Teaching kids about gun safety isn’t an easy chore. Children are inundated with violent images in their daily lives that give many of them the false sense that guns aren’t dangerous. As anyone who is an educated shooting enthusiast knows, guns can be very dangerous in the hands of someone who hasn’t been educated as to how to properly handle a firearm. With that in mind, I wanted to write about a few of the things that we can do, as responsible gun owners and parents, to properly educate our kids about gun safety.
Be Honest About Guns
As parents, we’re always thinking about how to protect our children. What’s the best way to keep them safe? When should we discuss the birds and bees? What happens if my child gets into a fight?
What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s ultra-important to just be honest. About everything (well, maybe not the birds and bees until a certain age!). It’s especially important, to be honest about guns. There is a big difference between fake gun violence and real gun violence. That difference is called death.
I’ve made it a point for my kid to understand the difference between fake violence, like what they see on TV, or when they’re running around pointing sticks at each other and making shooting sounds, and real violence.
Yes, people kill people. As a person who believes in strong gun rights, I understand that. But to a child, things are much more black and white.
But a lot of children don’t know what happens when things die. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to guns.
Start Training Early
I also believe that it’s important to take your child out to the gun range early on in their life. I don’t think that 5-years-old is too young for you to start teaching your children how to shoot. The earlier the better. Once they start understanding the power of a firearm, I think that it helps their brains start to realize even more what the difference is between reality and fiction.
…But Remember That Their Brains Are Still Maturing
What this means is that just because you teach a child how to shoot a gun early on in that child’s life, it doesn’t mean that the child is ready, that the child is mature enough, to understand exactly what sort of responsibility is required to own his or her personal firearm.
Children are like sponges. It’s important to take it slow and to emphasize safety first, and reality versus fiction, all the time. If we concentrate on those two things, as parents we can all help to educate the next generation of responsible shooting enthusiasts.
As a Brit living and working in the USA, her views on gun ownership and the second amendment have evolved over the years, allowing her to fully understand both sides of the gun control debate and she regularly speaks on the matter to help others understand why she feels the second amendment must be protected and why she chooses to be an advocate for the shooting sports.
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