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Posted: 9/4/2001 9:12:07 AM EDT
... and she said some things that surprised me. The mother of one of her son's friends said that she had a gun in the house in common converstation. Because of this she no longer lets her son go there to play. Naturally, I said well you should then assume EVERYONE has a gun since 2/3 of this country does. I also talked about gun locks and gun safes as well as teaching your kids right and wrong. She said that she was afraid that her son would be curious anyway. Both her kids had just gotten cap guns from a wild west show and were pointing the "guns" at people even after repeated corrections and scoldings. Since I don't have children and there are never any kids in my house I don't stress out about guns and ammo. What do you guys with kids do? If it is totally locked up and stashed away how could you get it in an emergency?
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 10:34:37 AM EDT
Kids will be naturally curious of guns, as teenagers will be curious of sex, drugs, and alcohol. But teaching strict ignorance of the issue is the cause to strengthening that curiosity. Prohibition didn't work. "Teaching abstinence" hasn't worked yet. Why should ignorance of firearms by any different? It's not. Scare tactics alone don't work, but they can be properly used in small amounts. For example, if you show your child the weapon at a young age (recognition), teach him proper safety (precaution), explain how playing with guns around the house can hurt somebody (warning), and take him out occasionally to shoot the weapon or be around Mommy/Daddy while they shoot (exposure), you'll find the kid is no longer curious. You've appeased his curiosity about the function and nature of the object to an extent, and he has also learned a valuable lesson in the process. If I've left out any pertinent information, please add on or amend what I've said.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 11:20:51 AM EDT
As a kid, I was around guns so much that the curiosity factor was gone. It wasn't exciting to go into dad's closet and seek for the evil guns. I was strictly taught that guns are not pointed at people unless you intend to harm/kill them- this didn't apply to my cap pistols because I knew the difference between a cap pistol and dad's locked up "real" ones. I knew all about the real ones and treated them very differently and shot them enough to keep practicing safety techniques. I took an NRA course when I was twelve, passed it easily, and took subsequent ones later. All good info. I was taught old fashioned style. I have no fear that if my father left a loaded rifle above the fireplace mantle in our home, none of us boys would've come to any harm with that gun. Sounds like "Little House on the Prarie" but that tried and true methodology works.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 11:23:54 AM EDT
Take your kids out to the gun range as often as they want to. Let them shoot as much as they want. When they say they are done make them shoot off another box of ammo. Then another box of ammo. They will not look at it as a mystery anymore. They will not have the strong cutiosity either.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 11:46:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2001 11:51:33 AM EDT by 95thFoot]
I agree with all the replies so far- all I have to add is that it is A) important to have age-appropriate guns for the kids to shoot. 5 year olds get scared by full-size guns because of their recoil and volume (yes, we wear full eye, ear and shoulder protection when shooting). Get a .22 or pellet gun for the young ones or curious friends (with parental permission) who want to learn about guns to try out their first time shooting. B) to remove their curiosity, I will let my kids handle any gun I have, as long as I am there with them, have checked to see the gun is not loaded, and I have snap caps in the chambers. Handling it does not include pointing it at people. Once their interest is sated, it's no longer forbidden fruit. I haven't had negative conversations with neighbors or parents of kids' classmates about guns yet (I volunteer in the local elementary school) but it's important to show you're a good role model to other parents of your kids' pals and classmates, whether you're a gunowner or not. Maybe people who know we have guns have not bothered to ask me the big question yet about guns, because they know me to be a responsible adult? Keeping a loaded AR-15 over the fireplace would be a great idea in other places, but not in MA- jail time, big fines, loss of everything- not just guns. Funny thing is- it wouldn't be me or my family that would misuse it, but some messed-up kid from a family that forbids guns. Forbede us thyng, and that desiren we. - --CHAUCER
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 11:49:49 AM EDT
I agree with Jewbroni, pretty much the same thing occurred with me when I was young. My father taught me about firearms, and when I wanted to go out shooting, after demonstrating that I knew enough about gun safety (in his mind), we would go out and shoot. If I forgot any of the rules while shooting, the session would end, we would go home and I would get lectured. I was never allowed to have a cap gun or any form of a toy that was in the shape of a firearm. Perhaps this may have been extreme, but it did teach me that firearms are not toys, and all firearms should be treated with respect and with safety as the highest importance. I believe that there is no subsitute for good parenting, and a lot of the misconceptions about firearms are due to the lack of information and/or willingness to pass on the correct information to one's children. Wm
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 12:07:07 PM EDT
This topic was just recently discussed in detail. If you think you can "remove the couriosity" from a child, you are kidding yourselves. My father taught me to be responsible, took me shooting all the time, taught me saftey procedures, cleaning, etc..etc.. constantly. He very strictly (VERY) explained the dangers and consquences if I was to ever touch one un-authorized. He was a strict disciplinarian. I was still amazed and curious. I played with them every time I knew I couldn't get caught... it was the fact that I wasn't supposed to be doing it I guess, the fear factor. Maybe I am just a little more socially deviatn than the average guy... I dont know... but when I have kids, my guns will be locked up. I will just look into the best type of quick access gun locks available at that point and time.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:37:12 PM EDT
