Teaching Children About Guns......

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Knuckle_Dragger, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Knuckle_Dragger

    Knuckle_Dragger New Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    Lodi, Ca
    OK, so yesterday, my 4 yr old daughter picked up my copy of Guns & Ammo and stated " Oooo SHOOTERS!!! Like at Grandmas house!" My mother in law has a toy gun that shoots little plastic airplanes. I told my daughter that they were not "shooters" they are called guns and that she should not ever touch one and if she ever saw one to tell an adult. What I'm wondering is, how I should teach her about guns and at what age should I take her to a range and show her what a gun is capable of?

  2. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    I took my daughter out shooting with me when she was about 5 or 6 and explained it the best i could.....

    I even bought her a cute little pair of ear muffs.

    I was concerned that she might not like being arround shooting guns because she hates thunder.....but when she saw that exploding water jug she went positively nuts !!!!!


    She was talking about that trip to the range for weeks afterwards......

    Unfortunately, she went back to live with her mother......and the evil witch took off with her and i have'nt seen my daughter for over 4 years.......
    P.I.'s can't find her, and the Complacent Judge does not care.......

    As far as to what age to let the kid do some of the shooting......I'm really not sure on that one.......


  3. rglbegl

    rglbegl Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Dana point CA
    Of course we should leave all parenting decisions to the parents. You know your child better than any of us do. But....
    I was 6 when I was given my first gun. Most all of my cousins were 5-6 when they started also. Most of the girls didn't like the big noise until 10-12. Us boys though, loved it from the start. My parents took me to a safety course and taught me how to be safe with a gun before I was ever allowed to touch one. Then strict supervision was enforced until about 12 years old.
    I am a firm believer that gun safety should be taught at a very young age. Kids are less likely to do something stupid with a little education and a lot of parenting.
  4. gipper

    gipper New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    I dont think some people know much about guns now. I think a big reason a lot of anti-gun nuts are anti-gun is because they've never even touched one before. I'm in college and a girl I went to high shcool with found out I had a gun, she was like I hate guns why would you ever have one.
    I then asked her if she had ever fired a gun, even touched one, she answered no, I'm like well then how can you hate them and look down on people that own them? You have to respect guns for what they can do and understand them to be safe with them, just like you should respect your car and what it couild do to you or someone else on the road.

    I think its important kids understand they are not toys and to tell an adult if another kid has one, I remember being told when I was very young if someone brought out a gun at their house to tell an adult. And I remember being yelled at about mishandling an unloaded bb gun and the proper way to use it and respect it.

    I think BB guns and saftey are a good way, but that big bang will also send a point home about danger, as to what age, like someone said before, you know your kids better
  5. rnshooter

    rnshooter New Member

    May 25, 2003
    New Orleans
    We have been told that you cannot gun proof a child, yet I’ve never heard anyone say that you cannot knife proof a child. While many emotional arguments have been presented about the dangers of guns in the home, why is it that we never hear about the cutting or stabbing deaths of children? While one might reason that a gun is the more lethal weapon, how is it that kitchen drawers and counters filled with knives are not being abused by kids? What is it about a gun in the back of a closet that makes it more fascinating than the carving knife on the kitchen counter? I believe, as responsible gun owners do, that this is a learned behavior. Like bigotry and hatred, irresponsible and reckless behavior patterns must be learned. They are not carried in children’s genes. Parents may not want to bring guns into their homes, but Hollywood brings reckless gun-
    slinging into the living room each and every day, where children, in turn, bring what they know onto the streets and into the schools. While only half of American households are armed with guns, almost all households are armed with television.

    So, to answer your question KD, I feel you should educate your children on firearms and firearms safety as soon as they are capable of pulling the trigger. My thought is, if you don't teach your children the right way to handle firearms, someone else will show them the wrong way!

    be safe
  6. gipper

    gipper New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    and whats more interesting when you're a little kid, the object in the back of the closet that you aren't supposed to touch but never knew why?

    or a knife your parents make you cut up your nasty vegetables at dinner time?

    curiosity killed the cat....

