"My daddy carries a gun..."
This is a discussion on "My daddy carries a gun..." within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi all,
I'm the father of two small children aged 6 and 4. While they know their daddy enjoys shooting guns, and they know I ...
May 31st, 2007 10:06 PM
"My daddy carries a gun..."
I'm the father of two small children aged 6 and 4. While they know their daddy enjoys shooting guns, and they know I store them safely in the house, they do not know that I carry one concealed. I keep all of my carry guns loaded, but locked in a quick-access safe, of which they do not know the location.
I'd like to ask for your suggestions/experience on a few things:
1. At what age did you let your children know that you carry? I current don't plan on telling until at least their late teens, if not later. It is more of a judgement call as to their maturity level?
2. Did your kids ever find out that you carry before you intended them to know? At what age did they find out, and what did you do to handle it? While I wouldn't necessarily mind neighbors, etc knowing I carry, my decision to do so was a private one, and I wouldn't want one of children balbbing about it to everyone they meet, ya know?
3. When you did tell them you carry, how did you discuss it with them?
4. My childen have already watched the NRA's Eddie Eagle video on gun safety which they really liked, and have already memorized the jingle for what to do when they encounter a gun: "Stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult." At what age do you feel it's appropriate to give them their first practical experience with firearms, i.e. holding them, teaching them about how they operate, maintenance, and finally actually shooting? What type of gun do you recommend for a first shooting experience?
Please feel free to relate any other child-related firearm/concealed carry issues you would like to share.
Thanks a lot.
May 31st, 2007 10:12 PM
While my husband and I do not yet have children, my father started me shooting at the ripe old age of five.
He took me out and held me up with a muzzle-loader against my shoulder and let me pull the trigger.
The rest of the time I helped him load and then after we were done shooting he took me inside and taught me how to clean, oil and store it.
It was a very fun experience and I enjoyed it very much. Only you can decide what's right for your kids and when you will introduce them to certain things. While I was eager to learn about guns at a young age, my sisters took longer to get into it and he started then on different calibers.
I'm sure you'll get a lot of advice as we have some fabulous parents on this forum.
May 31st, 2007 10:18 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
Chris, I am way too old to answer some of this ideally - back when my kids were those ages I could not carry anyways. If I did tho I'd keep it secret sufficient to be sure that when out one would not say "My Dad has a gun" - or similar
If young ones do find out then it's talk time - only option. Tell them you are the protector and bad people exist but - it is ''our secret'' only. Have them comfortable with it all.
Not sure what age is the ''right'' one for kids to be told ...... this would depend on their degree of responsibility and general life savvy .... what might suit one six year old may not necessary suit one of 12 ...... this has to a parental judegment deal IMO.
As for first experience? Much same I think - parental judegment etc but - an early intro is IMO desirable - and show the effects of bullets too. My two when young came to the range with me from about 6 and 8 - watching early on. Then I got them onto a .22 rifle ... I guess by time they were around 10 and 12 they were well able to handle a revo with .38 spl.
They both now at 30 and 32 still look back fondly on those days and are both very safe people with guns ... only sad thing is my daughter is still ''stuck'' in UK!
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
May 31st, 2007 10:24 PM
I think the short version for all of your questions is do what you think and know is best. Don't make a big deal out of it and neither will they.
Q 1 : How old when you tell them ?
A 1 : If they live with you, you won't be able to hide it from them so don't sweat this question.
Q 2: Did they find out before I intended?
A 2: They found out when I started carrying, because I take off my sport coat and there's my carry piece on my right hip. Or, you pull into the post office and have to lock the carry piece somewhere before you go in ... how are they not going to see that?
Q 3: How did you discuss it with them?
A 3: Kids have a way of naturally accepting many things that a parent does. It sounds like your kids are going to be steeped in pro 2A ideology from day one so you won't have any trouble. Do what you think is right to safeguard their security and don't make a big deal out of it. We never "discussed it" except every now and then I repeat some small, pro 2A quip ... again not making a big deal out of it but they have to be taught that becoming more helpless doesn't make you safer ... so ... we carry.
Q 4: What type of gun for first experience?
A 4: .22
In the beginning (four years ago) I was very worried about what my wife and kids would think when I bought my permit to carry. They quickly warmed up to the idea and now appreciate the security ... the other day we were in a big city and my oldest son asked me if I was carrying as some of the people he saw made him nervous ... any fears I had long ago did not materialize and now my family wants and expects me to carry.
