Gun safety education for kids has been a major talking point in recent years, with the main issues surrounding the topic of how far kids ought to be exposed to firearms in the first place. Like it or not, the fact remains that guns are everywhere, and even if none are stored in the house it’s still a sensible precaution to ensure that children understand how to behave responsibly around them. Here we’ll take a look at this topic from the point of encouraging good, safe general practice around firearms even when under close supervision.
1) Remove The Magic & Myth Of Guns
The first step has to involve demonstrating what damage a gun can do. The sooner a kid understands that what they see in cartoons and action movies is all a myth, the quicker they will learn to behave responsibly around firearms. A good starting point is to teach the child how to handle a gun safely, namely never to treat as a toy, and how to check if it’s loaded or has a round chambered. Likewise trigger discipline is essential. A trip to the range for them to purely spectate is invaluable in demonstrating the damage that a rifle, shotgun or handgun can do in real life.
2) Consider Buying A BB Gun Or Low Power Air rifle
It’s important not to make too big a play of it, but buying a BB gun can in the right circumstances be a wise move for teaching personal responsibility for firearms. Rack and store it with your own weapons, and take the kid target shooting (and/or hunting if that’s a personal hobby). Doing this well will teach them discipline when carrying, storing and looking after their weapon. The idea is essentially to look for them emulating your own positive and sensible behavior around guns, while also fostering a sense of trust that the child will find rewarding.
3) First Live Practice Shots
These ought to be always performed at the range. A solid methodology is to keep hold of the ammunition and dish it out a single round at a time – this will prevent any risk of negligent discharge should the kid become overexcited and lose discipline over where they are pointing their muzzle. It’s essential to teach sensible weapons handling as part of teaching a kid how to shoot; integrate it into their stance and posture as they learn how to control their technique. Also always use eye and ear protection too.
4) First Outdoors Shots
Many people like to educate their kids about firearms without the necessary intent that they will ever use them, or develop any interest in hunting. However for those who do, it’s wise to take those first shots to kill from a static hide rather than hiking into deep country – quite simply because they will likely tire over the course of the trip carrying their weapon, and may well lose concentration. Should they hit/kill a target, ensure that they close the kill – this can be a very sobering moment even for the best disciplined young marksman.
5) Be The Shining Example
Elementary firearm discipline is on paper extremely straightforward, it’s unexpected distractions, over-excitement and tiredness that account for the vast majority of accidents. Know your own limits and and extremely conservatively around your own firearms, encourage communication when a weapon is loaded and a shot to be taken, and above all emphasize the importance of correct carry and storage techniques.