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Old November 25, 2009, 10:37 AM   #1
Phoebe
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Kids and Guns

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?
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:03 AM   #2
sakeneko
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I'm childless too, so I don't have any more practice dealing with this than you do. However, Pax does -- she raised or is raising five boys -- and she's shared a bunch of her experiences and advice to parents on her Cornered Cat web site. Start here:

http://corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx#Kids
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Until my 6 month old can actually comprehend what I'm teaching her I use this drawer safe. Its obviously not for theft but rather for little curious hands. It works great and opens fast.

http://www.stack-on.com/securityplus...s/pds-500.html

very reasonable price for what its intended for. I paid $60 and extremely durable, has programmable codes and key over ride.
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:07 PM   #4
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Its a combination of things. For my boys I started teaching them from very very young. We would have play sessions were I would let them play with a particular gun while teaching them how to safely handle it. This progressed to shooting bbguns while I teaching them how to safely handle them. Then we moved into rimfires at the range while I taught them how to safely handle them.

Today they are ages 13 and 10 and they are safer than many adults I see at the range I RO at. They are very capable with them as well. They have little desire to snoop and sneak since they can handle them with a simple word ....please. I have zero concern of an accident with either.

Still I keep them locked away but its nice to know I don't have to.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:02 PM   #5
Pahoo
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Quote:
What do you think are the best methods for keeping kids safe from guns?
Or perhaps safe best methods for keeping kids safe "With" guns? ?? ..

Either way, it begins with the best safety device that is located between one's ears. I feel that all kids need to know about guns and if they show an interest, you can't shy away from it. Knowledge is the key and you build on that, toward or away from the guns. I am actively working with five Grandsons. The two oldest ones no longer show and interest and my second youngest is going after my M/L's in a big way. However, all know more about firearms and respecting them more that I did at their age. I'm not sure where you want to go with this. ....


Be Safe !!!!
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:11 PM   #6
Phoebe
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Quote:
I'm not sure where you want to go with this.
I'm not rolling any agenda.

I just don't really understand the issues involved.

It's newsworthy when kids take the parent's gun and shoot it. We just had an incident in the last week or two.

There's also variables like whether the kid is or isn't interested in guns...

On the bb gun thing, some kid around here shot my car with a bb gun, and seems to also be killing pigeons. I'd hope kids with bb guns are supervised.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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not sure if this is correct or helps but I've done the following with my
daughter. Started when she was about 7 yrs old. Prior to that, any
gun kept in the home for defense that was loaded was (and still is) kept
in locked drawer gun safe under the bed.

bought her both a bb rifle (single cock) and a pellet pistol (revolver).

taught her the 4 gun rules.

taught her how to load / unload / check the weapon

taught her how to shoot (stances/ aim / breathing / targeting / follow up shots)

taught her how to clean/maintain after shooting session.

after about a year or so I took her with me to land where I shoot outdoors.

We did all the same stuff with a .22 revolver.

She knows where the firearms are, and that they are loaded, and not
for her to touch unless I am present.

But they are locked in safe regardless.

She is 11 now and goes with me regularly to shoot. She has fired .38 special
ammo and really likes it. She's a good shot also.

I don't hunt anymore but I've taken her out with a .22 rifle and hiked around.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:34 PM   #8
Vanya
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As sakeneko noted, pax's website pretty much has this covered. The short answer is that if kids are around, guns need to be either securely locked up or on your person in a secure holster. I don't think there's really any middle ground, as far as that goes.

The backup to this, of course, is "Teach your children well." Teach them safe gun handling -- for younger kids, maybe all, that should include the understanding that "safe handling" means not handling them at all without an adult present. And letting them handle them with supervision, and shoot them when they're old enough, is probably a good way of demystifying guns, removing the "forbidden fruit" attraction that comes from being told "don't touch." If they know they can handle them if they ask, they may be less likely to "sneak."

But.. they're kids, and kids do stupid things, which is why locking them up (the guns, not the kids ) is also essential.

(ETA: KingEdward, ya nailed it. Fine job, and your daughter's a lucky girl to have a dad like you.)

Quote:
It's newsworthy when kids take the parent's gun and shoot it. We just had an incident in the last week or two.
Parents do stupid things, too, and so do boyfriends, like the one in my area who left his gun in the girlfriend's nightstand, where her kid found it, with tragic results.

