The Great Debate: Kids and gun safety (LONG)

This is a discussion on The Great Debate: Kids and gun safety (LONG) within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Some of you may have seen the video I posted of our shooting weekend recently. just shooting.swf - YouTube It leads in with my friend ...

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Thread: The Great Debate: Kids and gun safety (LONG)

  1. #1
    Member Array Pkupmn98's Avatar
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    The Great Debate: Kids and gun safety (LONG)

    Some of you may have seen the video I posted of our shooting weekend recently. just shooting.swf - YouTube It leads in with my friend helping his 3 year old daughter fire an AR-22 then a Ruger LC9. Completely safe the entire time. It sparked a Facebook debate, I'll share some of the opinions, with names omitted to protect everyone, and I'd like any opinions you might have.

    Friend 1: Lets take a survey FB friends. I posted a video of me teaching my 3 year old how to properly handle a gun and not be scared of the reaction from shooting it. She had a blast and I did as well. If we teach our kids proper gun handling at a young age, it will keep them from the "curiosity" stage at a later age. Guns are extremely dangerous and my thought is to teach both my girls the proper way to handle a gun, only while being supervised. Whether you are in favor or against guns, I would like to hear some feedback from everyone. Put it out there if you feel strongly one way or the other. And if you are not willing to put your feedback on here, then keep your comments and thoughts to yourself. This is an open discussion. I dont judge others and I dont want to be judged as a parent. Maybe someone can give me some insight from another angle. Thanks

    Guy I don't know: Friend 1, I did the same thing with my son, the only bad thing is now he is ten and he can shoot better than me.


    My Brother: I was there and not only agree with you, like that she will have the knowledge of how dangerous guns can be, but how to handle them properly. You were great with all the youngsters down there! The only thing I really learned is...I don't want to mess with your daughter!


    My sister: I am for it if someone that is knowledgeable in gun saftey..and stresses it til they are blue in the face is teaching my children..which they did..thank you again


    Guy I don't know 2 It seems that the more knowledge you have about guns, the safer they become, especially when it comes to children.


    Myself: I was there also, and you could probably guess my opinion. I will have my daughter in the NRA Eddie Eagle program as soon as she is old enough (5 I think is their starting age). If I didn't think my wife would have killed me, Lilly would have been up next with that AR-22. She will learn with a pink red rider bb gun as soon as I think I can trust her, and a pink cricket single shot 22 is what she demands we stop and look at each time we are at the store. Teaching kids how to safely handle guns and educating them on how dangerous they can be when mishandled is the only way to truly keep them safe around guns. There is no true way to "kid proof" guns by hiding them or locking them up even, you must "gun proof" your kids. Take the curiosity out of firearms and they won't be tempted to sneak in and show dads guns to their friends without permission. That is all. :-)



    Anti gun lady: I 10000% disagree. CHILDREN shouldn't have ANY access to guns until they are at an age where they have proven they're responsible enough to make the right choice. THREE YEAR OLDS ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH!

    Young children do not know the difference between real and make believe so they shouldn't be given an opportunity to make a mistake. Not to mention one that could be a deadly mistake. And they should also NEVER be encouraged to pretend they're pointing a gun at a person! You know how I feel about that though (teagan isn't allowed toy guns and if I ever saw him pretend to shoot someone he'd be in time out so fast his head would spin)! It's NOT typical kid play. It's dangerous.

    They've done study after study- gun safety does NOT mean they'll do the right thing. Kids are curious and they'll investigate.

    Not to mention I don't think guns should be in a house that has children in it. And if they are they should be locked up like Fort Knox, preferably in a fingerprint safe. And before you say, "then I can't get to it if i need it" you also can't bring a kid back of they get shot and die.

    You can gun proof your kids. Don't let them around them until they prove their responsible.

    I'm sorry Friend 1, but I really feel like this was a bad idea.


    Mother 1 Letting a 3 yr old handle a gun scares me. I didn't really think anything of it when saw the video but thinking about letting my son do that when he's 3 I just think to myself oh hell no! No judging here - it's just not for me. However if my family had guns at our house and our family was big into hunting or having guns for protection I might feel differently. I do think teaching gun safety is important - maybe even more so for those kids who do not have parents that hunt or have guns around because I think their curiosity would be more piqued if encountering them than those who are around them all the time.


