July 28th, 2006 03:47 PM
I have six kids ages 7 to 34 - I know, it's a big spread - and they all have been raised around guns. I believe the bottom line in gun safety is you have to consider their ages as well as their ability to understand the consequences of their actions. A 16 y/o does not think and reason the same way a 6 y/o does, but a lot of people seem to think a "one size fits all" policy will work for everyone. You can usually explain something to a 12 year old and expect them to understand, but a 3 or 4 year old just doesn’t have the reasoning power and maturity to understand how dangerous a gun can be, no matter how smart they seem to be.
I feel there needs to be a two prong approach to kids and guns. The first is to remove the mystery and temptation of "guns" by letting my children see and hold a gun, and taking them to the range. I also make sure they know gun safety procedures and what to do if they find a gun and no adult is around. The second point is to secure my guns so that they are "out of sight and out of mind". While I trust my youngest boys to come to me first if they see an unsecured weapon, I don't believe in tempting fate. Kids ARE still kids, and they sometimes act before they think, no matter what we try to teach them (I know a few adults that are just as bad, if not worse).
Personally, aside from my bedroom gun, which is not easily accessible to my youngest kids, my weapons are always locked and unloaded unless I'm with them. I also make sure the ammo is stored in a separate, locked location from the guns themselves.
I also believe in teaching my kids the power and destructive ability of a gun and when they were about 6 or 7, took each one to the gun range and let them see what a bullet does to a gallon jug full of colored water and few apples. I point out that a persons head would explode the same way the jug or apple explodes if it were hit by a carelessly aimed and fired bullet. They get the idea very quickly that a gun is not something to play with or use carelessly. I also tell them - and we practice this regularly with an unloaded pellet gun - what to do if they find a gun unattended.
I don't want my children to be afraid of guns any more than they are of a car or lawn mower, but I do want them to respect them all for what they are and the damage and pain they can cause if used improperly or carelessly.
"... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane
July 28th, 2006 04:41 PM
I'm with the majority, teach your kids to respect and how to handle guns at the earliest age possible. That doesn't mean not to take precautions to keep guns away from your kids when your not around, but make sure they now what to do if they find a gun. I plan on teaching my kids, when I have some, how to shoot and how to respect a weapon as soon as they're old enough to hold one.
"I'd rather have my gun and not need it, than need it and not have it"
July 28th, 2006 09:32 PM
I have a 7 and a 10 year old. When my oldest turned 8 I got both of the boys Red Rider BB guns (spring mechanism) for XMas (and myself a Daisy pellet gun) and we went through extensive training together (me teaching them) learning all about gun safety and such.
We shoot together in the driveway at targets at least 2-3 times a month and they are not allowed to touch their guns unless I'm taking them out shooting. It is a fun hobby that we do together.
When I got my 9mm, about 6 months later and after we all knew the basics of gun safety inside and out, I started taking them to an outdoor range with me and showing them the power of the 9mm so they would know what it does and how it works and most importantly, how dangerous it is. I even occasionally help them to chamber one round (only one in the magazine) and fire it themselves. (I have to help them hold it)
Anyway, I'm convinced that the vast majority of child gun accidents occur because kids are left ignorant. Ignorant of safety and ignorant of guns in general. This causes curiosity, and curiosity without proper safety understanding is what, in my opinion, causes accidents like the horrible tragedy described above.
All that said, I still keep the 9mm locked in a small safe in my dresser drawer whenever I don't have it on my person.
I think safety training for kids concerning guns, even if you don't have guns in your own home, is an absolute responsibility of all parents. To leave your children ignorant of firearms is to do them a great disservice, in my opinion, and puts everyone at risk of an accident.
Proud Georgia Firearms Licensee
Springfield Armory XD-9 Subcompact
Bersa Thunder 380
July 28th, 2006 09:38 PM
Evidently, a tried a true method for raising kids along side guns. I've raised two, a boy and a girl. The youngest (girl) is now 15, and I have guns throughout the house, and always have. My "secret" is when they were young, they cleaned them with me, and we did the 3-4 year old Q&A thing .. you know ... never enough answers for 'em. Another year or two and they were shooting 22s and a couple more they were shooting 9mms. The girl, right now, can lay her hands on one of several revolvers or pistols in the house, and stack 'em in the 10 ring all day long.
Originally Posted by P95Carry
Now, when they have friends over, they all go in the safe .. I don't have confidence in their friends in this respect. But, both of my kids will have a CCW at age 21, which is what's legal in OK, and each of them regularly shoot. Build a healthy interest and respect when they're young, and you're "good to go".
July 28th, 2006 10:49 PM
My guns will stay in the house preferably not locked up (barring any responsibility issues I see with my children in the future). I had the lucky/wonderful experience of having my father and both grandfathers as former military. For the summers, my parents would ship me off to either one or the other grandparents (started EARLY...6ish). I didn't learn any "Eddy Eagle" programs, but was taught responsibility and respect early on (drilled was more like it). I was also taught that I could see and/or use the firearms I was exposed to any time as long as I asked permission and in their presence. Once I reached a point they felt I was mature and responsible enough I was granted a bit more freedom.
The majority of the time as I knew it I clearly remember my grandfathers guns always being accessible (ie sitting on his dresser or leaning against the back wall of a closet, etc...) and I never felt the need to "show it off" to friends or fiddle with it outside of it's intended use, however too many today seem to have that issue.
Responsibility is the key issue. Locking the guns up does you nor them any good. You can lock up all you want, but it wont do a darn bit of good if you never teach your kids responsibility to begin with. They'll find ways around your locks or find other methods/tools to use if not taught properly early on.
July 28th, 2006 11:10 PM
I've always made a point to teach my kids about my guns. I have a 9 y.o. girl and a 7 y.o. boy. They know that if they want to look at any of my guns all they have to do is ask. They know that they don't touch any of them without me.
Remove the curiosity and they are not curious. Though they are asking when they can have their own----Great!
July 29th, 2006 06:21 AM
LOL! I've been married twice. Got a 28 yr old son from my first marriage, and a 4 yr old son at home. The 4 yr old has grown up with Mommy and Daddy carrying and wanted his own gun. I got him a toy pistol, and he walks around the house with it tucked under his shirt.
Originally Posted by rachilders
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone
The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.
July 29th, 2006 11:25 AM
I have four handguns in the house and three children. All guns that are not on my person are kept in a safe. I use the one with four buttons on the top, so I can open it within seconds, even int he dark. this has proved to be effective in keeping little hands off of it. Prior to putting the guns in the safe, I put a $20.00 in it and told the kids the first one who opens it gets the cash. After two days, no one could open it. When the kids wanted to know about the guns I showed them and expained what to do if they ever found one. They expressed interest in shooting, so I bought the air soft guns and shot with them. When they get older, probably 16 or so, I will take them to the range.
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