Are guns allowed in your home? How do you teach your kids gun safety?
Some families have a strict no firearms rule, while other parents hope that by teaching their children gun safety, they can help prevent unfortunate accidents. What are your thoughts on guns and kids?
I grew up in a home without guns (that I knew of) and my husband grew up in a hunting home with guns and was taught safety from day 1. I can now handle a gun safely, but rarely do - I do not like them although, living in the country, I acknowledge their usefulness!
So, here are my thoughts on this - if you do not teach your child safety rules.... who do you expect to do that? You may not personally have guns in your home, but can you guarantee that every person your child knows follows the same philosophy? And of those other parents your child may be around - do they practice good gun safety? Even if you know them pretty well (and I would hope you know them to some extent if your child is in their home!) - the subject may never come up. As a public educator for over 30 years, 12 of those as a school counselor, here are my thoughts:
To me, teaching gun safety is like teaching water safety, stranger safety, dating safety, playground safety, driving-around-Houston safety, etc. You cannot control every circumstance of your child's life, but you can help prepare them for those circumstances by deliberately teaching them safety rules and your standards of behavior.That's part of our job as parents. It isn't the school's job, and we can't expect PSAs to teach our kids these things. God trusted you with those kids for a reason - it's your job to raise them well. Please - be proactive and teach your children these things :).
When I was little my father drove a taxi and took me to work with him. On day one he showed me a loaded pistol under the mat under my feet and told me keep my feet away and if anyone gets into the car and hold a gun to his head, shoot them. I took this very seriously and was very careful all the years I went to work with him. He had a concealed weapon permit and had used the gun as a deterrent before when someone tried to rob him. When we moved up here and I was a preteen/teenager, he had a loaded rifle under the bed in his room and told me if anyone breaks into the house shoot them and showed me how to take off the safety, etc. I never tried to play with guns as a child, I understood the rules. We have guns in the house and teach our children how serious they are and what the rules and implications of a gun are and they are not kept loaded and the bullets are out of reach of the children.
Yes. Not only allowed, but encouraged. We even keep a few for those who's kids are allowed to shoot, or in shooting sports, but are not comfortable storing the weapon themselves.
We have everything from muzzle loaders to semi auto's. Both of our children have specific guns that will be theirs upon entering their age of majority.
My dad was a police officer for a time, and just retired from the military. I was taught gun safety as I was taught common sense. From day one of my life, these values were being taught to me, and have been taught to my children as well.
We don't hunt. We do like to shoot. We like to go "plinking" as we call it, which simply means we're shooting paper targets. Its an enjoyable activity that we all enjoy, and we can instill good values while doing it (clean up after yourself, take out more than you take in, etc).
I have my own personal carry weapon in my purse! I haven't had to use it, but even if I don't have time to draw it, it'll make a heck of an injury as a blunt instrument, too. My husband also concealed carries. In our state it's allowed. When we travel, we are armed. Not loaded, but the ammo is in the vehicle with us.
Instilling common sense about fire arms is an absolute must. While you may not want to own one, you never know when your kid will be exposed to one. I always told parents when my kids were little, that we have guns. They are locked up (except for the non-shooters, the ones that we've decommissioned and hung on the wall). However, at any given time, my husband could have one out, cleaning it or whatever.
One of my friends is seriously anti gun. Her husband is a hunter/shooter...so that's a kick. But, she's seen the necessity of training their son in weapons safety. When he was 4, we watched him for a couple days for them. He saw one of the pistols out, and asked if it was a real gun. When he was told "yes", he immediately put his hands in his pockets and said "I only am allowed to touch play guns". So, education works, and works well.
I currently live in a home with no guns. However, I was raised in a family with avid sportsmen. I was taught gun safety very early. I would know what to do in a situation with one if I had to! I do not hunt or shoot sporting clays. I would like a pistol but do not have a need for one. I believe being taught gun safety is a must. For example, at my parents home, stored in the gun safe my seven year old daughter does have a BB gun. We have targets set up and she is never left unsupervised while it is out of the safe. I feel it is extremely important for EVERY child to know gun safety regardless of whether guns are in your home or not. I want my child to know what it is and the danger associated with it, to never play with a gun and what to do if she should come in contact with one.
I do believe in my constitutional right to bear arms. Just like we educate our children on drugs, safe sex/abstince, stranger danger etc. they should also have an understanding for gun safety!