    I also agree hollywood has a GREAT affect, hey, gunslingin looks pretty fun on tv

    TV isn't as easy to stop as ignorance
  7. Knuckle_Dragger

    Knuckle_Dragger New Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    Lodi, Ca
    You all share many of the same views I have. I believe that if I teach her about guns and let her see what they are used for, then she won't have that dangerous curiosity about them.

    I'm just trying to figure out how to go about teaching her since I have no experience with this. There were no guns in my house when I was growing up, so I can't fall back on "Do what your Daddy did."

    Thanks for the replies.
  8. gipper

    gipper New Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    my dad taught me:

    never have a gun pointed at anyone or anything you dont plan on shooting EVER

    Always assume a gun is loaded

    how to check and make sure it isn't loaded

    but still assume its loaded
  9. Jay

    Jay Active Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    I just disabled an old pellet pistol, and left it lay around until my grandson(s) picked it up, and then the education started for a few minutes. Their attention span isn't that long. Put it back down until they asked for more. At that age, if they don't ask the questions, or start the conversation, they're probably not interested. (at the moment) If the interest is there, they won't hesitate to let you know.

    If you push too hard, too quick, she may go the other way.

    Regards, Jay
  10. gpostal

    gpostal Former Guest

    Feb 20, 2003
    Education is the key , most people think if they hide a gun their children will never know it is there , WRONG! ,they know everything in every drawer in your house grandmas house and every house they spend anytime at ,almost all children will pilfer ,out of curiosity , don’t think for a second they don’t ,there are some exceptions ,but you will never know till it is too late

    Teach them about a gun ,I myself didn’t give them headphones ,but didn’t shoot anything big , the sound is a big deterrent from playing with it and shows them the power put on the shooter , I shot fruit and cans of tomato sauce in front of a target ,while they stood a good distance behind me

    A lot of kids shoot guns by accident ,because they stumble across them ,WOW look what dad has ,{never saw a real one ,shot jimmy a hundred times with a toy ,once with this wont hurt BANG!, the sound scares them the most often}

    My son will be 11 next month ,I have my own room ,full of guns ,when he sees one he wants to look at first thing he will ask “is it loaded” , if the hammer is back and I say no ,he will not touch it until I show him it is clear

    He had a problem with the pointing in a safe direction when he was younger ,when I showed him a laser scope ,and exaggerated the path of a bullet ,{through the wall through mom ,out side ,through the neighbors house }, he is more safe at handling a firearm than some adults I know

    Education is the key 100% ,they learn the stove is hot before they can walk ,they don’t touch the stove
  11. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Education in the home as a way of life even before you think they understand since they absorb more at a young age than anyone imagines.

    I raised five and each started at a different age but the education began as soon as they could walk and talk. Each has to fit to the individual and the situation but must keep it foremost in your mind very early. My youngest son was deer hunting with me by the time he was six and field dressing when he was small enough to be able to climb into the cavity of the 225# buck he was eagerly cleaning that first time out! He was shooting a .22 single shot shortly after his fifth birthday.

    I had my first .22 given as a birthday gift when I was five. My Dad, who was a school administrator, felt BB guns were more dangerous than a .22 with proper training. Guns were a way of life in our household, though, so I grew up around them and sorta just into them. This was the same philosophy we used with our kids. All are shooters and were through school. Even the girls were marksman on their respective high school shooting teams, all but one in JROTC during the years when most schools wouldn't have that program because it was "too soon" to bring that reality to the young folks. Montgomery, where the older kids grew up, though, was a military town and the shooting sports were big there.

    There are now superb safety courses that were non-existent when my older kids were coming along. (My oldest was born in 1959.) Each of the three younger kids had approved Gun Safety classes either from the DNR program or the NRA program very early, along with the in-home continuing education. Also, each time one would take the safety course, I'd join in, too, and found that I never attended one that didn't teach me something new or a better twist on something.

