3 y/o and His Family

3 y/o and His Family

This is a discussion on 3 y/o and His Family within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I spend most of my weekends with some friends who have a 3 year old son. This family keeps two firearms and we shoot together ...

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Thread: 3 y/o and His Family

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    3 y/o and His Family

    I spend most of my weekends with some friends who have a 3 year old son. This family keeps two firearms and we shoot together often enough. We also work on cars a lot so when those of us who carry are around, it is often easier to OC or put the guns away. Consequently, the son see's a lot of us handling firearms each weekend. This is through either securing them or cleaning. I won't go into how anal we are about safety with this kid around.

    Last weekend, after I drove home the kid appearently started saying 'Bang bang, I shoot you in the head.' Wonderful. He was chastised for it but that's besides the point. The mom asked me if I might consider teaching the kid about firearm safety. She tells me "I'd do it myself, but you are the gun guy around here and know this stuff better." I'm not terribly concerned about the kid maliciously pointing firearms at people, but I'm well aware that's besides the point. He just does what he see's other people doing and repeats what he hears said on TV and through other people. Personally, I'm rather curious about where he picked-up the 'Bang Bang' remark.

    Obviously, I have my own thoughts on the matter. I also have been around long enough to know that the sensibilities of teaching young'ns about firearms has been discussed once or twice before. However I've seen a LOT of new members post around here recently so I think this subject bears repeating.

    So my questions to the membership are these:
    -Do you think the kid is too young to really take the subject serious enough?
    -Should one bother attempting to impress upon the importantace of firearm safety on a kid who barely seems to understand the words he says? Especially when most of the time he just says things to get attention?
    -Or alternatively, would you go the route of simply telling the kid 'See a gun? Run away! Tell an adult!'?

    I heard the 'Run away! Tell an adult!' line from Eddie The Eagle when he came to my 3rd grade class. I already knew how to shoot (Thanks, Dad!) but it still stuck with me. I still hear it occasionally in my head when I see someone OC'ing - which always gets me to smile in spite of myself.

    Anyhow, I digress. Post your answers to the questions or just your random thoughts on the matter. I'm interested to see what some of you have to say on it. Or maybe something you did with your own kids? Let's hear it.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Too young to take it seriously. I don't think it's possible to get the pretend violence out of a kid. Education is of the utmost importance, but does not remove the necessity of locking the guns up.
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  3. #3
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    I have a boy the same age... keep it simple with him. Yes, its overdue to teach him gun safety, but better late than never.

    My boy knows not to touch, and if one happens to be laying around (never the case, but you never know) to tell me or his mother. This has worked very well for us, and I will get into it in depth more and more as he matures. For right now, keep it simple. They just cant wrap their heads around it all just yet.
    I also think its OK for you to teach him, but his own family needs to reinforce the idea and rules.
    Of course now that he has shown interest, its even more important to lock 'em up.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Yes, I think the child will be too young.

    FWIW my own daughter at age 3 was doing same similar upon realizing that daddy had "shooters" (her term from outer space not mine) toward use in paintball which I'd been heavily in at a tournament level for 6 yrs. prior to her birth.
    Now she's turning 5 in December and I have a plan to begin introducing her to firearms safety coming this spring along with an ari rifle just for her to learn on and a small pop bottle range n our backyard.
    In the interim between now and then I ignored her commentary which soon went away as sudden as it came. She currently makes no more mention toward my guns (she now knows I own them and go to the range to train) nor my markers than she does that daddy uses a knife to cut his meat at dinner time.

    - Janq is wayy looking forward to 'range time' with my kids
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  5. #5
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    I've always heard, especially the older they get it's best to teach and remove the mystery surrounding guns.... If they are totally off limits and a don't touch, eventually curiosity will get the better of them and they will circumvent the rules.

    My grandfather was a big time hunter and even safari hunter, but he died when I was 5. My dad was never big on guns but inherited several of his dads guns. They were always locked in a cabinet in the basement and I only saw them very occasionally.

    Once when I was about 10 or so, the curiosity was just too much and I swiped the key to the lock and decided to investigate further on my own. I wasn't interested in the rifles or shotguns, although I did look at them but didn't touch them. I was only interested in "the pistol!"

    Now, one thing I did know... for as little exposure as I had was that guns were deadly instruments and that utmost care was in order.

    I don't remember if it was inately apparent (deeper gene pool) or if I had been told at that point, but I knew not to point that gun at anything but the floor of the basement and not to touch the trigger at all!

    So I opened the locker, and retrieved the pistol, wrapped in an old oily cloth. I took great care to note exactly how it was wrapped paying attention to every fold and wrap of the cloth. When finally unwrapped, there it was... a pristine blued 6 inch Colt "police positive" .38 special with wood grips.

    I also "knew" (and again, don't know if it was instinct or if I had been told) I was susposed to check to see if it was loaded or not.

    While holding it carefully pointed at the floor, I inspected it... the trigger guard, the trigger, the hammer and the cylinder. I did not point it at myself to see if there were bullets in it. (again, after things I've seen kids do these days, I attribute it to a deeper gene pool)

    I tried fiddling with the ejector rod since it seemed connected to the cylinder, to see if that was how it opened but it didn't move. Then I noticed that behind the cylinder a knob of some sort! So when I moved it, the cylinder opened in my hand. Good, NO BULLETS! I must say, I was so afraid, I truely thought I was holding death itself in my hands!