We don't currently have any guns in the house, but would allow it IF they are locked up properly. Teaching gun-safety is as important imo, as teaching kids not to run with scissors. You should have your kids learn how to be safe with guns even if you don't have any @ your house.
We have guns in our house. my boyfriend is an ex-sniper and was brought up in Texas where his father taught him about guns from a very young age. At this time we have 3 pistols in our house. We use them for personal safety and we just like to go shooting every once in a while. Our pistols are kept in a gun safe that is locked, and each of our guns has the safety on it and the safety locks on them are locked as well and can only be unlocked by the keys that we have put up. I used to be afraid to have guns in the house with my son, but having my boyfriend here that can teach him gun safety better than anyone I know makes it not scary. I do not see anything wrong with having guns in a house with children for hunting or personal safety as long as child safety measures are taken.
Well I live in new Zealand and people just down own guns here unless they are a deer/pig/ duck hunter. I couldnt imagine having a gun in the house with my child or ever having to use one. We are a very different country I suppose but I just dont see the need to have a gun EVER.
Grew up with and had guns in the house when my boys were growing up. We kept them unloaded and discussed gun safety. As a Southerner, I never gave it a second thought until I moved to FL where a lot of people retire to from "up north". One repairman walked into my house and was shocked to see the gun rack. I was just as amazed at this reaction.
I grew up in home w/out guns (to my knowledge.) Then, when I was an older teen, I found out we had a rifle in the house. It was never loaded or used. Both my parents had grown up on farms during the depression. They grew what they ate, including cows, pigs & chickens, as well as, corn, green beans, etc... So, my parents never gave it a second thought. It was a gun they had growing up. This was also the time before seat belts, wireless phones or even remote controls. As I grew up guns were not of consequence except for the occasional guy I met that hunted.
However, when I married a man that served in the Army & had also been raised in a family that hunts; guns became one of the biggest issues we would face. We have 2 boys, and as far as I was concerned, guns were not acceptable in a home with children, period. End of story. At first I wouldn't let them have pretend guns or nerf guns, etc... The next thing I know, they are pretending something is a gun or using their finger & pointing it & making shooting noises. So, realizing I wasn't stopping them, I made the rule that you must not point at anyone or at the animals, etc... I thought I was setting good rules for them.
My husband was not a hunter, like his dad, but he was an excellent marksman during his service, & enjoyed target shooting. I can't begin to tell you how much we argued over this subject. I was not going to give in and agree to him buying a hand gun. Then, he made a statement that changed my life forever. He told me that it was unfair for me to dictate something like this to him, when it's a hobby that he enjoys. He didn't use any of the excuses that you usually hear. It wasn't for protection. He simply wanted a gun to go the the range and do target practice. He enjoyed it because he was good at it. Otherwise, it was in a gun safe w/a lock on the safety, and we did not keep ammunition in the house. I had never thought of a gun being for anything but hurting or killing.
Around this same time, history and events around the country were also causing me to become acutely aware of my naive beliefs. I was ready to take my children out of school, and never let them out of my sight again. After coming to grips with the lack of reality there, another incident happened that brought me to my current belief.
The media was interviewing a weapons expert, and he said that you will not be able to shelter your children from the realities of violence in the world. And, under those circumstances, the best thing you can do is to educate your children on the subject. They recommended that you keep the weapon locked up and in a separate place from the ammunition. But, demystify the item. If you choose to have a weapon in the home, then everyone in the house needs to know everything about it.
So, as a family, we went to the range & learned how to fire the gun properly. We learned how to clean the gun, how to check the safety. We showed the children where the gun was kept. We told them that if they ever wanted to see it, all they had to was ask, and we would take it out for them to see & touch. So, now it exists, but nobody is interested. Also, I do feel it's my duty to tell the parent's of other children who come to our home that we do keep a gun, & the details of it. If it were my child going into someone else's home, I would want to know.
Btw, I used the same premise w/candy. I've kept my kids favorite candy in the house, & if they ate their meals well, then all they had to do was ask for a piece of candy. My kids are now 17 & 8 yrs. old. They are the least violent kids around, and they don't care much for sweets. They don't even go trick or treating because I took all the excitement out of it. :) (needed to lighten the moment a little.)
