Teaching Kids About Firearms


Liberty or Death
I have a half brother who is 10 years old. He, of course, looks up to me, and wants to be involved with my activities and what-not. So, needless to say, he took an interest in firearms, seeing me clean guns, and talk about them with my friends. I've always taught him the basics, always treat it like it's loaded, never point it at anyone, etc. I take him to shoot my Ruger 10/22 sometimes, and he's even shot my bolt action .30-06 last summer.
He plays airsoft with his friends, and shooter video games like most kids. He constantly looks through my gun catalogs and magazines, and quizes his mom about calibers, and country of origin (annoying her). I hope with my guidance and influence, he will grow up to be a responsible gun owner, and a fellow defender of the 2nd.

Does anyone else have any stories of instiling values of responsible gun handling in children?

Hats off to you for your willingness to nurture a 10-year old. Kids often see the world as black and white; right or wrong. Teaching them when using a firearm is justifiable is difficult. I used the following scenario on numba 2 son:

Me: Suppose you see someone stealing your new bike right out of the front yard. What would you do?
Numba 2 Son: I'd get the gun and blow him away!

A trifle harsh, no? (Unless perhaps you've seen this person on AMW every Saturday night for the last 6 months for multiple murders and know that he's armed and dangerous and a SHPOS :poep2:)

Me: Suppose you hear a crashing sound and come into the living room only to find someone stealing our stereo. The BG hollars, "Dead men tell no tales!"
Numba 2 Son: I'd get the gun and blow him away?

Etc. etc. I went through a number of scenarios, doing my best to explain that life isn't fair and you can't just shoot someone because they don't agree with you, because they want what you have and aren't willing to work for it, etc. Having children that know how to use a firearm and when to use it beats having children that have been "kept away" from them. Their curiosity is a natural thing; kids want to learn, want to know. Guiding their learning and shaping their knowledge is very important.

Once again, thanks for taking the time with a younger person. Society will reap the rewards of your dedication.
I would continue doing what you are doing. Teach him safety first, never to handle a firearm unless you are around, but let him whenever you reasonably can. I think the worst thing a person can do is hide the gun and tell a child he is never to touch it. take care of his curiosities and teach him proper handling. Good job!
I grew up in a home with one gun--a shotgun under my parents bed. I have yet to ever see it, I think the only reason we kids knew it was there is my brothers were more curious than I was. Guns were never talked about/used, nobody hunted or shot anything. My mom grew up around guns, but I think my dad just saw no use for them. We got to go shooting a couple of times with an uncle, but that was it for firearms exposure.

My older brother decided to get his first gun when his apartment was broken into, and he and my younger brother no longer living at home quickly became enthusiasts and the terror of prairie dog towns. I had moved a state away by this point but was lucky enough to marry a pro gun husband with a few rifles, so finally got the education I had never had growing up. Now my parents are divorced and I'm guessing mom kept the shotgun as she has added many other firearms to her collection since and is an avid hunter. Amazingly of her 5 kids, 4 of us love to shoot and the 5th is not against it, just not her favorite thing to do. My kids are a whole other story from how I was raised--we let them shoot, ask questions, accompany hunting excursions, clean the guns with us, etc. Safety is absolutely first, but they see guns as just another tool around the house--no mystery. The more we can teach and educate the upcoming generation (and even those of the older generations), the better for all of us. Good work on helping your little brother--he'll thank you for it later :)
I agree with all the above posts. My kids grew up with guns in the house. When my son was small I was with the Sheriff's dept. I have owned and shot firearms all of their lives. Anytime I got a new firearm I would let them see and hold it then it was first brought into the house. When they were old enough I took them to the range and taught them how to shoot. I never had a problem with them. Now my son and daughter are both grown and both have their CHL.
you are doing the right thing keeping the firearm from being this mysterious object and promoting saftey and right from wrong. I did a similar thing with my nephew between the ages of 10 to 14 now that he is 17 he has lost interest (hopefully Temporary) but he knows what they are, what they can do and gun safety if he regains interest he knows the basics and knows he can come to me or other uncles for advise and just a fun day at the range.
We have a rule for the children at my home that is a little unconventional. The rule is anytime they want to hold a gun, I will stop what I am doing and we will go get the gun in question, retire to a safe area, ensure the weapon is safe, and they can hold and examine it.

I do this for several reasons. First, I am disarming curiosity about guns. Second, I am teaching the rules of safe handling. Third I am able to have open conversations with my children about different guns, how they work, what they are for, etc. Fourth, I re-inforce to my children that I will always place time with them first.

When I first implemented this plan, we had a gun out almost daily. Now, about three months into it, it happens every few weeks. I have six children, so on a per child basis it is pretty rare. The two oldest will start going to the range with me this summer.

If you have children and guns, and haven't been there yet, get over to http://www.corneredcat.com and read up on the comments about guns and children. Very good philosophy and application. Even if you don't have children and/or guns, there is some very good information there.

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