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Thread: Shooting with the boy

  1. #1
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    Shooting with the boy

    Took my son to the range this morning. We've just started shooting. Had some excellent discussions about gun safety. Among them was the question:

    "What do you do if a friend says 'hey! Wanna see my dad's gun?'"

    He correctly said "I'd tell them no!" but I could easily imagine a kid saying "come on! He lets me shoot it all the time!" and cajoling him into it.

    Am curious what other parents' thoughts were on this?

    I ultimately told him to say, firmly:

    "The only time a gun should be out is at the range or if you intend to kill someone with it.". I thought that would be a good, mature answer that might shame the boy into doing the right thing. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    My son has been educated in firearm safety and family security for many years. He cannot imagine his dad without a gun on my side, and will ask when I go out the door if I have my cell phone and sidearm. We have also gone through the what ifs with friends, teachers, etc.
    You did well, sir.
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

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  3. #3
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    He correctly said "I'd tell them no!" but I could easily imagine a kid saying "come on! He lets me shoot it all the time!" and cajoling him into it.
    Sure, it could happen.

    Tell him to leave. Train him to leave (role playing).

    Then he has to tell you, or another adult, ASAP. You don't want your kid shot, but you don't want another's kid shot, either.

    The Eddie Eagle "STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult." is perhaps trite, but I can't find a thing wrong with it. The real problem is kids learn not by reading rules, but by living them, by seeing them modeled. It is however easier to model "Always point the muzzle in a safe direction" than Eddie's rules.

    Sometimes you're given an opportunity. Maybe next time you're at the range or gun store with your boy, you see a gun being handled unsafely. Leave, immediately. After you go, call the store owner or range master. Explain to your son what you did, and why.

    Guess what? You just modeled a behavior that could save your boy's life one day. I think he'll remember that.
    The only time a gun should be out is at the range or if you intend to kill someone with it
    I do a lot of teaching, training and practicing with firearms (no ammo in the room) away from the range. Often the persons I'm teaching are my kids.

    And I never--even if I used a firearm for self-defense--would intend to kill someone (even knowing full well that is the likely result of such use).

    I understand that the above muddies what was intended to be a simple-to-remember rule. But it is also important for my kids to understand (as I am modeling not only actions, but attitude) that an intention to kill someone will never be the reason I pick up a gun.

  4. #4
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    good approach on dealing with the question, hopefully your son will think twice before showing off the gun.

  5. #5
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    The more you spend time with your children to remove the curiosity of the "gun" the better the odds they won't seek them out when your not present... Furthermore they will know what decision to make if they come upon one, or have a friend that sez lets look...

    My kids were still in diapers when I started teaching them safe rules and nomenclature. Every time I had a gun out for cleaning or service I'd have them present watching me model the safety steps.

    When they asked to touch and ultimately hold the gun They did and we repeated / modeled safety steps and nomenclature.

    At anytime I was home if they asked to see one of our guns I would stop what I was doing and spend time doing just that with them.

    I gage the success of this by two bench marks .

    #1 My children are very disciplined in firearms handling (2nd nature)

    #2 When my oldest son and I was at a gun show browsing. He was five at the time I was looking at a table of rifles. When the vendor said "will you look at that!"

    This vendor had several rifles laid on the table w/barrels facing out. My son wanted to get to the other side to look at the knife display. But he recognized the danger in stepping in front of those barrels. So to solve his dilemma and "stay close to dad" he got down on the floor and crawled to effectively prevent him from barrel sweep. So what did I do? The very same thing as he did. I thanked my boy for keeping us safe.
    Take your time... Don't live too fast,
    Troubles will come and they will pass....

  6. #6
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    I was a very curious child, and my children seem to be very curious, too.

    I made sure so reinforce that whenever they have a question, or just a general curiousity, to come get me. They can ask, I can get the weapon (firearm, gun, whatever you want to call it), and we talk about whatever they're curious about. Even if it's just wanting to feel the weight of the steel.

    In my home, the key is that I am there to ensure everything is done safely, and there is no mystical unanswered question or unmet need to hold the gun.

    I'm not sure if I articulated that well - it's about my bedtime here, and it's been a long week - but what I'm trying to avoid is my kids feeling like they can't handle, clean or look at the guns whenever they want to.

    Of course, it means a commitment on my part to drop what I'm doing (or really mean it when I say "give me 5 minutes to finish this") whenever they ask.

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    We pretty much tell our Donna that anything on the farm she wants to explore we will help her with but there are many things that one of us need to be with her. If that question were asked of her, she would likely say "OK, let's get Mom or Dad to take us shooting."

  8. #8
    I think it was The Cornered Cat who updated Eddie Eagle to "Stop, don't touch, *ASK* an adult". Her thinking was that it demistyfies guns and gives the kids a safe, supervised avenue to learn more about them.

  9. #9
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    I took my son to the range today, and he had a blast, no pun intended.
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

    http://czforumsite.info/

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    I was lucky that when my kids were that age we lived in the country, and guns were no big deal. I taught them that guns are tools, just like hammers and wrenches, with specific purposes and that tools were not to be used without adult supervision.

    Now that I've got grandkids, I maintain that line of reason and all the grandkids are comfortable with guns as tools. Nothing mystical, nothing romantic, simply another tool in the box to be used properly under adult supervision. I live in a subdivision now, and shooting in the back yard might make the neighbors jumpy, but if one of the kids wants to "talk guns", we talk guns and make plans for a range trip.

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