We all know children are sponges and absorb every bit of knowledge they can as quick as they can. I always felt that with certain things like guns and the outdoors, we are parents or any other role model, need to take advantage of this. But we also know that their attention span isn’t always the best and when we are sitting in a tree for hours on end or preaching to them about making sure the safety in on, they tend to get distracted easily. Repetition and patients is our friend in this case. I have mentioned it before in other articles that I don’t like to push my kids into things they don’t show interest in. That is to a point. They show high interest in shooting so I push handling and safety of guns such as assembled AR-10 rifle and easy to handle Glocks with high importance. If they don’t want to learn that then they won’t shoot. I tell them that and they had to learn the hard way on how serious I am about it. We have spent time getting guns and targets ready, pack lunches and drive all the way to our farm to only shoot for five minutes because one of them wouldn’t listen to me about the right way to handle a gun. That was a long quiet ride home. But that 5 minutes of instructions will all be worth it in the long run. Every little bit helps.
The newness of it all to older children is a big problem in my mind. What do your kids when they get something new? They think its the greatest thing ever, tell all their friends about it and never put it down for days or weeks. That’s what tends to happen with kids when they are first exposed to guns at an older age. They are excited, thinks its cool and tell all their friends about it. Some of that is good, we want the excitement and we want them to think its cool. Do you really wanting your kids running to school and telling everyone about their Dad’s guns? Do you want you child so excited that he needs to show his friends his Mom’s or Dad’s cool guns? We have all heard the horror stories about what can happen in that case. Granted, I don’t blame the children on this any more than the owner of that gun. Exposure to guns at an early age will make your child see a gun as normal and nothing new.
I am not going to get into the debate on who’s fault is who’s on any of these incidents in the past involving guns. If your a fan of this website then I assume you are on the same side of the argument as the rest of us. I REALLY hate being preached to and I hate to do this, but I will preach one thing and one thing only. It is up the parents to teach their kids about guns and promote gun safety as much as you possibly can. It is up to the parents to safely store their guns where your child can not get to them. It is up to the parents to be a role model and practice what you preach.
The younger you get them started the better oriented they are with guns and gun safety. I started shooting a BB gun around the age of 3 and can noticeably see a difference in how pre cautious I am with a firearm compared to friends who did not have that early start.
I started taking my kids hunting with me last year, at age 4 and 7. They love it, and I get to teach them many lessons including gun and bow safety, plus it gets them out of the house, and quality time in the outdoors.