Kids and guns.
This is a discussion on Kids and guns. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; At what age should you introduce firearms and firearm safety to children? Im sure atleast a couple people on here have some little ones running ...
January 17th, 2012 06:04 PM
Kids and guns.
At what age should you introduce firearms and firearm safety to children? Im sure atleast a couple people on here have some little ones running around. My neice is 3 and a half and im really close with her. I see her about 2 times a week. Shes pretty smart so I think she would definitely retain some knowledge.
Any thoughts on how one should go about this?
"When that gun comes out of that holster; it's business time." -Chris Costa
January 17th, 2012 06:25 PM
I started my son out with NERF guns when he was 3, airsoft at 4, bb at 5, and now 22 at 6. Always supervised, no exceptions, emphasis on safety.
January 17th, 2012 06:43 PM
A 3 1/2 year old is old enough to understand some of the basics of gun safety.
(If they are old enough to say "gun" then they are old enough to learn about gun safety; JMHO.)
January 17th, 2012 06:57 PM
My son is 4 years old. He helps me tray up ammo when a bulk order arrives. He asks if he can see a gun & he gets to see it. He was educated about the fact that they are not toys and can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.
As soon as he could understand what a gun was, I started his education.
Jim Cirillo (I have seen Massad Ayoob quote him a few times) was the one who got me focused on educating kids about guns to take away the taboo about guns. His book "Guns, Bullets, And Gunfights: Lessons And Tales From A Modern-Day Gunfighter" (see link below) was the place I think I initially read about how he educated his kids & grandkids. He felt that if he could make the gun a matter of fact rather than a secret thing only adults should ever see or handle that he would decrease the chance of a child wanting to play with a gun without adult supervision.
Amazon.com: Guns, Bullets, And Gunfights: Lessons And Tales From A Modern-Day Gunfighter (9780873648776): Jim Cirillo: Books
Ask the child's parents for consent before trying to bring it up to them independently.
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
- Roy Batty
January 17th, 2012 07:02 PM
I've been around guns all of my life, when I was like 5 or 6 my dad got all of his guns and showed them to me, he taught me all of the basics and took me shooting. Once I turned 14 I took a hunter safety/gun safety course which assured him even more that I was responsible with guns.
January 17th, 2012 07:08 PM
January 17th, 2012 07:18 PM
I started my daughter when she was 7 with an airsoft gun. I was able to teach her the 4 basic rules of gun safety and got her started with that. She broke several of those rules the first few days, just out of sheer carelessness. So I'm glad it was an airsoft gun. At age 8 I started her with a .22 pistol at the indoor gun range. She's about to be 9 years old and we haven't moved beyond the .22 yet and I suspect we won't for a while.
"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato
January 17th, 2012 08:09 PM
I have a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old. Neither one of them will fire anything until they can recite and understand the four basic rules of gun safety. They aren't quite there yet. But I don't push it, either.
I handle gun safety in this manner:
- Take away all of the interest in sneaking the guns. They both know that all they have to do is ask and I will allow them to handle one of my guns (unloaded and strictly supervised). My son helps me clean them and helps load magazines.
- They both know that they are in HUGE trouble if they even attempt to touch one of my firearms or the firearm safe without my permission/supervision.
- My guns are either on my person or in the safe. I leave absolutely no room for a mistake. You can only trust a kid so much.
- For my nightstand safe I use a V-line. If they mess with the combination, I know about it. In a year there was one red butt - and that was within the first week I got the safe. My daughter wasn't even trying to get the gun, she was just playing with the buttons. She learned her lesson
Since I started this "program", my kids have been absolutely uninterested in the guns. They know they can see them whenever they want. The mystery and lure of the forbidden fruit was taken away. It works. The day one of them expresses an interest in shooting, I'll figure out the proper path.
I will, however, point out that my wife has been absolutely against this approach. She didn't think the kids would react this way. She has ultimately come around - the results speak for themselves.
Of course, I didn't come up with this. I applied some things I learned from my CCW instructor and some of the things taught by Ayoob in his books.
January 17th, 2012 09:05 PM
How does mom and dad feel about it? I'm all for gun safety, but if someone is teaching my kids something I better know. Take care of that first. Then focus on safety. If they show an interest move to shooting. My girls showed zero interest in shooting for several years. Check out the kids and guns section here.
I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!
"Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"
January 17th, 2012 09:22 PM
Hard question, it gets harder when they are not your own.
My Children are all long sense grow youngest is 29. They Grew up around weapons mostly hunting rifles when they were real young. They had BB guns at 10-12 and quickly moved to 410's and 22's. They started hunting and then by the early teens were shooting hand guns at HOME.
Now it is the grandchildren turn. We following the same path with them. All Hand guns are kept out of reach and secured so the can not get to them no madder what.
Modern day gun vaults make it easy to secure them and still get to them. Even the 3 year olds know that Mom ,Dad, Grandpa and Grandma carry a gun they think nothing of it to them it is normal. Some extended family members would call the law if I even allowed their child to see a weapon.
Each family has to figure it out for them self.
January 17th, 2012 11:20 PM
My brother and his wife are both fine with it. I made sure i asked first, so I didn't cross any lines.
Originally Posted by chiefjason
"When that gun comes out of that holster; it's business time." -Chris Costa
January 17th, 2012 11:39 PM
Our son went shooting with us before he could walk. He has always seen guns, and seen guns on us daily as long as he can remember. We got him a Cricket when he was 5 and started him out shooting himself. Last year at 8, he got his first trigger time with a pistol.
He has always shot from a bench, with a rest regardless either with a rifle or the pistol. With his .243, also new last year, I have let him start shooting from a 3 legged hunting chair with a shooting stick or standing with the shooting stick. He isn't strong enough yet to be able to shoot from a standing position unrested yet.
At 3 1/2 the Eddie Eagle program is a must. I don't see any harm in letting her see you with a firearm, cleaning it, or wearing it open in the house etc. Taking the curiosity out of the kid goes a long way towards gun safety in my view. Making them aware of when they can and can't handle firearms keeps things simple. My son knows he isn't allowed to handle guns at home. At the range or deer camp is the only time he gets to touch them, while supervised that is.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
January 18th, 2012 12:41 AM
I remember how proud I was when one day when I was in Kindergarten class and my father came in wearing his police uniform. He called me to the front of the class and after unloading his revolver handed it to me so I could show others in the class how to make sure it was unloaded. How to handle it properly. Most the boys already knew that stuff in that class but the girls didn't.
I can only imagine what would happen if someone were to do this now. Looking back on it I'm still amazed the gun didn't go off and kill everyone there.
January 18th, 2012 03:26 AM
Were there any survivors?
Originally Posted by mlr1m
January 18th, 2012 03:41 AM
I was reloading magazines for my wifes gun, an XD-40, this past night as I took it to the range that day. My 2.5 year old asked to see it and I started the process then. I call it her gun as I would have the 12 gauge and she would have the XD if anything were to happen in a home defense scenario. He knows what guns are and I figured it would be a good place to continue his safety education. He has a pop gun rifle from Bass and even with that I emphasized the safety of not shooting it at people, keeping it pointed in a safe direction etc. The gravity of the situation with the "real" gun was made clear to him and he seemed to understand. It is a process and it sounds to me, like you started in the right way. It is a progression and you started out just fine!
Keep up the good work. My goal is to take away the "cool" factor and impress the significance of guns, for both safety and use as a tool.
Guns are cool, just like my miter saw, and chainsaw. They have a purpose and can be fun, but it must be done with respect, understanding, and safety in mind.
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" ~ Mark Twain
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