inside of the closet, and we used that space to store valuables. You couldn't see it when the closet was filled with coats and junk. It fooled us kids.
"Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa
July 28th, 2006 11:59 AM
Exactly! I have a 14 y.o. and a 2 y.o. and neither have access to any of our guns. The teenager knows about them and how to handle them and knows not to touch them ever unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. he needs to defend himself or our family if we are out of commission for whatever reason).
I've got LOTSA guns and most of them are locked up or put way out of reach of little hands. Bottom line, the only guns that are not locked up are the ones that are in our immediate control (i.e. wearing).
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