Children and gun safety


iPanda

New member
My wife and I are in disagreement about the kids even being around guns, but they are going to be just because I have a few and use them from time to time.

What age do most feel children should be taught ABOUT guns, not how to use one or how they even work, but a general what they do kind of thing?

I don't want my kids to be able to tear one down and put it back together blind folded by age 4 or 5. I just want to start the knowledge of guns early so they don't grow up gun stupid and hurt/kill themselves or a friend at a young age and have to live with it.
 

Now is a good time. Heck thinking about my two you may be a little late starting. If you teach your kids the safety rules now and in a controlled environment let them handle the guns and they will just be another tool. If you hide them then they become something they must find and check out when you are not around. When I was little my uncle had a bunch of Playboys that once we saw how he reacted we knew we had to find them, which we did when no adults were around.
 
Very true. I have a 10yr old who I kinda worry about, but my other 2 are 3 and 1. So I haven't started yet, but I was thinking about starting soon with my 3 year old and finally starting with my 10yr old.
 
If you teach your kids the safety rules now and in a controlled environment let them handle the guns and they will just be another tool. If you hide them then they become something they must find and check out when you are not around.

This. Start with Eddie Eagle (video is online & you can get a workbook from the NRA), then make them tell you the safety rules over and over and over and over. The Cornered Cat website has a good section about teaching kids from young ages.

As far as "what guns do" - there's no way your 10yo doesn't already know that, and probably the 2 & 3yo's too. What they may not understand is that real-life damage is not like TV or video game damage, and that's what makes the safety rules so important. Again, making it no big deal, just like all the other tools around the house will help take away the temptation to show off to friends (or each other).
 
It all depends on the kid. Some are more mature than others. Personally, I would assume by 8 years old?
 
It is never to early to start teaching kids about firearms. I think children should be taught to have a healthy respect for firearms at an early age. Not to be scared of them but how to handle them properly when old enough and the amount of fun that can be had shooting.

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Second the Eddie Eagle film... Never too early to teach kids to leave firearms alone... how old are the youngest kids who accidentally shoot someone? Three or four? Can't remember. Think it was a four year old who killed his mother. My son is 6, and not only does he sing the song from the Eddie Eagle movie, he points his toy guns in a safe direction! I let him hold my guns when he asks, unloaded of course, and I show him they are unloaded so he gets used to checking (even though he can't with the semi-auto). It would terrible if you picked an age to teach safety, and then the year before they have an accident. It doesn't matter how well you keep yours locked up, they could wind up at a friend's house where firearms aren't stored properly. They might even think it's a toy.
 
If they are old enough to understand the difference between "toy" and "not a toy" it is a good time to start teaching gun safety, starting with "If you see one of these it is dangerous and you are not to touch it." Remember, they may be at a different house at some point where a gun owner is not used to having kids around.
 
My wife and I are in disagreement about the kids even being around guns, but they are going to be just because I have a few and use them from time to time.

What age do most feel children should be taught ABOUT guns, not how to use one or how they even work, but a general what they do kind of thing?

I don't want my kids to be able to tear one down and put it back together blind folded by age 4 or 5. I just want to start the knowledge of guns early so they don't grow up gun stupid and hurt/kill themselves or a friend at a young age and have to live with it.

You should definitely teach them about firearm safety, but the 3 and 4 year old need to have simple instructions. "Don't touch the stove." "Why daddy?" "It is hot and will burn you." "Ok." As far as what age to start teaching them basic fundamentals and marksmanship, I agree with Piaget, age 12. There are certain milestones of development that are achieved throughout life, around 12 is when "concrete reasoning" first occurs. That would be the minimum age I would recommend to start teaching shooting fundamentals. You can teach them younger, but they really won't grasp important core concepts until they brain develops to a certain point.
 
You should definitely teach them about firearm safety, but the 3 and 4 year old need to have simple instructions. "Don't touch the stove." "Why daddy?" "It is hot and will burn you." "Ok." As far as what age to start teaching them basic fundamentals and marksmanship, I agree with Piaget, age 12. There are certain milestones of development that are achieved throughout life, around 12 is when "concrete reasoning" first occurs. That would be the minimum age I would recommend to start teaching shooting fundamentals. You can teach them younger, but they really won't grasp important core concepts until they brain develops to a certain point.

I'm actually probably going to teach my kid earlier... nothing fancy, just safety rules and point the BB gun (or whatever) at that target and pull the trigger. My son is super interested in mommy's guns, so I think for us it'll be more safe if I provide a way for him to learn and have fun and remove any temptation to go exploring on his own.
 
My wife and I are in disagreement about the kids even being around guns, but they are going to be just because I have a few and use them from time to time.

What age do most feel children should be taught ABOUT guns, not how to use one or how they even work, but a general what they do kind of thing?

I don't want my kids to be able to tear one down and put it back together blind folded by age 4 or 5. I just want to start the knowledge of guns early so they don't grow up gun stupid and hurt/kill themselves or a friend at a young age and have to live with it.