    I guess the bottom line is that its tailored to the situation, its continuous and it starts almost out of the womb.
  12. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    At age 4, she's not too young to start her education. Take her to the range and let her watch you shoot. Talk to her beforehand so she will know what to expect. Make sure she has ear protection; you don't want to damage her hearing at such a tender age.

    Let her watch you clean the guns afterwards; give her a little task like handing you patches as you need them. Let her touch and handle the guns, emphasizing that she must never touch a gun without Daddy (or Mommy, if she's a shooter also) present.

    Practice the "tell an adult" rule by leaving a firearm in view, pointing it out to her, and asking what should she do. Follow through by going to Mommy or whatever adult is around and telling them that there is a gun in the other room.

    You are the best judge of her maturity level, but when you feel she is responsible enough (age 5 or 6 is not too early if she has the maturity), get her a youth 22. They are great fun to shoot, are not too loud, and very little kick. Emphasize that although it is her gun, she must always have an adult around when she handles it. Keep this rule until you are comfortable allowing her to handle it on her own.

    From the start, teach her the rules of gun safety: assume the gun is loaded until you check it yourself, always point in a safe direction, finger off the trigger until ready to shoot, etc.

    If she doesn't want to shoot or have a gun of her own, don't push the issue. That may change over time once she sees how much you enjoy shooting. But continue to teach the "tell an adult" rule and the rules of gun safety.
  13. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    Ditto on what you're readin here.

    I've got 4 daughters. Last year, I took them out to a friend's property out in the country and took 5 one-gallon jugs of water and my 9mm loaded with Cor-Bon +P JHP.

    First round hit that jug and the girls were told THAT's what happens to a person when they're hit with a bullet. Made an impression.

    I've let them hold the guns, look through the scopes and take them out shooting when they ask. Recently took out the 9 year old to the trap range after I purchased a Remington 870. She got to shoot the rental gun, a semi-auto Beretta, and learned what it was like to shoot a "big" gun.

    On the way to the range, I made Katydid repeat the gun safety rules over until I was satisified she had them memorized:

    1> Always treat EVERY gun as if it was loaded!

    2> Never point a gun at ANYTHING you are not willing to destroy.

    3> Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.

    4> Never load a gun until you're ready to shoot.

    5> If you see a gun and Mommy or Daddy aren't there, don't touch it, go find a responsible adult.

    6> If another child shows you a gun, walk away and tell an adult. Don't say anything, just say "I've got to go."

    She's got them down pat.
  14. seanpcif

    seanpcif New Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    I have 3 kids ages 3,7 &9.
    We never owned a gun until recently, believe it or not my wife is the one that got me interested. She thought it would be a great stress reliever. We found a NRA instructor in the area and took an all day safety class which included shooting part of his collection ranging from a 22 to a 45 pistols. Anyway I ended up enjoying it a whole lot more and ended up purchasing my first gun the next day.

    Upon arrival home from the store, I sat all the kids down at the table and explained to them about safety, I then took the gun out of the box and let them touch and handle it. I explained to them that at anytime they wanted to touch or look at the gun I would allow them with my assistance ONLY.

    I have since let them watch me shoot, and recently purchased a BB gun for them to use with me.

    They understand that I will let them shoot anytime as long as I am their with them.

    They only shoot at pop cans, but enjoy it alot and at the same time are learning gun safety.

    Anyway , I was one of those people that was against guns at any cost, but now after being informed I am all for it..

    My Children would eventually have found out about guns, I just wanted them to learn it properly from me instead of by a "friend"
  15. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Well done, seanpcif. Thanks for the story. It sounds as though you are on your way to success with your children. Glad to have you with the rest of us gun nuts around here. Better watch out, one leads to two leads to..............etc. It is addictive. Enjoy!
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