Today’s post is more safety minded than political, so let’s not get off into politics, please. Also, I’m going to trust that those with guns know the precautions to take, so I’m not going there with this post.
To my thinking, my kids need to be taught about the things they should leave alone. I should fully explain these things, which will take away curiosity. Be it drugs, sex, or guns… it is my responsibility to explain the dangers to my children.
Both of my girls have held a variety of guns, real guns. Guns that weren’t loaded, but the girls were still instructed to hold them as if they were loaded, even though we showed them the empty chamber first. Both understand the mechanics of how the bullet (or shell) works, and how the gun fires it. GG has stood behind someone at the shooting range with her hand on their arm as they shot – so she could feel the kick and the violence. I have been remiss in not doing this for TT yet, this is a good reminder for me to make plans for that. Both have seen a gun being taken apart and cleaned and put back together. Both have seen what happens to a watermelon when you shoot it, and understand that it can sometimes do about the same thing to a head. Both understand that slamming or dropping a gun can make the firing pin drop and fire the gun – without pulling the trigger. Both understand the concept of loading the gun and not putting a bullet into the chamber until you are actually ready to fire it. Both have a very healthy respect for guns, and I am confident that 1) they aren’t going to mess with a gun without a trusted adult there, and 2) if they see another child with a gun they are going to quickly exit the area and find an adult. They will not have to decide if they are going to “tattle” or not, they have seen and heard and felt (via the kickback) what a gun can do. They aren’t going to stick around.
I’ve recently discovered that there are people who don’t teach their children what a gun is, or they just say “leave those alone”. That sounds scary to me. Even if you don’t go so far as taking them to a shooting range, I believe you should find a way to take the mystery of guns away. Everyone is curious about the forbidden fruit that they don’t understand.
Guns are a part of American society – no matter whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing, I think we all owe it to society to teach our kids what a gun is capable of doing. This is an area where ignorance can be deadly.