Children and gun safety
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Thread: Children and gun safety

  1. Children and gun safety

    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.

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  3. #2
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by gspgundog View Post
    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).
    Aubrey

  6. #5
    It all depends on the kid. Some are more mature than others. Personally, I would assume by 8 years old?
    Every time you call Tech Support, a kitten dies...

  7. #6
    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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  8. #7
    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.
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

  9. #8
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    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.
    Chief

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPanda View Post
    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.
    ""Chance favors the well prepared mind" - Louis Pastuer

    -Blakester

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Blakester View Post
    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.
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

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