In the first installment, I began discussing some crucial questions that everyone should answer before becoming a gun owner. This post will focus on the very important issue of firearms and children.
3. Am I prepared to teach my children about gun safety? This is probably the biggest reason that people with small children do not have a gun. They are scared that their children might find it and injure themselves or someone else. The media would have us believe that children are dying every day because they found their dad’s gun. In reality, more children die every year in car accidents and accidental drownings than from firearms.
If you have children, but are considering purchasing a firearm, the worst thing that you can do is create a fearful, mysterious energy about the gun. If you do that, you are ensuring that your kids are going to be tempted to look for it when you are not there. Take the mystery out of it. Parents that are educated about gun safety will be able to train their children. The National Rifle Association has some incredible educational materials for parents and children. This is the link for their Eddie Eagle Program that teaches children about gun safety: http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/
My adult children can still quote Eddie Eagle’s safety mantra for what to do if a child finds a gun:
“Leave the Area!”
“Tell an Adult!”
Another way that we can protect our children is by introducing them to firearms at a young age. A healthy respect of firearms and a knowledge of how to use them safely is going a long way to ensure that they are not going to do something stupid with a gun as an adolescent. When my daughters were young and expressed an interest in seeing one of my guns, I would always unload it and let them hold it. As they got older, around seven or eight, I began to take them shooting, as well as teaching them the fundamentals of marksmanship.
There are definite safety considerations that need to be taken into account if you have children. How and where you store your firearm will differ from family to family. If you are purchasing a gun to defend your home with, it is not going to do you much good if it is not loaded. Let your firearms instructor guide you in the best way to store your gun where it is safe but still quickly accessible.
To be continued…
Since I retired from law enforcement, Annie and I have been serving the Lord in Curitiba, Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Would you consider a gift to our ministry? Investing in people’s lives is the best investment of all! Just click here to make your tax-deductible gift. Obrigado!