I'm not saying that this is the answer to everyone's problem, but this is what worked for my family. As much as my idealistic self would love to see ALL guns wiped from the face of the earth, the realilty is that will never happen, & I had to find the best way to teach my kids. Again, this was just the best for us. Each person has to decide what's best themselves. The one thing that I do feel sure of, is that if you don't teach your kids something about weapons, you will be doing them a huge disservice. Things aren't like they were when I was a little girl, & would never question my parents about anything. They start learning things so much younger now. Not just guns, but sex & drugs, & all the other things you worry about for your children.
Yes, guns are allowed in our house and we will be training our children in how to use them and use them well, jut as soon as our friends teach hubby and I and the kids (almost 3yrs and nearly 42wks in-utero) are old enough to understand. We also plan to teach the survival skills and good self defense. My best friends dad was a Navy Seal, Police officer and private body guard and he's the one who's currently teaching my hubby self defense(for starters).
Everyone no matter the age should be taught gun safety.
Yes, Guns are allowed in our house, stored in a gun safe. You have to know your family and your background or upbringing. It seems inherent with my family. We are athletic, possess leadership qualities and are assertive as opposed to passive in our character. If you don't have the mind or appreciation for a gun then you probably shouldn't have one because you might not react or respond without fear and could accidentally pull the trigger and shoot someone who poses no threat. Repeated Safety training, over and over, you can never overtrain in safe gun handling. Defense training is important to us because " any life worth having is a life worth defending". I personally don't like what I see happening in the world, and I live in a relatively safe neighborhood, but anyone can tell you your town is not as safe as it was 5, 10 or 15 years ago. The number of Thieves, muggers, and rapists are growing everywhere and they are getting bolder. It doesn't matter anymore if it's day or night. So as I pray, I also have my gun! Be Blessed and Stay Safe.
We always bought our sons and are now buying our grandsons bb guns to begin their gun training. The guns get locked up with the hunting rifles in the house and they are taught that they are real guns just like their dads. If you train the children correctly they will have respect for the gun issues and not think guns are a big deal. they won't have to investigate the big guns or pistols for themselves and maybe have accidents because they are curious and mess around with them behind their parents backs. In the 1970's and 80's we had the hunting rifles under our bed in flannel sleeves. This was not uncommon amoung our friends and no children ever dreamed of touching the guns. Of course the ammunition was out of reach.
I grew up in the country with a 22 rifle and a 10 gauge shot gun over the hearth.
I was taught at a very early age that we do not touch the guns and at about 5 years old I asked if I could see one of the guns. My great Grandfather was present and said he would "deal with me" I was taken out into a pasture and he loaded the 10 gauge with a rock salt shell and set a can on the fence. He told me to bury the butt of the stock into my shoulder and squeeze the trigger. I was knocked back about 3 feet and did not touch another gun until I was ten and was mandated to learn how to disassemble and clean the guns.
I was raised with hunting and fishing. I was also raised with the lesson that if you kill it, no matter what it is, you must clean it and eat it. The guns in my home were used to put down animals and to defend ourselves from the local puma population as well as razorback pigs. Everyone in my family took hunter safety classes. My uncle who was enlisted took us all out to the range at least 6 times a year and the shells and bullets were never kept with the weapons.
With the understanding of my background let me now say, I do have guns in my adult home. My youngest brother is enlisted and when he is on leave, he is in my home. For his guns as well as the family guns we have taken some precautions regarding the kids. First, they grow up knowing that guns are for killing. I have never hidden death from them so they understand.
They have gone on family hunting trips to see and learn the correct way to handle and use a gun as well as the humane and ethical way to kill an animal.
As soon as they are old enough (10) they watch hunter safety videos.
We have a walk in closet with a handle lock and a padlock, inside is a gun-safe where the guns are kept. Inside the gun-safe is a lock box where the ammo is kept.
I feel that guns are out there and frankly I'd rather rest easy knowing that my kids know how ti use them safely and responsibly than to be one of the parents that doesn't.
My kids also have compound bows (thanks to my brothers...Grrrr) and frankly I am more worried about those than the guns
I have taught them to be responsible with firearms and I'm ok with the precautions I've taken.
