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Children and Firearms: Why it is a Good Idea to Mix Them | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Children and Firearms: Why it is a Good Idea to Mix Them

Experience is a powerful tool. So, too is education. Just as powerful of tools, however, are ignorance and naiveté. One combination; experience and education, leads to good decision making skills, while the combination of ignorance and naiveté leads to accidents. When one of these combinations ends up with a firearm in the hands of a child, which would you rather it be? When your child becomes an adult and purposefully seeks out the possession of a firearm, to what degree would you want them to be prepared for that responsibility?

It is possible to educate your children about the dangers of guns without exposing them to actual firearms. The problem with that though, is that curiosity can be a much more powerful motivator than experience-free education can be a deterrent. Children are often drawn to taboo items and behaviors when they lack a fundamental understanding of the subject. To avoid this danger, we must add experience to the education in order to create a fundamental understanding of the safe handling of a firearm, the dangers of firearms misuse, and to remove the curiosity that can drive a child to make poor decisions. From a very early age, children should be taught about the concept of firearms, just as you would teach manners. This allows the parents to better assess when little Timmy is mature enough to shoot his first gun, as well as setting a foundation for Timmy’s range rules.

Gun SafetyOnce the parents agree that their child shows the maturity and has the dexterity/strength to handle a firearm, it is time to hit the range. The first gun of choice depends on what the parents see fit and how well the child can be expected to handle a firearm. I was started on BB guns that moved up to high power pellet rifles, followed by .22 rifles. Some will choose to go straight to the .22 and skip BB guns. Neither option is wrong, so long as the proper precautions are taken.

Once Timmy learns about the proper use of guns, how they function, and sees firsthand what type of damage they can do, the gun will not be a mystical item that lures him into making bad decisions with horrible consequences. Instead, he will be the friend who protects the other kids from a found firearm. He will grow up to be the adult who can choose to arm himself in a manner that is safe. And he will be far less likely to view guns as a toy, but as the tool that they are.

All of this comes with planning and careful execution. If you are not properly trained, then seek training before teaching your children, or take them to a trainer. This education, however, is not a replacement for proper firearms storage. Each home must make their own decisions on how to store guns based on a wide range of factors that go far beyond the education of the household children. In the end, no matter our methods, the result must be teaching the next generation to not fear firearms, but to respect them, be proficient with them, and to understand their legitimate uses.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Seth Belt

Seth grew up in Southern Arizona before joining the U.S. Navy. While serving in the Navy, Seth was an anti-narcotics operator and an anti-submarine operator for 5 years. He was lucky enough to travel to many of the Central and South American countries, as well as visiting many South East Asian nations and islands. One of Seth’s greatest joys from his time in the Navy was teaching new Sailors firearms education and safety. After leaving the Navy in 2010, Seth returned to Arizona and had a rough time learning how to be a civilian again, often working jobs that could barely pay the bills. After going to school, Seth became an Emergency Medical Technician in the Phoenix Valley, where he now lives with his wife and son.His areas of knowledge cover military, firearms, and emergency medicine.
Seth Belt

2 thoughts on “Children and Firearms: Why it is a Good Idea to Mix Them

  1. I concur completely. It is nearly impossible to child-proof a house but you can surely gun-proof a child. There have been firearm owners and shooters in my family for at least 300 years without any unintentional woundings or deaths. I began bird hunting with my father and uncles before age 6 and learned first hand what damage firearms could inflict. By age 71/2 I was allowed to hunt (accompanied) with my own 410 shotgun I became competent with rifles and pistols as I grew older and qualified as an Expert Rifleman in the U.S. Army. Both my sons were introduced to firearms in the same manner as were their sons. All of us were raised without a firearms mystic mentality. We all understood that firearms are tools not unlike power saws and lawn mowers that are useful when used properly but capable of inflicting great damage if misused.

  2. Agreed, but I would go several steps further. Get your kids involved in shooting sports and competitions. I enrolled my son in all the basic courses (handgun and carbine), and then progressed him to tactical courses (gun fighting). Let us not forget one of the purposes of firearms is so that, if needed, they can be employed to defend freedom – and that this first employment at the start of the Revolutionary war was by civilian ‘militia,’ and not initially by a regular, standing army.

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