Are Your Kids Too Young To Learn About Gun Safety?

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Sixty years ago, some high schools had shooting clubs. Guns were a part of everyday life. Kids grew up around guns.

But not anymore.

These days, many kids are likely to learn what they (think that they) know about guns from Hollywood and from music videos. Gun education has to be sought out instead of having responsible gun owners all around you to teach you the basics. One of the main reasons that gun violence is a problem in our society today is that people aren’t taught about guns or gun safety at any age. They just think that it’s as simply as pointing at someone and pulling the trigger like in a music video.

And it is that easy to do something horrible to someone else. Which means it’s also that easy to ruin your life if you do something stupid with a gun because that’s how the media taught you to use one.

So, the question is: Are you going to teach your kids (and any other kids within earshot) gun safety and, if so, starting at what age?

Well, first of all, use common sense. Keep weapons out of the reach of children. Yes, you want them accessible if you need to use it for self-protection, but keep it where those too young to understand could do something to hurt someone.

Once they are old enough to understand (and this means starting them at four and five years old or younger if the child is mature enough to grasp this), teach them the four rules from the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program. That is, if a child sees a gun, they are to stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and tell an adult. John Boch quotes a retired FBI agent about this:

“When do you teach kids about guns?  About the same time you teach them about hot stoves, electricity and fire.”

Once those children have the maturity to handle a weapon (and certainly only after some training and a period of supervised usage) should a child be able to ever have access to a gun.

Our children are precious. Protecting them is one of the reasons that we own our guns, but protecting them also means making sure that they know gun safety and that, once they are old enough and mature enough, they know how to properly use them.

12 COMMENTS

  1. “Well, first of all, use common sense. Keep weapons out of the reach of children. Yes, you want them accessible if you need to use it for self-protection, but keep it where those too young to understand could do something to hurt someone.”

    This particular line (which is copied and pasted directly from the above article) should have been worded differently. The way it’s currently written, it essentially advises gun owners to leave there firearms where their children could access it and cause a serious and tragic incident. The rest of the article is well written and makes valid points. It is in the best interest of the writers of articles of this nature to very carefully proof-read and edit their articles for any and all errors before posting them in print.

    That being said, it’s also very important for readers of any advice columns to pay close attention to errors in writing and relevance of content. We need to be sure the advice we are following is both morally and legally sensible and correct. All in all, though, it’s a good article.

  2. My children started learning about guns shortly after they could walk. At first it was don’t touch. By the age of 5 they were well schooled in proper handling of firearms had there own BB guns, and have been shooting and hunting ever since. Not only did there mother and I teach them firearms Saftey from an early age, they also attended an NRA safety coarse.

  3. “Well, first of all, use common sense. Keep weapons out of the reach of children. Yes, you want them accessible if you need to use it for self-protection, but keep it where those too young to understand could do something to hurt someone.”

    This line (which was copied and pasted directly from the above article) reads as advice to gun owners to leave their firearms accessible to their children to risk possible tragedy. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to read that way, but special care should be taken in the future to proof-read and edit not only for spelling errors but content and meaning as well.

    Above and beyond that one error this is actually a well written and I believe a well intended article. Reducing and/or eliminating senseless firearms accidents begins at home with attention and education from concerned and responsible parents. Our children shouldn’t learn about firearms from television, movies, music, video games and the media: Their respect for firearms should be bestowed upon them by those responsible for their safety and welfare.

  4. I taught my children about gun safety from the time they were very little.No problem at all.I was a hunter safety instructor for many years.Now my children teach my grandchildren hunting and gun safety.With a little help from granddad or paw paw.

  5. Every preschool should have a gun safety program, as mentioned above, the Eddie Eagle program provided by the NRA is an excellent way to go, to do less is negligence on the part of adults.

  6. My children and grandchildren were shooting a .22 before they were old enough to go to school. It was a treat for good behavior. My kids also went hunting with me. My daughter has “schooled” several guys on accuracy and speed. One of my granddaughters got her first buck just after legal hunting hours on the first day of deer season, a nice 7point. The “What is it” mystery is gone away with proper teaching, and safety is foremost. Ignorance causes harm.

  7. If a kid can pick up a firearm by themselves, they are old enough to learn safe firearm handling practices! The first lesson my kids learned is watching me shoot a groundhog raiding our garden in the head with a 17HMR hollow point! After seeing half its head blown off, they knew guns were lethal!

  8. Just as my Dad did me, I educated my kids on guns early on so that they understood the danger of them and then how to use them safely while they were still in elementary school. They have never abused the use of firearms.

  9. Both my children were taught about gun safety and what a gun could do by the time they were six years old. Neither my daughter or son have ever had any gun related accidents or any gun related problems. Both are proficient with both rifle and handguns, and asked me to teach their children, my grandchildren gun safety and responsibility at about the same age. They are now responsible adults with no gun related issues . Early safety and respect concerning guns has worked for my family, and would work for any family that is mentally stable enough to own guns. One of the first things I taught both my children and grand children was what a gun would do. Milk jugs filled with water are a good visual aid as the the power of a fired bullet. Then explain that this bullet will do the same to living tissue, and once the trigger is pulled the bullet can not be called back or diverted. It has worked for four generations in my family beginning with me being taught by my grandfather who was a sheriff in the 20s and 30s during the hey day of the criminal element.

  10. all my boys and now my daughter is learning about how to safely handle a gun,my boys learned from a young time on and so she is too………and how to use it in case of a break-in.

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