Advice on educating children about firearms...
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Thread: Advice on educating children about firearms...

  1. #1

    Advice on educating children about firearms...

    I've got two young children (preschool age) and since I did not grow up in a family with firearms I have no personal example to remember and follow. I intend to have them attend something equivalent to an NRA child safety course and if they are interested a young shooters club when they get older but what have you all done to instill safe practices and respect for how dangerous and improperly used weapon can be? (mine are currently on my hip or locked in a safe at all times and the kids don't have any interaction with them)

  3. #2
    Order the NRA's Eddie Eagle Gun Safety videos.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina, United States
    My children are now young adults and teenagers. I have taken them to the range and let them shoot the weapons on a regular basis. My son is mildly interested in them and my 19 year old daughter and wife could care less about them. I still do not leave any of my weapons laying around the house unsupervised. If my wife and I are not in the same room with them they are locked in the safe or on my hip.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Somewhere, Texas, United States
    To me it sounds like your already taking the right steps. My only suggestion would be to not allow there to be any mystery about the firearmes in your home. Im sure you know that kids typically gravitate to the unknown and things they see in TV and movies. But You know your own kids better than any internet "keyboard warrior". Take time to take away lessen their curiousity. Expose them to your guns at the pace you know is appropriate for them.

  6. #5
    What I did with my son was to start teaching him the parts of a firearm and proper safety from the time he could walk. I would sit him next to me while I cleaned the rifle after hunting. He was 5 before I acquired a handgun but I made sure it was clear then taught him the parts. We went outside with my father and brother-in-law and fired it. My son got his chance to fire it with me standing behind for support/safety. All this resulted in him buying a BB gun with Christmas money when he was 6. After a 12 hour drive home standing in WalMart at 2300 he was able to give me the rules of firearms handling when no missteps. We also got the Eddie Eagle tape for any of his friends that came over to watch. My firearms were always locked up but the hope was that it would carry over to their own homes for when our son went to their house.

    All this comes down to consistently talking to them about safety and doing checks on learning time to time. As has been said before, take away the mystery and satisfy their curiosity and that along with your teaching and living safe handling should work.
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Teddy Roosevelt May 13, 1903

  7. #6
    I am exposing/teaching my childeren 5yr and nearly 3yr very similar to what Horkos and TheSp8 said. Obviously depending on maturity and behavior of your child, but I believe one should never make it a forbidden and unresolved curiosity.

    I started out by letting my older son help me clean them (prob 3.5 to 4yrs at the time), while cleaning I went over safety rules with him (I added "Never be around a gun unless mom or dad is around" to the top of the 4 NRA basic rules). I printed out a copy of these rules for his own began going over them with age appropriate fill in the blank type memorization of the rules. “Never point a gun at…..________” fill in the blank type stuff moving on to “What is rule #2” once he began to get them memorized. I would tell him that he may ask me at any time to “practice” with my guns (field strip and put back together a few times then aiming at a target and dry firing) but he could never do it on his own, and if for whatever reason I couldn't stop and practice with him I would not tell him no, but I would schedule a time that we could. Not that I am so busy that I need to schedule time with my boy but that way he would get a different response than the adult standby, "not right now" in hopes they forget about it.

    He began to ask about my gun periodically throughout the day/evening and I would stop what I was doing, clear the gun and practice. These "practices" would last a few minutes to about 15 sometimes. Yes, it was inconvenient at times but I believe the knowledge is far more than worth the hassle.

    After several months I took him to a spot in the boonies and shot some live rounds. After actually shooting my guns he doesn't ask to practice nearly as much but he does ask to find time to go to the range which is harder to do.

    All the while my younger son wasn't interested very much, he would sometimes watch and listen to our practices other times he would run off to play with his toys. In the past few months he has begun to ask to practice, so the pattern starts again.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    State of Confusion
    Try the NRA Eddie Eagle course. You can purchase the materials at the NRA materials center for a few bucks. Good stuff. In comic book format. Includes a DVD. A great starter for the little ones.

  9. #8
    Like the other members said; Eddie Eagle. I didn't know about that when my girls were growing up, I took them out back let them hold my .357 and shotgun. I then explained that they were not toys and if they seen one laying around come get me and we would look at it together(I did keep them put up and ammo in a different spot). Then I put their ear plugs in and fired both, that took the curiosity right out them :) My three girls are in their twenties now, two of them are crack shots, the third never touched a gun again after that day out back.
    Last edited by DavidH1; 05-25-2011 at 12:59 PM. Reason: s
    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln

  10. #9
    I have always had all three of my kids around guns and shooting sports. My son is 13 and he actually helps out with CCW classes when I'm teaching. I get comments on him all the time with how he handles any gun. I started them with helping clean them and handle them in any type of configuration. I have the Eddie Eagle stuff as well but the one true thing that will do it is one on one time with guns in hand and them being familiar with them and the operation of them. We keep all guns in the safe no matter what or who is around. They will all pick out stuff from adults when we are shooting at other places other than home and tell me what they are doing wrong and how unsafe someone may be. The more they are around them then less the curiosity will affect them. I even have had them break all types of guns down and act like they are teaching me so that they see it as a tool not just a gun. They seem to get a diff perspective on them I do believe. I always pointed out things when they came up or a situation showed itself and I would treat like a quiz at that point and ask them to tell my why or why not it was a good or bad thing that was happening and how they keep from letting it happen to them. I wish more young people would have the chance to get taught about guns and spread the word and it would be a much better place.

    Good luck and take a kid shooting and hunting.
    NRA Certified Instructor
    US Army Retired
    Prior Federal Police Officer Instructor

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