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Old November 27, 2009, 10:15 AM   #26
radioflyer
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It is worth noting that standup arcade games (like my faviote: Area 51) are actually excellent practice tools for target discrimination, trigger control and helped me be concious of mag capacity. Years of playing such games helped me score the second fastest overall time on my first IDPA meet (not match)

....of course there's no shooting offscreen to reload....
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Old November 27, 2009, 11:07 AM   #27
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Yes right...

Video games are good!

Sorry, I'm from a different era and I don't think so.
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Old November 27, 2009, 11:08 AM   #28
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What do you think are the best methods for keeping kids safe from guns?

I'd assume it would be some combo of gun safety and handling 101 and keeping the guns locked up.

I don't have kids, so haven't given it much thought.

For those of you who do have kids, what are your safety practices?
Respectfully, I disagree with the standpoint being keeping kids "safe from guns". It's more applicable in my opinion to keep guns safe from anyone not capable of using them responsibly. Four year old Timmy has the same business playing with a 'gun' than 44 year old Mike who knows nothing about firearms- none.

Guns are not stalking children. Responsible firearm ownership should eliminate dangerous firearms handling by ANYone, not just children. It's no "safer" to leave a loaded handgun in the sockdrawer during the family cookout with kids running about than it is to toss 50 year old uncle Harry that same pistol while he's grilling the burgers

When I grew up (born in '71, Boston area), firearms were in the house, and they were not locked up. I knew where they were. I was told were they were- shown, in fact. They were not hidden from me and I was told that they could hurt people and that I should not play with them. They were different from my toy guns. The distinction was easy for me to make at 5 years old. My parents brought me up knowing that I could trust them and they gave me enough care and understanding to know that when I promised them not to mess with them, I really meant it even at 5 years old. Every child is different however and that's where responsible parenting comes in

Children have a better grasp of the world than adults give them credit for. That doesn't mean that a two year old should be told how to load a handgun, it means that parents must be responsible- with ANYthing that could harm their children:

Dog
stove
propane grill
carving knife
bandsaw
hammer
pointy stick

The list goes on. "Guns" are not harming kids. Ignorance and poor firearm ownership is. Pretending 'guns' don't exist is poor parenting in my opinion. Education is what makes people 'safe' from any danger, not just from dangers presented by a 'gun'. It is nonsense to argue that teaching ignorance eliminates danger
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Old November 27, 2009, 11:12 AM   #29
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Same way you keep kids safe from household chemicals, vacuum cleaners, water, dogs, etc.--YOU EDUCATE THEM.

Do you keep kids to fear water, no, of course not? You teach them to swim.

The world is dangerous and has corners and teeth. Teach children to overcome danger, not avoid it.
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Old November 27, 2009, 12:09 PM   #30
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Do you keep kids to fear water, no, of course not? You teach them to swim.

The world is dangerous and has corners and teeth. Teach children to overcome danger, not avoid it.
but...but.... that might mean people would have to be responsible for 5 minutes.......and that takes effort.
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Old November 27, 2009, 12:48 PM   #31
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Same way you keep kids safe from household chemicals, vacuum cleaners, water, dogs, etc.--YOU EDUCATE THEM.

Do you keep kids to fear water, no, of course not? You teach them to swim.

The world is dangerous and has corners and teeth. Teach children to overcome danger, not avoid it.
You teach them to swim, but for young kids, you also lock up the pool.

You teach them about chemicals, but you also lock up the chemicals.

There's also one Big Difference.....many kids are fascinated by guns. I can't fathom they'd have the same fascination for water or cleaning solvents.

They can also be exposed to toy guns and pretend violence on tv and video games and may not understand the potential consequences of firearms.

It seems to me the only sensible approach is education AND locking the guns up.
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Old November 27, 2009, 01:18 PM   #32
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Phoebe,

You are quite right!

Human beings are not perfect and never will be perfect.

Failing to teach your children about firearms safety is actually relying on the adults in your children's lives to be perfect -- to never ever err or leave a firearm where the children might be able to access it. Since humans occasionally goof, that's a bad plan.

Failing to lock up the firearms where the children cannot access them is actually relying on your children and all your friends' children to be perfect -- to never ever disobey their parents or make a mistake at the urging of a friend. Since humans occasionally goof, that's also a bad plan.

Teach your children.

And until your children and their friends reach the age of responsibility, keep the firearms locked up or under the conscious control of a responsible adult...