Quote:
On the bb gun thing, some kid around here shot my car with a bb gun, and seems to also be killing pigeons. I'd hope kids with bb guns are supervised.[Vanya's emphasis]
I hope you called the police. In a lot of cities it's illegal to let off firearms within the city limits, and BB guns are often considered to be firearms under those laws. Shooting at cars is discouraged pretty well everywhere, I think, and killing pigeons might be a violation of humane laws... even though they're basically rats with wings.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:36 PM   #9
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I should also mention that while my wife does not own or shoot firearms, her father does and taught her from about the age of 8 on. She is comfortable
with what our daughter has learned / practices.
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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I, along with literally thousands of men and women, teach Hunter Safety. We tearch basic safe gun handling rules and pratices. We also teach that all guns in a household be secured, whether in a safe or with cable locks. I always mention that storing guns under your bed, between the mattress or standing in the closet, is no longer acceptable. Whenever I say this, I get a lot of side glances and/or nods. However,, as you have indicated, we can't control what others do in their homes, only ours. I personally can only have an effect on my kids and the kids we teach. The rest, I pray for every night.
Quote:
It's newsworthy when kids take the parent's gun and shoot it.
WOW !! How about tragic or criminal?? !!!
Also kids that get attacked by their familie's pit bulls or bermese pythons.


Be Safe !!!
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Old November 25, 2009, 01:50 PM   #11
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I have a young daughter who is almost a year. I think the key is to educate and also keep the guns where they are not such a temptation. However, the big thing that I am going to do is be open with her if she has questions or interests. If she or any other future kids want to see the guns I will show them when they ask. I have noticed that this helps with the curiosity factor. The problem I have noticed is when a family has guns but never shows the kids as if they were ashamed or do not want the kids to know. Well at some point the kids find out and they are much craftier than we think.
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Old November 25, 2009, 05:41 PM   #12
Glenn E. Meyer
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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.
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Old November 25, 2009, 06:12 PM   #13
mskdgunman
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I don't have kids so I really don't have a dog in the fight but I do have plenty of nieces and nephews who came around my place as kids. While one set of parents was very firearms friendly and taught their sons firearms safety from a young age, my other sister and her husband were fairly anti-gun so anything I taught was not reinforced when my nephew went home.

When he was old enough to hold an intelligent conversation and comprehend things, we would go over firearms safety and we would both sit down and clean guns, take them apart, put em together, clear them and talk. I'm pretty up front and down to earth so there was no BS. Explain that they're tools, like drills, saws and hammers and like all those things they're dangerous if you don't respect them.

We had those talks pretty regularly for a few years. I'd take him shooting (started with an air gun) and reinforce the talks with demonstrations. I'd correct him when he did something wrong and he began to take pride in doing things the right/safe way. He felt like a grown up and thats how I talked to him.

I wanted him to be comfortable and proficient enough where if one of his buddies pulled out dads .45 and my nephew was not able to immediately leave (the first option he was told to use), he would be able to render the weapon safe if the kid passed it to him.

I think the biggest thing is not to make them (firearms) an item of mystery which only invites curious attempts to find out what they are. While growing up, we had several guns in the house and most were loaded. All 5 kids knew where they were and we knew what they were. We had the opportunities to shoot them with supervision and knew that drastic consequences awaited us were we to touch them without dad being there. Too bad times have changed and growing up like that isn't as common these days
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Old November 25, 2009, 06:48 PM   #14
kayakersteve
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Here are my four and only four methods of being safe

First of all, I have had lots of practice and as the following picture demonstrates - Kids will always be kids:


Now for storage: main gun house for all guns not in use:


Gun in use will either be here:


or here:


Lastly, once old enough to have interest and understand what is being taught:
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Old November 25, 2009, 07:39 PM   #15
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We have two kids, both boys, one 17 mths, and one 3 1/2 years. Our policy is to lock up all guns, save the Remington 870 that hangs over the interior of our master bedroom closet. That gun is unloaded, and I have the ammo hidden and out of reach. However, as climbing is becoming the house passtime, the 870 is headed for the safe any day now. I keep handguns under the bed in a GunVault, and do the same on the first floor in the kitchen. That way they are secure, but quickly available should the need arise.