Finally - securing your firearms:
There is "safe storage" and "ready". The two are opposites. When you have small children, I suggest that you wear your carry piece, and all other firearms are either stored dismantled or locked in a safe. The only gun that you really have under your control ... the only gun that you really know what's going on with it is the gun on your hip. So, prevent an accident by making sure that your firearms cannot be used if found by curious hands. At the same time, for security you maintain a firearm that is ready to go, and this firearm should remain under your control at all times ... but if it that gun is out of your sight, because you have small kids, honestly I'd dismantle it every time I need to leave it. Just my .02. "safe storage" and "ready" are opposite ends of the spectrum and there is no inbetween IMHO.
Just my .02 ... sounds like you are making lots of great choices. Keep up the good work because kids are the best thing most of us ever do in this life.
Last edited by lance22; May 31st, 2007 at 10:29 PM.
May 31st, 2007 10:28 PM
Told mine as soon as they showed curiosity, that was about at the age of 5. That is also when I started to teach them to shoot, now the youngest is 20 and all my kids are Life NRA, very pro 2A politically active, and with the exception of the 20 year old have their CCW N the other will get his next year.
"The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
May 31st, 2007 10:34 PM
I have only been carrying for about a year, and I did have a few initial incidents where my wife or my oldest son (about to turn ten) would "bump" the gun while I was carrying then say "Oh, was that your gun?" or something to that effect. But after a few of those they quickly learned to not say anything. My oldest knows all about my guns, and I have taken him to the range to shoot the ones he can handle. OK, so I only load one round at a time, and I am always right behind him when he shoots in control; but I want him to know gun safety from firsthand experience. One the drive to and from the range I quiz him, "what do you do if you find a gun?" "Do you ever touch a gun?" "What if you are not sure it is a gun?" "What if you see someone with a gun, what do you do?"
He knows the right answers, and I trust him to do the right thing if he ever gets in any of those situations. As he gets older and more mature, we will add to his training; but for now I am satisfied he knows what he should know. That couldn't have happened if I had kept it a secret.
By the way, I never shot with my father, who passed away last year. I inheritted his Colt .357 Magnum and Tauraus .38 Special, but it would have been nice if we had a chance to shoot them together. But as far as I know, he never shot them. My mother was recently visiting and I asked if he ever went to the range, and she said she could not remember him ever going. He loved that .357, it is an pre-Python, but based on all the old ammo I found after he passed away, I don't think he ever shot it. I can't imagine why.
May 31st, 2007 10:44 PM
I was introduced to guns at 5. I started with a .22 magnum, and graduated to a .30-.06 2 years later, during my first hunting trip AS a hunter.
My fiance was introduced to guns with the m-16 when she enlisted in the Army almost 20 years ago. She recently enlisted in the NG and was sweating qualification. I took her to the range after a trip to Gander Mountain.
Kathryn is a hell of a shot with her Savage .243... for being 5'1" and only 98# it's comical watching the other shooters watch her.
Brooke was started with a .22 rifle, then my 30-30... She doesn't like the .22 anymore. "It's too wimpy". She wants the 30-30 or the 30-06.... Her 16 year old sister refuses to touch anything BUT the .22
Everyone is different. Let them choose.
The most important thing my dad taught me was:
"Keep it down range... and have fun..."
May 31st, 2007 10:59 PM
I think it will all be a very personal thing really. I don't like to tell other people how to raise their kids anymore than I like other people telling me how to raise my kids. ...so I'll give two sets of experiences me growing up and me raising my children.
me growing up:
guns always around.
I started to show interest in guns ~5 or 6 and my father would sit down with me and let me examine his Sako bolt rifle. He showed me how to handle it, gun safety, etc.
At ~8 my older brother bought me a BB gun with my parent's permission and taught me how to safely use it.
Come 11 I got my very own gun - a single shot .22LR and still have it to this day
From 11 to 12 my interest in shooting took off. After a few outings with my .22 I started shooting "light" .38 special, 44 mag, and 30-30 hand loads...I had worked my way up to full power loads on all the guns by the time I was 12 and was loving it.
My father had permits but didn't carry much during my childhood so I can't speak to that exact question.
For my children it will be just a bit different though these plans are subject to change because my children are even younger than yours )2yo and 4mo)
We actually have a gun safe unlike my parents. and all guns remain in the safe unless they are in a case on the way to the range or on my hip.
If I'm awake and legal then I'm carrying so my children will learn very early on.
