Teaching your child about safety should include teaching your kids about guns.
As Americans, our right to bear arms is — or at least should be — protected under the Constitution. Guns are an integral part of American life, and as such, I want my kids to be knowledgeable about guns. Not that I'm going to take them out on the gun range and teach them to shoot, but I want them to know the terminology related to guns, how firearms work, as well as gun safety. By studying guns, my children develop a greater respect for how dangerous guns can be if not handled appropriately; and firearm study may also serve to remove the “curiosity” instinct which causes some kids to play with guns simply because they’ve never seen one in “real life” before.
So last year my kids and I spent a couple of weeks learning about firearms. (I say my kids and I because prior to this study I knew next to nothing about guns; I haven't even fired a gun in my life!). At the end of our study a friend of ours invited us over so we could have a hands-on lesson with real guns (all of them unloaded, of course). The kids learned a lot about gun-safety while they got to see, in "real life," the workings of a wide variety of firearms.
In case you'd like to embark on a study of firearms with your own children, here are some of the resources we used, which you can use as well.
- Read an encyclopedia entry about guns. We read Grolier’s The New Book of Knowledge (copyright 1985) which has a great article about firearms under “Guns and Ammunition.” It covered the subject in a very thorough and understandable manner.
- Visit How Stuff Worksto read their excellent articles about guns:
- “How Flintlock Guns Work” is not just about the flintlock; it covers the matchlock and percussion cap as well. This is probably the first of the How Stuff Works article you’d need to read, as it covers a lot of basic information.
- “How Shotguns Work”
- “How Revolvers Work”
- “How Machine Guns Work”
- “How Rocket-Propelled Grenades Work”
- Pick up a gun encyclopedia from the book store or your local library. The one we picked up at Half Price Books, Encyclopedia of Rifles & Handguns, a Comprehensive Guide to Firearms, has numerous helpful diagrams and photographs.
- Do some hands-on with firearms if you have access to them. I’m not suggesting you have your kids do any shooting, but letting them see guns in person, even handle them, will give them a better understanding—and appreciation—for firearms.
- Study gun safety. Here are some good online resources that can help.
Teaching your kids about gun safety is something you should consider.
Dh has been teaching the kids about guns and took them to a shooting range as well last year. Definitely something that kids need to learn if they are around them. Dh hunts so he has guns, so we want to make sure we teach them about being careful. They are locked away seperately from bullets as well.
Pam Powers says
We trained our children from toddlerhood not to touch guns, time well invested. They still do not touch guns unless we hand it to them as they are learning to shoot. Gun safety is always a top priority.
Great study! My husband is a police officer and military, so my boys have been around guns since birth. While we always stress safety and my husband has taught the older boys proper handling of guns and has taken them to the range, I have never done an actual study. Now I will! Thanks!
All our boys (that's all I have) have been trained in gun safety. My oldest got a shotgun when he was 10 and goes bird hunting with dad. I am sure the others will too. Have you heard of the appleseed project? It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching young people about our 2nd amendment heritage. They have a excellent marksmanship clinic that young people can attend. Their website is: http://www.appleseedinfo.org/.