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Old November 27, 2009, 01:37 PM   #33
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Failing to lock up firearms that are not in use or under the owner's direct control invites the possibility that any person- not just kids- may have access to them when they shouldn't. This includes drunken houseguests and also burglars. Yes, a thief can spend an hour breaking a door or cutting a lock but that is not the point.

I feel that it's worthwhile to look at the issue the other way-

Keeping guns safe from all people who have no business using them is part of responsible firearm ownership. There should be no differentiation on that level between 'children' and 'adults' in my opinion. The emphasis is 'the children the children the children', but in my view keeping them safe from all unauthorized use is actually the goal- I don't keep my liquor in my unlocked car with the keys in the ignition, to make an example

In this way, the married couple with no children or the single adult sans child is secure from problems should a visit include babies, children, pre-teens, teens, and adults, and it also covers all bases for when that married couple or single adult has kids- the rules didn't change because of who was in the house, the firearms were secure all the time to begin with
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Old November 27, 2009, 01:48 PM   #34
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Chris B ~

Excellent point. My bad... I got focused on the "Kids and Guns" nature of this particular thread.

There are three types of people from whom a responsible gun owner secures the firearms:

Children
Criminals
Clueless folks

Security against all three is important!

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Old November 27, 2009, 02:03 PM   #35
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Laws

I’m all for teaching children gun safety and satisfying their curiosity by letting them handle and fire the guns. We shoot guns for sport and it sometimes sounds like we’re having a war at my house. Everyone in my family plus in-laws and outlaws are pro-guns.

However,
The law in some states (I don’t know about Federal) require guns to be locked away from children or be under the supervision of an adult. In a couple of instances I can read the law as it not being legal to even let a child touch a gun, regardless of supervision (tricky wording).

Therefore,
After all of your teaching and satisfying curiosity you should be aware of your applicable laws. A child might say something in school, or elsewhere, which an anti-gunner will pick up on and you’re in trouble.
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Old November 27, 2009, 04:01 PM   #36
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Phoebe
What great advice have you been able to "glean" from the replies, to date. Have you come up with any points you feel are important or useful. In short, have we addressed your concerns or questions or do you see us as just being opinionated? We are all here to learn and support. Have we done so?? ...



Be Safe !!!
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Old November 27, 2009, 08:26 PM   #37
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Keeping guns safe from all people who have no business using them is part of responsible firearm ownership.
There is one BIG difference.

When I'm home, my gun is on me or next to me. Always. And I sleep with a gun on my night stand.

If kids were around, the gun would be in a lock box at night, not on my night stand.

If kids were around, "next to me", wouldn't happen either.

So, for me, guns + kids would cause me to behave differently.
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Old November 27, 2009, 08:27 PM   #38
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Pahoo, nothing shocking or surprising in the thread. It's all really just common sense.

I had wondered if there might be any big thing I'd overlooked, but it doesn't sound like it.
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Old November 27, 2009, 09:40 PM   #39
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You bring out a good point as I too act differently when guns and kids are in close proximity. That holds true with adults as well. As far as common sense, I really question just how common it is. This is why education and knowledge is important. This way at least they can't say they did not know. After that, it's one's choice and we see the results of this daily, don't we? I teach and live the four basic rules of gun safety.



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Old November 27, 2009, 10:24 PM   #40
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My method is honesty my kids are 2,7 and 10 years old and I go over with them regularly the rules of gun safety and the main parts of a gun muzzle, bolt or slide safeties etc. Also my guns are locked up and the kids don't know where the key is. Lastly I take the kids out shooting with me (the 2 year old uses airsoft and believe it or not can load and insert the mags and engage and disengage the safety by herself, and just needs help racking the slide) My kids are taught that they may not touch the guns without permission and supervision (including bb guns and airsoft cap guns etc.) so I feel they have knowledge and their curiosity is satisfied with these methods.

Last edited by nhsmoker; November 28, 2009 at 09:19 AM.
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Old November 28, 2009, 06:40 AM   #41
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There is one BIG difference.

When I'm home, my gun is on me or next to me. Always. And I sleep with a gun on my night stand.

If kids were around, the gun would be in a lock box at night, not on my night stand.

If kids were around, "next to me", wouldn't happen either.

So, for me, guns + kids would cause me to behave differently.
Again, I respectfully disagree strongly.

