Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kids and Guns - Making a Safe Introduction


My daughter, age 7, shooting a Ruger 10/22
I was introduced to firearms at a young age.  I can remember my first BB gun that my Dad bought me.  It was a single pump air rifle.  I also remember numerous trips to the rifle range in Skagway, Alaska where we shot all of Dad's weapons.  Dad taught both my brother and myself the rules of gun safety, and those rules have always stuck with me.  I have always viewed guns with a "respectful fear." 

As we continue, I want to cover the rules of gun safety.  There are variations of the rules, but here are the basics I learned and taught to my daughter.


1.) A gun is ALWAYS loaded.  Always treat it as such.  Even if you are 100% sure it is unloaded, treat it as if it isn't. 

2.)  Never point a gun at something you don't want to destroy.  If you are pointing the gun at something you don't want to destroy...remember #1.
Senator Fienstein breaking
the rules of gun safety
3.) Keep your finger off the trigger!!  Don't be like that idiot Senator Diane Fienstien, who swept a group of her constituents with a so-called "assault rifle" with her finger on the trigger.  Defenders of her moronic move said the weapon wasn't loaded.  Remember rule #1?  Idiots.

4.) Be sure of your target and what is behind it.  In other words, be aware of your surroundings, especially what is down-range from you.  Bullets often travel THROUGH things, so when you are shooting at your target...most likely the bullet is going to travel through it.  Know where that bullet is going to end up.

As a responsible gun owner, it has been my desire to raise my daughter in a home that teaches gun safety in a positive way that reinforces the correct use of a firearm, and also the dangers involved.  If you have children at home and you have firearms, there are a few important things to keep in mind. 

GunVault
1.) Keep your weapons out of the reach of children.  This means locking up your firearms that you are not in your immediate control.  In other words, if you have hunting rifles, lock them up.  If you have a concealed weapons permit, when you remove your firearm from your person, put your weapon in a safe.  Now, I know many will say, what is the point of a firearm if you can't get to it quickly?  Well, you can either wear your gun on you at home (like many do), and then you can use something like a GunVault pistol safe.  These safes have finger-print readers or some have push button keys that you press in a user-defined sequence to unlock the safe.  I have used this style safe for years and it has served me well.

It is important to remember, just because you want to keep your weapons out of the reach of children, there will be an age where it will be appropriate to share with them the location of where you store the guns.  This age will vary by child, but many children will seek out a firearm in the house to find it out of "curiosity."  Eliminate the mystique behind a "hidden" weapon.

BB gun target my daughter uses
2.) When age appropriate, buy your child a BB gun.  This is a GREAT opportunity to start training your child the rules of gun safety while minimizing the risks during instruction.  My daughter got her BB gun last year, at the age of 6.  We had already reviewed the rules of gun safety before it was purchased, and she had to recite the rules to me before she was allowed to have the BB gun.  I think this is a great litmus test to see if your child is old/mature enough to handle any firearm.  If they have the mental capacity to explain the gun rules in their own words, describing what each rule means, I believe this is the perfect time to introduce them to the BB gun. 

Now, when my daughter received her BB gun, I didn't just hand it to her to run outside and start shooting the neighbors dog, backyard squirrels, the kids next door, etc.  The first time I handed it to her I verified it was empty, and handed it to her pointed in a safe direction.  From the moment she held her BB gun, I reinforced the rules.  When we shot the BB gun at our house (outside), it was treated just like a real firearm.  She knew how the safety worked, not to touch a firearm when someone is "down-range."  We shot the BB gun over the course of a year.

3.) When age appropriate let your child, under direct-guarded supervision handle the weapon.  Let me preface that by saying you should ALWAYS unload any firearm before handling it.  The rules of gun safety must be reviewed PRIOR to your child touching a weapon.  After verifying the weapon is unloaded, use the opportunity to let your child hold the firearm, pointed in a safe direction, and following the rules of gun safety.

Once I was comfortable with my daughter's ability to handle the BB gun safely while following the rules of gun safety, it was time to move on to a "real" firearm.  This meant a trip to the SCDNR James O. Thomason Firing Range in Pauline, SC.  A side note, the range officer at this range is by far one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.  Seriously, the man makes you feel so comfortable and assures that your shooting experience is the finest. 

After we got set up at the firing range, I instructed my daughter on how to remove the magazine from the Ruger 10/22 22LR. that we would be shooting.  She took to the instruction and was immediately able to start feeding rounds into the 10 round magazine.  We were joined at the benches by a couple of nice gentleman where were shooting their rifles as well.  This was a great opportunity for my daughter to use her firearm safely with others around, and it reinforced the previous lessons learned regarding not touching your weapon when others are down-range. 

We shot about 50 rounds and she even hit the bulls-eye once, which made her eyes light up!  We were shooting at 25 yards with the iron sites.  She was able to load and clear the weapon appropriately.  I was so impressed by her control to take her shots slow, not rushing through or jerking the trigger.  I could watch her fingers slowly squeeze the trigger until it fired.Simply put, it was an amazing experience to share with my child.  I am already looking forward to the next time we can go out and toss some more lead, punching tiny holes in paper.  It is my hope that this post will encourage you to take the first steps, when your child is ready, to introduce them to safe gun handling.  Maybe you are interested in doing this, but you yourself, as an adult have not been trained to use a firearm safely.  Let me assure you there are plenty of classes available!  Contact a local gun store to find out where you can find these classes.  After you become proficient, then take it upon yourself to help the next generation learn to use firearms safely, with a respectful fear.



9 comments:

  1. After we got set up at the firing range, I instructed my daughter on how to remove the magazine from the Ruger 10/22 22LR. that we would be shooting. She took to the instruction and was immediately able to start feeding rounds into the 10 round magazine. We were joined at the benches by a couple of nice gentleman where were shooting their rifles as well.
    GunSafeAdvisor.com

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  2. Yes, introduce children to weapons of death early, so they become experts. All children. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2402117/The-Taliban-terror-tot-Grinning-Al-Qaeda-fighter-trains-TODDLER-handgun-sickening-video-shot-war-torn-Afghanistan.html

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    1. What a completely moronic comparison. I am teaching my daughter proper gun safety so she can adequately use a firearm for self protection, hunting and sport.

      You, stupidly I might add, suggest that this equates to a Jihadist teaching his child to kill Westerners. Goodness that is ignorant.

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  3. If we teach them how can they use the gun and take some precautıons like gun safety there is no problem.we don't say go and kill someone. we can think it as a sport.

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  4. I agree with these comments . I have a child and I am using gun with my child . But we prefer it as an activity . We don't like hunting or harm somebody . I have a gun safe at home so it protects us to the unwanted situations .

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. I vividly remember Senator Diane Fienstien holding the riffle back then, it was really scary and sad that a senator who sponsored a gun bill in the parliament knows nothing next to Gun Security

    bestgunsafeninja

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  7. With a gun safe, I think that we can protect our kid from gun accident more effective. I have buy a bigger gun safe to store my rifle and pistol. Thank you mate for let us know about this

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  8. I always keep my kids away from dangerous weapons like guns. I taught them play musical instruments instead. However, when they get a litle bit older, I will let them get acquainted with guns and instruct them about gun safety so we can go hunting together. Thank you for the wonderful article!

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