I was taught to respect firearms from as early as I can remember. I got my first rifle when I was 10, and by 16 I was an instructor and range captain for the BSA, via NRA certification.
The "stick your head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist" approach doesn't work any better for firearms with children than it does for sex education. Of two children, one who has been taught what to do if he encounters a firearm and has learned respect for their dangers, and the second who's parents never broached the topic, which is more likely to shoot himself or someone else if he encounters a random gun in the street or at a friend's house?
 
I began when my kids were toddlers and liked to play with squirt guns. (They can learn trigger discipline and not to point it at someone or something they don't want to shoot at a very early age.)

By age four or five my kids were going to the range. Just the noise was enough to deter them for awhile away from real firearms. At age six we began working with real firearms. After a few trips to the range they soon became bored.

All the training & work paid off a few years ago when a boy brought a loaded 22 pistol around my son & his other friends. The boy didn't really realize it was a real pistol. But, my son did! He was able to take the pistol away from the boy, make it safe and carry it to the boys aunt & uncle. (The closest adults)

I posted the story on the forum when it happened.

The main reason education works better than a safe or trigger locks is; "Education works when they are with someone else; somewhere else."


Sure trigger locks & gun safes are great. But, don't neglect educating your children and teaching them safe firearm handling as soon as possible.


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I began when my kids were toddlers and liked to play with squirt guns. (They can learn trigger discipline and not to point it at someone or something they don't want to shoot at a very early age.)

By age four or five my kids were going to the range. Just the noise was enough to deter them for awhile away from real firearms. At age six we began working with real firearms. After a few trips to the range they soon became bored.

All the training & work paid off a few years ago when a boy brought a loaded 22 pistol around my son & his other friends. The boy didn't really realize it was a real pistol. But, my son did! He was able to take the pistol away from the boy, make it safe and carry it to the boys aunt & uncle. (The closest adults)

I posted the story on the forum when it happened.

The main reason education works better than a safe or trigger locks is; "Education works when they are with someone else; somewhere else."


Sure trigger locks & gun safes are great. But, don't neglect educating your children and teaching them safe firearm handling as soon as possible.


-

But... squirt guns are meant to be pointed at people!! lol

And, you've got a cool kid. :)
 
My son started shooting when he was nine. He's also very mature for his age. He's safer at the range than some adults I know. He has better muzzle and trigger awareness. That doesn't mean he knows the combination to the gun safe though. It will be many many years before he gets that. I worry more about him being at a buddies house when some dumba$$ old brother decides he wants to show off the family guns. He knows that if anyone even suggests it to get out of the immediate area and get an adult. He's seen what real bullets do to real things. He know's they're not play toys.
 
I would have to disagree with anyone who stated a certain age for beginning actual firearms training. ALL kids are different, almost like they are real people. You could have one child mature enough at an early age while the other isn't. If they show an interest when they see you cleaning guns, or beg to come along when you go to the range, that's a sign.
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As an example, if they can [patiently] sit through a lesson on gun safety, nomenclature, and function (loading, firing, misfires etc.) then they are ready. It doesn't have to be intricate enough to send them into battle, but knowing what to do when they pull the trigger and it doesn't go BANG is pretty important. The training could be as simple as to keep it pointed down range and bench it so daddy can fix it, or you can teach them further. You know your kids better than any of us do.
 
The moment a child can depress the trigger is the right time to start teaching him/her about guns and gun safety. If they are already old enough to pick the gun up, then they sure as heckfire are old enough to learn the basics of gun safety.
 
The moment a child can depress the trigger is the right time to start teaching him/her about guns and gun safety. If they are already old enough to pick the gun up, then they sure as heckfire are old enough to learn the basics of gun safety.

Just to add... if I am correct, I read that they have shown even three and four year old kids are capable of pulling most triggers. I'm not surprised... just think how hard a toddler will hold on to that gum-in-the-center sucker he's not supposed to have!
 
I myself was taught and taught my daughter and am now teaching my grand kids as soon as they can understand. We teach kids to stay away from the stove because it MIGHT be hot long before they can use it. My first grand son had the four rules down by 3. He is 5 and can operate just about all my firearms though he has only shot suppressed 22's so far. Even when playing with his toy guns he does not sweep people I had a LE friend over and he was amazed that when he walked through the room playing with his toy gun he raised or lowered the muzzle and never covered anyone. IMHO it is NEVER to early to start education.
 
A bit of a rant...

At what age did you teach your kids not to play with the stove? At what age did you teach your kids not to play with electrical cords? At what age did you teach your kids not to play with the kitchen knives? At what age did you teach your kids not to take the car keys and drive off? At what age did you teach your kids about sex?

I'm going to guess that your kid's education about all of those things began when they expressed an interest of some kind in each of those things at the exact time they were first interested in those things. When your kids express an interest.. any interest of any kind... that is the time to begin their education about those things.

It's not rocket science... it's just ordinary everyday.................. parenting.

And trying to pretend the parents don't have the responsibility to teach their children about everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING! the kids show an interest in is nothing less than the parents themselves trying to evade their responsibility to be.............. parents.

Frankly... I do believe the current state of affairs where our youth have no values and have no idea what values even are... is the direct fault of parents who have not stood up to their responsibility to be........... parents.

End rant... please continue discussing...
 

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