    Mom 2: I dont think this is a bad idea i plan to do the same with my son maybe not at 3 but maybe 5, i think as long as the correct supervision is there and you are there to make she she doesnt harm herslf or others whats the big deal. I think everyone has their own outlook on parenting and may choose to parent their children different doesnt make what you are doing wrong. EVERYONE will have an opinion and tell you that you are wrong or right, but at the end of the day what does it really matter if your babies are takin care of and loved, ur just building memories with them....


    Friend 1: Excellent post Anti Gun Lady. This is what Im looking for. How many times do you hear on the news of kids getting shot by accident from a parents gun? Do any of them have any training or fundamentals of what a gun can do. I totally agree guns are dangerous. But with the proper training, my kids will know to stay away from guns and how dangerous they can be. I appreciate the views you expressed bridget, but do not judge me for how I raise my kids. You are entitled to your opinion but remember everyone has opinions. Just because you are AGAINST guns does not mean that I HAVE TO BE AGAINST GUNS!!!! And it also does not mean that you can go around placing phonecalls and voicing your thoughts and opinions upon other people. Keep them to yourself. DO NOT POKE THIS BEAR. I would never let your son around my guns because I know how strongly you feel about them, and i respect you enough not to do it, but I will do what I think is best for my kids.


    Friend 1 Guns are not for everyone. That is so awesome that you are at least open minded enough to know that things may be different if youre family was into hunting and guns. Keep these comments coming. I ALSO AM OPEN MINDED ENOUGH TO SEE BOTH SIDES OF THE EQUATION.


    Myself: I don't think keeping kids away from guns is a feasible option to keep them safe. Making guns 'forbidden' and mysterious only adds to a kids natural curiosity. Now I'm not saying to leave guns laying around the house. And I'm not saying to hand a 3 y/o a handgun and tell them to go play in the yard. But even if I lock up my guns 100% of the time they are not on my person, a kids curiosity will win if they are determined enough, AND, that does not guarantee that the parents of her friends, whose house we let her play in, are as responsible. They can come into contact with guns anywhere. Hell, I'm today's world, they could find a gun some thug threw down in the street. They MUST know not to touch any gun they come across without myself or another responsible adult around, and to come get me if they ever find or come across a gun. Guns are out there, we can't pretend they don't exist. Teach your kids how to safely handle them, and keep tragic accidents from happening.


    Friend 1: excellent point Pkupmn98. There are people in this society that believe as long as they dont have guns, their kids will never be around guns. ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE! Guns are everywhere. When you go to target, diebergs, schnucks, etc...., there is a gun inside that store at any given time. The rate of CCW permits are growing at a rapid pace. Whether you know the facts or not, 1 out of 12 cars in st charles county has a gun within the vehicle. It is a legal way to defend yourself upon others that would try to harm you or your family. Teach your kids gun safety!!! Even if its with a play toy gun. Let them know the importance of how harmful they can be if not properly handled.


    My Sister: All I know as a single mom when someone breaks in my house with a gun..because they will have one..at least I have a fighting chance to protect my children.


    What say you DC forum, is 3 too soon to start kids learning gun safety and even shooting? Will "attempting" to keep guns away from kids, (and kids away from guns) keep them safe?
    Last edited by Pkupmn98; April 25th, 2012 at 08:09 PM.
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  3. #2
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    I would say three is a bit young, simply because language comprehension skills are still a bit too low for my comfort. Age five strikes me as a bit more appropriate.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    The younger you ingrain safety and lack of curiosity the better. It's kids who say "ooo what's this thing?" and start pressing every button and lever that you have a problem. Kids like me who grew up knowing how to shoot say "oh, that's just the gun I shot last month. Some day it will be mine!".

    I don't quite know how to put it but when you increase familiarity and teach safety, there is always a lower likelihood of a child wanting to handle it. Having said this I don't know the child and every child is very different in terms of maturity and motor skills etc. Some children might be ok to begin learning at a younger age than others. I was 6 when I shot my first .22lr rifle. I was 8 when I shot my first pistol (.38spl). I did shoot a Red Ryder around age 4 with grandpa at his house though.
    Pkupmn98 likes this.
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    New Member Array mtngoat13's Avatar
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    I agree that teaching gun safety to your kids is key. I don't think 3 is too early depending the kid. I know some young kids I would feel fine teaching about guns. On the other hand I know 9 ye holds I woulnd let have a sharp stick.

    I say good for you teaching you kids gun safety, I am under the idea( just my opinion) that if you shelter them they will use the wrong avenue to learn about them.