Such an interesting topic, and very thoughful responses. As for my personal experience, I grew up around guns, as did my husband. We have a gun safe, where all but two guns reside at all times except for hunting excersions. One gun a (not loaded) rifle that stays under the bed with ammo easily accessible (though out of reach of kids) and the second is my husband's hand gun that he carries with him (he has his concealed carry permit from undergoing a detailed background check and by completing a detailed safety course). We have an almost 2 year old, who has already expressed interest in hunting and outdoor sportsmanship. We will definitely be teaching him gun safety at an early age, as guns will be a part of his life. Every family is different and of course comfort levels are different from family to family, as is each individual child unique, but for those of you who have kids that will be/are hunters when will you start teaching hunter safety (after general gun safety training at home), and when will your kids start hunting (with supervision of course!)?
Absolutely!! We've always had guns, but ESPECIALLY now that I have a child to protect from violent predators, I am not going to be unable to protect him or myself. I am a Momma Bear and would KILL to protect my son without a second thought. If you would just sit there contemplating the fuzz in your navel while someone rapes or steals your child, you're a negligent parent.
I am okay with parents who don't like guns not keeping any in the house - I think it's irresponsible, but it's their choice to make. But all parents, weather they love guns or hate them, have an absolute responsibility to teach basic gun safety. Even if you never teach them to shoot, they must learn these things:
1) Always treat a gun as if it's loaded
2) Never point a gun at anyone you don't want dead
3) Don't draw a gun unless you intend to shoot
4) If someone is doing any of the above, turn around and leave, immediately
Every accidental child gun death boils down to one kid who didn't know these rules thinking that guns can be played with, jokingly pointed at friends, used to scare or "just wing" someone... not knowing these things is how children end up dead.
Let's see...my simple answer here is:
1 - Yes, we welcome guns and other weapons in our home and we also own guns that can take down a grizzly bear.
2 - To teach gun safety, we started young with our children. First, at about age 6, our kids had nerf guns, we taught them how to treat all guns in a safe manner using the basic rules. After mastering the nerf guns, then the kids graduate up to Air Soft guns with the same rules and training. Last, before an actual lethal weapon, they get a BB gun test for a while.
Right now, our 16 year old daughter can use whatever we can and our 13 year old son is up to using BB guns but not yet ready to move up to the gun range.
Teach your kids to respect all weapons, even the ones that are just toys, and use your brain watching how they behave with this rule to see if they are getting it. YOU are the one who needs to be absolutely on top of gun safety rules and drilling the rules into your children until they have it down pat. Accidents do happen, and they suck, as mean as this might be to say though, an adult was absolutely at fault in about 95% of those accidents with children and guns. So, the adult needs to be very anal about drilling safety into everybody's head.
To look at the lives of both my family and the lives in our neighborhood in general, you would see (first at our house):
A plump motherly woman who drives a minivan, makes our own soap and candles, teaches high school (standup comedy, but, hey, I'm still a teacher!) and has a career in the fields of acting and improvisational comedy. You might notice that I also can veggies and fruits, cook and bake, and enjoy a long chat with a friend at the end of a warm spring day on our back deck.
You will also see this cranky 44 year old disabled-retired Sergent 1st Class dude whom I married around the yard, military inside and out, with a big heart and a knack for gardening veggies. He also cuddles with our cat, Mooch, and is an animal lover to a fault.
Next, you may notice a 16 year old blonde girl who fits the teenage stereotype. Worried about clothing, shoes and her boyfriend. Possibly cleaning the house because she wants to ask us for a favor or money, sometimes you might see that nasty teenage girl attitude pop out when she does not get her way.
Last at our house, you might notice a boy of 13 with ADHD running all over the yard, the street, etc. with unlimited energy for playing basketball or baseball. Sometimes he quiets down for his hobby, modifying and creating unique bicycles out of parts in the basement.
Not a perfect family, but there is always love and we are all in for the long haul, Sean and I have been together 22 years now and love eachother passionately to this day. We argue, sure, we are not 100% on the ball either, but I gurentee you that you would not ever see a weapon come out if any of us were in an argument, not even the siblings, it's just not an option.
Our neighbors are similar, and nobody moves from this street once they get here unless they pass away or are transfered with a job. Everybody waves, we BBQ together, shovel eachother's driveways, etc. Never perfection, but the best neighborhood for many miles from what I've seen, keeping that old fashioned attitude of everybody knows everybody plus we have eachothers phone numbers and we notify eachother if we will have a guest so a new car on the street isn't investigated, LOL! We even stop by and visit with coffee, just because!