Your actions would comply 100% with the statement of mine that you quoted "if kids were around":

"Keeping guns safe from all people who have no business using them is part of responsible firearm ownership. "

Your actions would then satisfy my quote to a "T". You have taken steps to secure the firearm from unauthorized use, which is precisely my point. There would be no difference, either big or small. If you truly complied with that suggestion, then kids would make no difference. But you are not following that suggestion until children are around.

if that's how you feel you should act, then that's up to you. But if the firearm was truly secured against unauthorized use, then the kids' presence changes nothing. The emphasis here is 'children children children' and I don't really understand it, from a logic viewpoint:

"Quiet" kids sneak into your room and play with your pistol on the nightstand.

"Stealthy" home invaders might do the same thing. I guarantee you that I could sneak up on you while you're asleep. I can buy passable NVGs in the toy department these days, I don't need the classic burglar's bright flashlight

The idea that I suggest is to make sure the weapon is secure from unauthorized use. That means everyone, not just kids. In my opinion, stop worrying about 'The children" and start looking at the whole situation- kids are just one possible age group for people that shouldn't play with your guns. In your example, if I was spending the night in the guestroom, then the pistol would be...out on your nightstand? And I am more trustworthy than a child because....? I'm older? I can fool you while a child can't? I could have a drug problem. I could be mentally imbalanced. I could pop my cork. I could come back later and rob you.

I think it's much more applicable to consider all people as potential violators of gun safety, not just kids

Last edited by Chris_B; November 28, 2009 at 06:52 AM.
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Old November 28, 2009, 08:46 PM   #42
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Don't know if it's been said, but gun rules/safety/lessons are only good if you practice what you preach! If you're teaching a kid to ride a bike, and tell them to take it slow and safe, and he/she see's you doing a wheelie later, chances are they'll try it to. Same applies for gun's. Except, guns don't leave you with a small bruise or cut that mommy can make better.

Only reason I say this, is because all to often you'll see someone in a teaching role who may of been doing a good job, but then turns into a hotdog when demonstrating... Especially when trying to impress the little one's (or ladies )
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Old November 28, 2009, 10:06 PM   #43
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On a side note…it is impossible to satisfy a child's curiosity. Just because you teach them how to safely handle and operate a firearm does not mean that kids are not going to be kids...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen E. Meyer
Several factors:

1. The cognitive level to understand and recall your discussion.
2. The developmental level sufficient to resist impulse to play with them.
3. With older kids:

a. Be aware of psychological or social problems.
b. These can come on very fast
c. Be aware of the terrible impuse to do something stupid based on social
pressure from peers.

Many parents swear they are masters of their house and talk sternly to the kids but turn out to be clueless about such factors.

I go for locked up when I'm not around, even with talk, trust, shooting together, etc. Yep, there have been kids alone who saved the day and kids who got the gun and saved Mom. Pick your risks. I'm on the board of a prevention journal for kids and that biases my view.

Chris and Pax are right on target as well. Keep your firearms locked up when they are not in use or under supervision. Until recently I always left one of my safes open while I was home…not anymore. I carry on my person if I am home, otherwise all firearms are locked up (thanks to fellow forum members) just my $0.02
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Old November 29, 2009, 07:41 AM   #44
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If you truly complied with that suggestion, then kids would make no difference. But you are not following that suggestion until children are around.
I don't permit snooping, firearms ignorant, adults in my house anyway.

That said children are game changers for most of us. I don't expect cousin Vinny to go into my closet and grab my pistol. I would expect a child to do something like that. Of course I wouldn't leave them out in locations that guests would inhabit however I wouldn't feel the need to lock them away either. Might be wrong but it is the truth.
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Old November 29, 2009, 09:03 AM   #45
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This has been a good thread for me to read, as I have a curious and active five-year old. He's not ready for the range yet, and my guns stay locked in a safe. I picked up some excellent information on how to work with him as he grows up.

Just a side note--toward the beginning of the thread I followed the link to "Cornered Kitty" and found the 1932 photo of the 6-year old with his .22 and a brace of jackrabbits. Someplace I have a similar one of myself as a kid in the sixties with a pheasant and my 20-ga bolt action Marlin shotgun. I lived in a rural area, and everyone I knew had guns in the house, usually shotguns or rifles of various description, hanging over the the fireplace or leaning behind the front door or in a corner by the nightstand. If they weren't loaded, the ammo was right nearby. Most of my male classmates from about sixth-grade on were gun owners. the thing is, I can't remember anyone who would even have thought of messing around with one of his Dad's guns when no one was around, and my friends and I spent long hours hunting and there was absolutely no screwing around with firearms. Times have sure changed, and not for the better as far as guns are concerned--on several levels, eh?