    Curiosity satisfied, I carefully wiped off my fingerprints and wrapped the gun back up in the oily rag. I hoped I did it just right cause I knew by butt would be raw if my dad ever knew I had been in his gun cabinet. I carefully put the gun up and never touched them again.

    In the next year or so, I convinced my dad to buy me my first "BB" gun and he took me out on several occasions and taught me proper gun safety and gun handling and demanded that I treat the BB gun as if it was a rifle capable of killing any living thing, which meant no unsupervised shooting, no shooting at birds or at anything except a target with a proper back stop which usually meant a dirt berm or stacked hay bales and I couldn't shoot it at home because of the neighboring houses.

    He never did find out that I had been into his gun cabinet and never will. But, I feel I was lucky in the sense that I was too afraid to be careless with it.

    So it is of my belief that they should be trained early on and allowed to shoot as soon as you feel they are able to handle the recoil of the weapon. Removing the curiosity removes temptation. And they are never too young to start learning the seriousness of the damage a firearm can cause.

    When I met my wife, her daughter was 12. I kept my guns secured but also let her know if she wanted to see them and shoot them to let me know... She wasn't interested until about age 14 at which time I took her shooting with one of her friends and let her see for herself the damage they can do. I let her know anytime she wanted to shoot we can shoot. Just let me know. We only shot about 3 or 4 times but we never had an incident with her either. Now she's 36 and I take the grandkids out shooting or go shooting with her husband.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I think 3 is too young - however, instead of just saying "Don't touch!" and enforcing rules, I think it would be reasonable to set goals and requirements. For instance, my folks had a Bowflex and I was probably 11 or 12 and I don't remember what I wanted but the deal was if I could do 10 reps with all the bow-flex-things (bench press) then it was a deal. It took me about a week to get there. Piece of cake for a kid with some ambition and initiative. I guess all I'm saying is, if "When you're 5" or "When you can recite the Constitution" is the deal, then it puts the ball in his court.

    Austin

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    A tough call...personally I think 3 is a bit young. What hasn't been asked is why, where or from what a 3 year old is going "bang, bang, I shoot you in the head". That would concern me more...

    Rick

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else. As the father of 3 boys (6,4 & 2.5), I can guarantee you that 3 is too young. I just started my 6 year old with a BB gun (daisy red ryder) for his 6th birthday, and he is doing fine for his age. The other two will follow in thier own time, but they cannot focus on serius matters such as weapons right now.

    I would just make sure to keep him away from the guns until he is about 5 or 6......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    3 y/o is not too young to discourage poor behavior....i.e. "that's not nice to do..."

    I think the parents should get some training and take responsibility to rearing their kids with guns in the house. That is something that cannot be "outsourced".

    Why would they defer that responsibility to you??
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  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    The mom asked me if I might consider teaching the kid about firearm safety
    Kudos to her!

    3 is kinda young, but he clearly understands what the gun is and has some association with what it does, so I think the time is right to start laying the groundwork of responsibility.

    Disclaimer: I've never tried to teach a very young child anything serious or anything about guns, so take an appropriately sized serving of salt with this. But here's how I would try to do it.

    Push Eddie Eagle, not necessarily the run away part, but definitely "Don't touch, tell an adult". Make him learn it, make him repeat it, make him act it out. Tell him that playing is ok, but he should never pretend to shoot at grown-ups, or at someone who doesn't want to play.

    In a couple of years, I think you (or someone) needs to teach him to shoot (preferably on a single-action .22), so that guns move from "don't touch" to "only touch with permission." I don't think it gains you anything to promise to teach him when he's older though. 2 years is a long time to somone who's only been alive for 3.

    I think you've got a good opportunity here.
    "A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    For those that have had or do have 3 year olds...how much time do they spend watching TV...even power rangers have weapons. Can a 3 year old distinguish the difference between make believe and the real thing...that is the fundemental question. Until this is addressed, all the gun safety in the world will, in my opinion, muddy the waters even more so. Where does a 3 year old get "shoot in the head"...target shooting perhaps...but to him or her...distinguishing the difference between a target and a person at 3 is a stretch in my imagination.

    Rick

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    He's too young for a serious talk on gun safety. Check out the NRA's Eddie Eagle material and program. It is made for young kids but I don't know if it would cover a kid that young.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Bandit,

    Neither of my children watches television.

    We rent childrens videos from the library toward The Wiggles and Dora Explorer. Also I TiVo childrens age appropriate programming such as Sesame Street and The Wiggles, watch it myself (FFWD looking for visual garbage) and after passing review let my 4yr.old watch that and even then only for 30 min. max at a spell per day. Period.
    We'd only allowed her to begin watching TV, outside of BabyEinstein videos, within the past year.
    There is no way I'd let my 4yr. old watch Power Rangers not that it is even remotely appropriate anyway for a 3 to 5 yr. old.

    That is programming best suited for an 8 or 9 yr. old at the earliest and even then dependant on individual mental growth and ability to 'understand' what is being viewed.
    That show in specific is garbage.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    +1 Hooray for Janq for raising his kids right. There's a reason they call it the "Idiot Box". At my house we have Netflix and a computer screen - plenty big if you aren't spoiled. Not to mention I'd feel awful spending hard earned gun money on pure mindless entertainment. Books and playing outside are the way to learn!

    Austin

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Kudos Janq...wish more could see this light...but it tends to be a cheap babysitter. X-box is raising a generation of make believe...sadly, not all can distinguish the difference.

    Rick

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