Everybody has animals, and everybody on our street also possess at least one gun located in their homes too. Complete with a safety first mentality as well.
We DO NOT live in some ideal small town or a place where guns are easy to buy and very common with law abiding citizens, we are in Brockton, Massachusetts, a gang infested city in a state that makes legal upstanding citizens practically have a certified copy of God's own signature to own pepper spray.
The criminals in Brockton know our neighborhood on the hill here is off limits unless they want to risk serious injury or death. It's common knowledge and the bad guys just stay away (we have had wandering criminals on occasion, and they are reported with their license plate numbers to the police immediately, we tend to be a pain here on our hill)
So, the bad guys choose to only victimize neighborhoods they know are lazy, on drugs, drunks, or simply extreme left wing passivists. Those areas are always in our news, those areas are where we hear of horrible killings and gunfights. Not that we are untouchable, it's just that criminals around here choose the easy targets way before trying to mess with the targets possessing weapons that they know how to use accurately and many know that even our children can use lightweight leathal weaponry with skill. Not every child, but they don't know which kid knows how and which child hasn't been taught yet.
MY OWN bottom line here is that we would rather be trained to use lethal force and NEVER have to use those skills, than to pretend bad stuff only happens to other people, only to be faced with an intruder ready to kill one of the children, or someone we love, and there is not one thing we could do about it since we were blind to what is going on in our world. So, in the second scenerio, the bad guy wins, takes our stuff, kills our defenceless family and may or may not ever be caught. At least in the first scenerio, we would have a good chance living through it and protecting those we love.
That all said, guns are as neccessary in our home as the vacuum cleaner is. And our kids are taught exactly how to treat guns with respect as well as how to always be safe with a weapon. It's just common sense for us.
Both me and my husband grew up with guns and own several. All our guns are in a gun safe at all times so it is never out where my son can find it. We do plan on teaching him about gun safty when he is old enough. My husband plans on taking him hunting and target shooting. I think as long as parents keep them out of the reach of their children and teach them about guns, that there is nothing wrong with it. accidents happen when people dont know what they are doing and are careless
I grew up with guns in our house. The rule was you touch one w/o permission & its not a necessity or emergency your backside was gonna hurt for a long time. We respected our parents & their rules. I have guns & other weapons in our home, my kids (15-6 yrs old) know they are not allowed to touch a gun w/o permission unless their life is being threatened by a stranger. We have other weapons & they have learned how to proper hold/carry & use both firearms & other weapons. They miss use it once & they have to earn our trust back & relearn. My kids started learning how to hold & handle guns when they were about 5 or older (depending on their maturity). My daughter who is 6 can shoot a rifle just like her big brothers. But she also knows how to use Nun-chucks too. A child should learn how to use a gun as well as learn about them. But their maturity is the greatest factor..not just age. they can be 17 & think they are dirty harry. That child, I wouldn't allow to be around any weapons for any reason.
yes guns are aloud in my house my dad even bought me a gun which i can not legally Cary until 21 but it is still mine. i love firearms!
The only way to really keep kids safe from guns is to not to have them in the home or to at least keep them in a locked gun safe. Personally, I do not allow them in my home but I have been terrified to learn that many of my kids friends even have their own firearms--starting at age 12! Recently, there was a tragic death in our area involving 2 ten-year-olds playing with a BB gun.
There is no firearm in my home, though – under certain circumstances – I understand why people might have them.
I don’t think it really matters if you have one or not, it’s what you do with it that counts. It’s important to teach your children about how dangerous a firearm can be, whether you own one or not. If you do, it is IMPERATIVE that you keep it in an area that is completely inaccessible to your children, and make sure you don’t ever use it foolishly in front of them. Set a good example and be responsible.
If you are one of those people who leaves a loaded pistol in your nightstand or a rifle under the bed when there are kids in your house or over visiting… SHAME ON YOU! Never underestimate a child’s ability to get into places they shouldn’t be. Play it safe and put it somewhere that is IMPOSSIBLE for a child to get to.
No,it is absolutely not ok to have guns in the home, in my opinion. I think it is too risky and very dangerous to have around children and /or teens.
Hell NO!! We are not a hunting family so we have no business having them in our home and nor will we. I also know if every place my children go has a gun in their home and where and how it is stored before my children are allowed into the home.
Also we don't even have play guns in our home since guns aren't toys and we will never give one to our children so they think they are.