If you take a look at the television any given day of the week or make the mistake of getting involved in local city data websites, then you know that it’s a scary time. Don’t focus on the negatives in the world—they’ll only tear you asunder with them. Arm yourself with knowledge, and teach your kids how to defend themselves, but also how to respect power, and understand the gravity of guns and their impact. You’ll be doing society—and your family—a huge favor.
How Old Should Your Kids Be Before Teaching Them?
I’ve heard of children as young as age eight learning how to shoot. It’s up to you, but it comes down to the competence of the child, and of yourself, more than a simple number does. Children need to understand that it’s not a toy, first and foremost. If you can look them in the eye, put on your serious tone, and they understand and respect that, there’s a good chance that they’re ready to learn.
Respect, Power, and Respecting Power
Three entirely different things, believe it or not. Guns are apart of our culture, whether it’s in television or they’ve just seen them in a gun-friendly home, children understand what they are to some extent. Here are the three sections to what your child should understand about guns, and how to handle them.
This is more about respect for you and your teaching than it is just for the gun. That comes into play later. If they can’t follow your teachings or at least listen without hopping around, they’re not ready. If they can listen attentively, and realize that they need to respect what you’re saying, to respect your experience, then their logic and understanding are inline with a proper learning experience, and they’ll benefit.
They may be timid to fire off the first shot, but when they do, there’s an invigoration of fear and excitement that course through them like adrenaline. It’s the power they just felt leave their hands. Think back to the first time you shot a gun; you’re a responsible gun owner and operator, and that’s what will be instilled into your children, especially when they understand what power they wield.
Minimize accidents, quell curiosity—a child who understands that a gun is a serious piece of equipment, who has had the opportunity to fire it off in a safe environment, will have enough respect for said power to refrain from challenging it in the future. Curiosity is a downfall for children, but it’s how they learn. When it comes to gun safety and operation, they should never make the mistake of learning that alone. Be proactive, and take charge today.