If I come home then ~50% of the time my cover garment comes off and I OC around the house so there won't be any hiding it from them. I'm sure there will be "incidents" where they say things but I'll just have to deal with them as they come.
I've already started teaching my 2yo gun safety (before he was even two)...not speaking of "the rules" or anything abstract but very basic safety things like "this is dangerous", "don't go near that end" ...things that will eventually sink in over his youth and more things will be added as they can understand them. Ideally I will start them shooting as early as they are ready and if/when they show any interest. I hope they are interested and I'm confident that they will be because my wife and I plan to make shooting a family event....at least when they are younger and it's still "cool" to hang out with your parents.
May 31st, 2007 11:08 PM
in terms of when to tell them, i agree that that should be left up to a call of personal judgment as to when to tell them that you carry. In terms of starting them shooting, i went shooting for the first time about 2-3 months bfor my eighth birthday and shot a Ruger 10/22. I had a great time and i ended up getting a Marlin semi-auto .22 for my eighth birthday and havnt stopped adding to the collection since. A few months after my informal intro to shooting, i started to shoot the NRA's local smallbore program and they do a really good job of introducing more advanced safety training etc. also, it really helps to get the fundamentals down on proper shooting, i.e. position, sight picture, breathing control, etc.
May 31st, 2007 11:18 PM
I have 3 kids and 1 in the oven ages 5, 3, 1, (2mo since conception). I carry everywhere I can, including in the house. After 3 mos or so they have lost interest. When in public they dont even consider it, it just never comes up. In the same way, they never ask about my wallet or my knife, they just assume its there, its normal.
My advice would be not to hide it from them, at all. If its a normal part of life they will accept it and it will be normal for them.
As far as when to start them shooting, I am dealing with this as well. My 5yr old son seems interested, but I am not sure that is the same thing as "ready". I am seriously considering getting a .22 long rifle this year and then see how it goes. Use your own judgement, I believe you will know better than anyone when they are ready.
May 31st, 2007 11:30 PM
It's a family secret...
My boys were the same ages when our family returned from Okinawa and I was happily reunited with my guns. Living on Left Coast at that time, I was not able to carry.
I did many of the things already mentioned like supervised handling, shooting and cleaning. I also used Eddie Eagle to help get the safety message across. Like the power tools in the garage, they were welcome to handle them with me, but not to touch without me. The goal was to take the mystique and novelty away from having firearms in the house.
We also talked about having guns as a "family secret." The boys were free to discuss our guns within the family, but not with others present. When we were transporting them to shoot or while on travel, I reminded them that I was the only one to initiate talk about guns. Soon we were shooting regularly with other families and we modified the rule to include these people at the time of these events or if dad was talking about guns with others.
They were in high school when we moved to Alabama and I began to carry. I explained what I was doing and why. They brought up the "family secret" idea without prompting.
It worked for us...
May 31st, 2007 11:32 PM
I have 3 children. My two girls are 12. Both know I carry and they know why. I do not hide it in any way. It is common for me to head to the laundry room looking for a shirt to wear while I am holstered. No big deal really.
I felt it important to have a frank discussion with my kids about me carrying and why. I wrapped this information up with all the other safety information that I shared with them. It is important to let them know carrying is not cool. That is the first association they make with carrying a gun.
If you try to hide it you will always be worried about being made by your children. And if they do spot it? Will they ask about it or keep quiet and tell all of their friends?
My boy is 2. He could care less.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!
-- Theodore Roosevelt --
May 31st, 2007 11:35 PM
I have 2 kids, 12 and 6, they both know i have guns and i have taken both to the range. The 12 year old has shot, the 6 year old isnt ready yet, she likes to go and watch, just isnt ready in her own mind to shoot yet. I sat them both down and lectured about gun safety and the dos and donts. I feel its better to show them and let them touch and feel them in the safety of me present, them for them to go searching for them as soon as im not around. As far as conceal carry, living in Illinois, the only time i can carry is when we are out of state(non-resident permits). I dont let them know im carrying. I feel like the less people that know the better
May 31st, 2007 11:42 PM
May 31st, 2007 11:57 PM
Holy Crap Holyroller! We ARE long lost brothers!!!! I have 3 kids, too! A 5yo boy, a 2yo girl, and a 7 month old boy! This is just creepy... haha! Check out my family blog www.Honeycuttfam.com to see the Honeycutt crew.
Originally Posted by HOLYROLLER
JJ Honeycutt- GodGunsGlory.com
To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.”
- Ted Nugent
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