I let my kids look at my guns whenever they want. The thing is, they hardly ever want to. My little girl (4yrs old) even asked if she could go shooting with me once, so I just grabbed a 10/22 and out we went. She shot about 20rds or so, maybe more but not a whole lot. I let her sit on my lap and I helped her hold it and she pulled the trigger and shot at bricks. She would rather go look at the chickens that were running around though. My little boy would rather look at my bow than any of the guns. Both of them would rather play with bullets than the guns themselves. I've just always let them see them whenever they were out, or went and got them out whenever they wanted to see them and now they just don't seem to care anymore. I still lock them up and take great care making sure they are safe when they want to look at them, but to them the guns seem about as interesting as the tv remote control. They have been around them all of their life and each of them even have one in the safe sitting there until they are old enough. I think if everyone did the same and truly took pride in raising their own children and making sure they grew up right and under good supervision that we wouldn't have any of these school shootings anymore. Michael
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 1:51:38 PM EDT
When the kids are old enough you should take them out and teach them the safe and effective use of firearms. Start with a 22LR and work up. They can learn safety with the 22. After a while they will understand that a gun is a tool, plain and simple. Once they understand and can safely use a gun the mystery will be gone. I like to use the swimming pool analogy. You can spend your entire life running around getting the neighbors to fence in their pools and your kid can still drown. If you teach your children to swim, then it doesn' matter even if nobody has their pools fenced in.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 2:28:17 PM EDT
Well one good thing about Canada is they teach us safety, I never have to worry about kids getting to my guns, they are all in a safe with gun locks on all the triggers and some thru the mechanism. Bad thing is I can't depend on my guns for protection if I get robbed/attacked.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 3:49:51 PM EDT
My Dad died a couple years back. My brother and I were in his room, Mom said take all the guns. We talked about which ones each of us wanted and why for a while. Then when we started to pick them up, my brother looks at me and says "Is it just me or do you get the feeling somebody is fixing to put a boot in your ass?". It wasn't just him. We have owned our own weapons for years but Dad's were something you didn't mess with without permission. Teach your kids respect for weapons and their parents, and maybe this problem we seem to have in this country will go away.
Link Posted: 9/4/2001 4:05:08 PM EDT
Two kids, 6/8.All guns locked up in safes. Handguns loaded; long guns unloaded but loaded mags available in safe if need be.
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 12:16:44 AM EDT
I helped someone out with this myself, a few weeks back. It was a slow Sunday afternoon, and I was at the station, typing up a slew of burglary reports that I had unfortunately managed to collect. A call to assist someone in the lobby came out over the radio for another officer, and I decided to take the call since he was nowhere near the station. Doing that is a nice thing, but kind of a crapshoot; about 2/3ds of the time, it is a simple matter that can be handled by five or ten minutes of conversation. Sometimes its a two hour report call. It turned out that a single, professional mother and her 9 year old son had just seen an alarmist news special on one of the cable news outlets about the "dangers" of firearms. Her son was developing, to her, what seemed to be an "unhealthy" interest in weapons. To deal with this, since she had no real knowledge of firearms, she decided to go to local law enforcement, who obviously have some kind of knowledge of firearms safety, since we walk around with pistols all day and aren't shooting ourselves all the time. After hearing her problem, mom, junior and I sat down for about a 20 minute lecture on firearms safety, wound ballistics (punctuated by a rather unamusing story from MY childhood and the accompanying scars) and safe weapons handling. I also blatantly plagiarized the "Eddie Eagle" campaign and printed the youngster a list of basic firearms safety rules from a training course I have been working on. After much, much prompting and begging from mom(and a lot of reluctance on my part) I let the youngster handle a safe and cleared pistol. The safety lessons apparently stuck, because when mom was manipulating the weapon and the muzzle inadvertently drifted in the direction of my leg, he chided her for a "Rule 1" violation. When they parted, mom had decided to get junior into one of the local scout troops that had some basic marksmanship programs. Junior had also agreed to immediately call 911 if any of his friends did any unsafe firearms handling. All in all, a couple of new converts and a good day for gun-ownership, at least in my neck of the woods. It also shows, that like in most other interpersonal interactions, common sense and calm communications skills can make a lot more of an impact than shrill cries and wailing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 6:14:16 AM EDT
There kids. They are going to point toy guns at each other. It's what they have learned from watching TV and movies. To me this is a natural behavior (it shouldn't be a reason to discipline as they should never be able to get a real gun so there shouldn't be a problem here). My young cousins do the same thing but my cousins know the difference between a toy gun and a REAL gun. This does not mean that they will never fondle a real gun (No one can say their kid "will never do this" no matter how much "teaching" they have given them). Young children should simply not have access to real guns and bullets. If you don't lock the gun up, lock up the bullets. One can't be dangerous without the other. By the time a child is old enough to grow out of "toy guns" and have acces to real guns they should know the difference. By this time they should have been taught the realities of life and death, respect for them, and respect for firearms. To not let your child plat w/ toy guns or play at a house where a gun is present is a little looney if you ask me (Why don't you just lock your kid in a padded room until there 30). I would ask if the firearm is secure however. :) After they are still just a child as much as I may teach them be otherwise.
Link Posted: 9/5/2001 7:02:23 AM EDT
Both my kids (14/8) know about all my guns and all about safety. Once they fired them they knew that they weren't toys. Even my daughter (8) knows all about safety, keep finger off trigger, check that it's unloaded, and don't point it at anything you don't plan on 100% destroying. With cap/water guns they point them at each other all day long. sgtar15
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