Teaching Gun Safety
Everyone should learn gun safety. Like many things in life, it is better to learn gun safety when you are young. My journey with guns really started when I was a young preteen at camp during the summer. My father owned guns and would on occasion show one to me, or talk about the one he won in a raffle that was a very fancy shotgun. We would also take time and look at the guns that he had inherited from my grandfather and from his uncles. However, we never went shooting really, and he did not take me hunting as a child.
At camp there was a gun range and you could go there and shoot small 22 long rifle guns. The camp was a YMCA run camp, and they had their act together when it came to controlling the gun range and promoting gun safety. The only direction you could even point your gun was down range at the targets, and you were shown how to load, fire, and handle the guns before you ever received your first round of ammo.
Teaching Your Children About Gun Safety
Teaching your kids about guns is important because it helps prevent accidental shootings.
You should start talking about guns when your kid is young.
Children should learn how to use guns responsibly.
You should start teaching kids about guns when they first notice them or hear about them.
Children should know that guns are dangerous and not toys.
You should teach your kids how to handle a gun safely.
HOW TO TEACH A CHILD ABOUT GUNS
Children should learn about guns at an early age. The age for your child will vary based on the child. Some children can start learning very young, while others need more time to mature and understand their surroundings.
It’s important to consider the child’s personality before deciding what to teach them. As with other lessons in life, you should adjust the lessons you share to the child. Just make certain to always hit the key points of safety.
Take the Mystery out of Firearms
Teaching kids to respect guns is important because they don’t understand the dangers. This is not the teenage 10 feet tall and bullet proof feeling I am talking about. It is the naïve nature of children I refer to here. When appropriate for your child, going on a hunt can be useful because you can share the consequences of firearm safety mistakes very clearly when they see and experience the death of an animal.
Guns are dangerous things, and they need to understand that concept as a reality. If hunting is not an option for you for whatever reason, there are many other things you can do with your child to help them develop a strong respect for firearms.
You want children to always respect firearms and the danger they can bring in the wrong hands. This way, if kids see a gun in someone’s house, they won’t want to touch it.
Incorporate Visual Aids
Bloody animals are used to teach kids about guns.
Your child should learn gun safety from you, not from TV shows. There are great videos that can help you with your conversation about firearm safety, but TV shows and movies are the source of a separation from reality for children.
The message you should share is that guns are dangerous if not handled correctly.
Emphasize Safety Above All Else
It’s important to teach kids about guns at a young age. This way, they are not experimenting on their own unsupervised during their first encounter with a weapon.
If your kid finds a loaded gun, tell him/her to leave and find an adult immediately.
Children should know about guns before they see violent movies. Whether you let your kids see certain types of films or TV shows is a parent’s choice. What you should always do is teach a child about guns before letting them watch guns being used on the big screen.
It’s important to talk to children about gun violence. Part of your conversation should include how guns are misused. You adjust this conversation to make it age appropriate, but it should still occur early on and be discussed many times during their early development.
The 4 universal rules of gun safety. Always, always follow these rules!
- Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle point at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot.
- Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
Parents, what is the Safest Way to Store a Gun?
Keep the gun unloaded and locked away. A gun safe and a gun trigger lock should both be used. Gun cabinets are not as secure as gun safes for many reasons.
Lock the bullets separately from the gun. This helps protect your children, and also may protect you as the homeowner from criminals turning your own guns on you.
Consider using a gun lock. I use separate gun locks on the triggers of everyone of my guns. I will not even leave the gun store without a new trigger lock.
Why Is Proper Gun Storage So Important?
Gun storage prevents accidents, crime, and keeps children safe.
Teens should never be able to access a gun and bullets alone. We have all seen stories of teen violence and situations where one or more teens have taken guns to school and started shooting. Often these teens have mental issues that were known to the parents and others in the community. If the guns and ammo they used to attack others had been properly secured, we would not have to see these situations unfold.
If you have a gun in your house, make sure it’s unloaded and locked away.
If someone in your family has depression, remove all guns from the house. Just locking a gun away may not be enough. You must control access to the firearm and the ammunition. The easiest way to do this is to secure your firearm.
NRA GUN SAFETY RULES FOR KIDS
Teaching your kids about gun safety will make them safer around guns.
If kids see an unsupervised firearm, they should stop, don’t touch, and leave the area.
Find a trusted adult figure and talk about what you saw.
As your child gets older, he/she should start learning how to shoot guns. This should be in the form of a proper gun safety training course by a certified instructor. I think it is great for parents to reinforce what the child learns in class, and even take that class with the child. Just do not set yourself or a child up for failure by teaching them the wrong things. Enroll them in a proper class at the right age.
PROPER FIREARMS FOR CHILDREN
Consider the size and weight of a firearm before buying it.
Semi-autos are the easiest guns to use.
Rifles are better at learning how to shoot because they’re long and have a larger sight radius.
Use a bench with a bag to make carrying easier.
Bipods help stabilize the gun.
THE LESSON ITSELF
Shooting games help kids learn about guns and aim properly.
Bullet holes are made by shooting guns.
You must aim carefully if you want to win.
TEACHING KIDS TO SHOOT THE RIGHT WAY
You should teach your child how to shoot safely.
Your child will develop confidence, discipline, and shooting skills.
Watch the Eddie the Eagle gun safety video with your child and then when appropriate enroll them in a gun safety class.