    We have already started my 2yr old with gun safety and plan to teach her proper gun handling when we feel she is ready.

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    gun safety starts from day one and becomes part of every day life. my kids started touching my guns from the day they were old enough to touch and that day they learned. I too then to the range all the time even when they couldn't shoot so they got used to it

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    I think I touched my cousin's .38 and dry fired it once (he was a cop) My dad gave us BB guns at 10 with NO training whatsoever (scary) SOOOOO I started my 4 year old last summer by hanging out with us at a range shooting pellet guns. Occasionally during the year I'll leave a gun holstered in front of me on the table to check her reaction. In the next few weeks as the weather warms, she's going to shoot the pellet gun and the .22. Educate and don't leave them with unfettered access. Same as the Internet.
    Good luck, thanks for the video.
    JIm

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    Ex Member Array Mr B's Avatar
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    I don`t have kids, but I would say 3 is a little to young to start with guns. I think 5-6 would be a better age to start teaching them about guns and shooting.

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    I found this comment by anti-gun lady not entirely true "It's NOT typical kid play", a study of young kids my boss told me about (will have to ask him what book he read it in as i forget at the moment) showed that kids that have never seen or played with a toy gun still made their hands into a gun shape while playing with others.
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    VIP Member Array cmdrdredd's Avatar
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    Of course...ever play cowboys and indians? Cops & Robbers? When you have no toy gun what do you do? Use your index finger and thumb and make a pistol and yell "BANG!" or find a stick of some type and make believe...
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Laws are restrictive but sometimes necessary to maintain a civil society. Rights are nonrestrictive but are always necessary to maintain a free society.

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    Start 'em young! Our eldest son, at maybe 3 months old, appraising a Colt SAA .44-40 made in 1896 with dad. He recognized the re-nickel right off.


    Seriously though, the lack of strength, motor skills, language comprehension, and size all work against a very small child trying to handle firearms, including BB guns. Even the little Cricket .22s so popular 10-15 years ago are a bit much. No use rushing things unless dad's pride must be satisfied.

    I know guys who have had their 3 year old sons in deer stands with them, shooting their "first deer" with dad's .30-06. The contortions required to pull that one off with a small boy and a high-powered rifle are only laughable except for the potential for danger or injury that makes it much less funny.

    Not saying I did it all correctly but here's our eldest son on his first outing with dad and a .22 at 5 years old and first deer taken at 11 years old when he was well old enough to handle the rifle on his own.







    Our youngest son was also exposed to firearms slowly and steadily and between the training and proper security we never had mishaps or snooping without permission from either of them. Now they're 30 (next month) and 26.
    ďNo possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.Ē

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Children learn what the live. As with many others things our children need to know in life it is best to instill it in them at the youngest age possible and then continue to reinforce it. There is no one right age as each child is different in their own right. If not the longer one waits the harder it will be to instill anything. As many of you know once they hit their teen years they suddenly "know everything".
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
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    Senior Member Array ntkb's Avatar
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    The majority of the kids that shoot themselves or friends is because they donít know how to handle a gun, because they havenít been exposed other than on TV or movies. Teach them young. They will never learn to be responsible unless it is expected of them and given an opportunity to display their ability to handle reasonability.

    I started mine at 4

    It also good to destroy something like a 2x4 at close range with a shotgun to give a demonstration of the power in a firearm. They will make the connection, and you will know it when they say wowwwwww.
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    Since I don't know the particular 3 yo, I can't say. And the child's personality plays into it. IIRC, my youngest was 5 when she shot her first gun. I made the mistake of trying to show my oldest too young. She hates loud noises. Even the .22 cricket with CB caps was too loud. She's just now getting interested again. They are both showing more interest lately.
    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"

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Ha, ha, ... I remember the video of the guy at a family gathering outside, and laying his gun down on the table. Where upon a very small kid walks up, takes the gun off the table , points it at him and proceeds to pull the trigger.

    Education @ 3 and on about gun safety --- good.. .... shooting... 5-6 yrs old.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

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    Member Array TxRhino's Avatar
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    I have no issue with kids handling guns, but i do think 3 is probably a little young. As someone who studied health & fitness in college, which includes some child physical develop, I dont feel kids of that age have the proper motor skills to truly fire a weapon safely. If they cant hold the gun themselves, i wouldn't let them shoot it. You can always give them an air soft gun or bb gun.

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