Nonetheless, this is, again, a very important thread. Maybe it'll save a life or two.
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Old November 29, 2009, 09:15 AM   #46
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+1 Jeff23

Your very correct - this has been a great thread.

I too experienced what you said as I was growing up.

I can't help but wonder if all the shoot'em and kill 'em video games are harmful for today's kids ... then again we all played cowboys and indians and I'd get shot 10 times a day.
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:06 AM   #47
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I have taken a differant approach. I have 5 kids, and several grandkids (that spend most of their time here0

Kid have a natural curosity toward guns. Something exotic. They see them on tv and in the movies.

We played cowboys and indians as kids, even during recess at school. Kids, or the ones I grew up with anyway, had guns at a young age. It wasnt uncommon to come home from school, grab a 22 or shot gun and take off in the woods. I'm not talking HS, I'm talking grade school. In HS we took them to school to work on them in shop.

We didnt have to sneak them out to play with them. There was nothing exotic, the were just there.

I raised my kids (and now grandkids) the same way. I teach them safety. I show them what they are capable of. They understand what a higt velocity round can do to an animal. They know the animal dosnt come back to life after being killed. They know you cant fix a gunshot wound with a shot of whiskey like the westerns they see on tv.

They also know, if they want to shoot they can. Nothing exotic, shooting is a sport, either hunting or targets. Kids dont have to sneak a gun out to play with if they have access to them.

I also dont let them shoot bottles or beer cans, if they want to shoot, they shoot targets, either paper or gongs.

Thats the way I was raised, thats the way my father was raised, and the way my grandfather was raised. And its the way I raised my kids and grandkids. We havent had anyone in our family shooting up schools or street lights. I carried a 22 pistol as a small kid, fishing or running a trap line. When in highschool, my parents were seperated, I would take summer trips on a motorcyle from Oregon to Arkansas every summer to see my mother. I carried concealed then. No one thought anything of it.

My ideals arn't PC in todays world I realize and probably most here will disagree with me.
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Old November 29, 2009, 10:20 AM   #48
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Actually kraigwy, I pretty much do agree with you. I live right on the coast on about a half acre of land with houses around, so there's no place to shoot around here unless you get in the car and drive. My kid's not going to be able to walk out the door w/ his shotgun like I did back in the day. Maybe our only slight difference is that my Dad and I did a a ton of plinking--shooting tin cans and bottles with a .22. Every Sunday afternoon was clay bird and plinking day--we'd go down to our back field, set up a bunch of empty tin cans on hay bales at 50 and 100 yards and plink away. then we'd throw clay birds with a hand trap and shoot at them with a .410 single shot Stevens. Pretty simple, but I really looked forward to it every week. I never shot a paper target until I was in college.

Anyway, this is all a sidelight to the original thread. We have to start where we stand, which is a culture in which, if a kid so much as wears an NRA T-shirt to school he or she might be sent home. Still, it's nice to remember and I'm happy to be on the same side with such great people. Thank you, BTW, for your service to our country.
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Old December 7, 2009, 07:56 AM   #49
Glenn Dee
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On this topic.

A sad incident this weekend in So.Florida. A gun owner loaned his car to his 17 year old daughter, so he removed his gun. Hid it under a cushion on a love seat. Forgot to put it some place better, and his 3 yr old grand daughter found it and shot herself fataly. ( the story as it was reported localy).
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Old December 7, 2009, 01:12 PM   #50
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I've mostly enjoyed reading the posts on this thread, and for sure agree with the education side of kids and guns as well as those that see the need for gun security compared to who is around the house on a daily basis.

The one thing that seems to prevail in most gun/kid tragedies is how guns seem to be found by kids when other kids are around. What I mean is, it is natural for kids to want to "show off" items they are usually exposed to that is foreign to other friends or family members. This fascination applies to guns, tools, booze, adult stuff, whatever it may be.

My long gone dad had a saying that I often think about when I read the sad stories about stuff like this. His saying was-"One kid is a kid, two kids are half a kid, three kids are no kid at all". Kids do the damndest things when other kids are around to observe or participate. I did, you did, we all did. Most of us lived to tell about it, and are way more scared think or talk about it now, than we were to do the stupidity then.

My feeling about guns is different now that my kids are adults but are not parents yet themselves. I now have guns unlocked in my house, not in plain view, that awhile ago would not have been out of the safe. If company with children come, the guns go in the safe. Period.

Last edited by Pyzon; December 7, 2009 at 01:14 PM. Reason: punctuation
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