I agree with the above, training your kids is critical as well. Our older son is developmentally delayed (autism). He is just starting to be verbal - so we're probably a year or two away from teaching him about guns and safety related thereto. I will start with our younger little guy probably about the same time. I am a believer is not making guns a curiosity, as that only leads to kids sneaking around to find and play with them.
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Old November 25, 2009, 08:38 PM   #16
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IMHO... The first line against firearms falling into the hands of children is education. I'm a father of five. The youngest being 15. I spent a lot of time shooting, cleaning, and discussing my guns with my children. The firearms are no big mystery to them. I also keep the guns unloaded, and locked in a safe. My kids understand the proper handling of firearms, and have a deep respect for them. I'm sure a result of education... Guns hold no special fascination to them... Just another one of dad's tools.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:18 PM   #17
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I took all the curiosity out of guns with my daughter by unloading it giving it to her to hold and look it over and ask any question she may have....Then when she showed interest i bought her a .22 and took her to the range.
Then and now the ammo has and will always be locked in a safe.Not because i don't trust her but because i live in California.
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Old November 26, 2009, 02:35 AM   #18
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teach your kids about all the dangers of guns,teach them to shoot, take them out frequently to shoot,teach them to clean the guns and care for them and you wont ever have to worry about them ''messin around'' with guns.. at least thats been my experience..
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Old November 26, 2009, 08:55 AM   #19
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Having done all possible to insure my boys have the necessary fundamentals in safe gun handling my only concerns now are what Glenn Meyer touched on. Peer pressure and just plain bad decisions out of a child's mind.

Over the years (decade with my 13 year old) my boys have proved time and time again that they are safe. Both are excellent shots and my big boy is progressing into handgun/rifles tactics.

I do however remember the power of peer pressure and testosterone. Both have caused me to do things out of character for me as my mother can attest as I was her "good little boy" so she thought. From smoking cigs to drinking booze my "friends" pushed me from every angle. It is stronger than the threat from dad of a butt whipping or even the fear of the law quite frankly.

This is why my guns will stay locked up unless I am home AND supervising.
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Old November 26, 2009, 09:40 AM   #20
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I keep everything that I am not shooting locked up in my safe. If I am transporting a rifle or a shotgun in my truck it is always unloaded. I try and take my daughter to range as often as I can. My father never taught me to fear guns but to respect guns. That is what I am teaching my daughter.
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Old November 26, 2009, 05:51 PM   #21
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One of the most common practices amon non-shooting families is the ostrich technique whereby the parents pretend guns don't exist and don't talk about them at all. they avoid people who do shoot like the plague and as a result, firearms become a subject of taboo. Eventually children (especially males) will beecome curious about them. Unfortionatly this is one thing you don't want them to learn by their mistakes.

My mother was anti gun for most of my early life and while my father was a Marine, prefered not to talk about guns around my mother out of respect for her comfort. Most of what I know wbout guns i learned from books and from him. When I was 22, I took a CHL coruse and bought my first handgun. Early this year I took my father to the range where we shot together for the first time. He did pretty well for not having fired a pistol since vietnam.

My point, People fear what they do not understand. If you don't want to own a gun, that's fine, but be open to discussion with your children if they ask.
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Old November 26, 2009, 06:19 PM   #22
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+1 Phoebe

I have 6 kids - some my own, some adopted and they all were taught to shoot and it was a family outing that we did often.

As a family we slayed many a tin can and clay pigeon and we were mighty hunters all

All of them shoot and were taught very detailed safety .

Then I kept all guns locked up unless someone wanted to see a gun, after they are finished with it - then it was locked up again.

For home defense I kept a gun safe with push button lock under the bed and I was pretty fast getting to it if I thought I needed it.

Now guns are all over the house & my wife & I (and sometimes my kids & grand kids) shoot often.

My wife's great at remembering where all the guns are & we put them up when everyone visits.

Shooting is a great family past time.

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Old November 26, 2009, 06:31 PM   #23
Netzapper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioflyer
One of the most common practices amon non-shooting families is the ostrich technique whereby the parents pretend guns don't exist and don't talk about them at all. they avoid people who do shoot like the plague and as a result, firearms become a subject of taboo. Eventually children (especially males) will beecome curious about them. Unfortionatly this is one thing you don't want them to learn by their mistakes.
I grew up in an anti-gun household. Heck my mother wouldn't even let me have *toy* guns. She wouldn't even let me play paintball, since it involved a gunlike object. All this on the theory that if she never encouraged my interest in shooting, I'd never be "into" guns.

That worked out reaaaaal well. I bought a pistol two weeks after my 21st birthday and got my CCL a few months later. Then I bought a .22 pistol. Then another 9mm. Then a rifle. My wife, whose dad had guns, but whose mother wouldn't let him teach the kids how to use them, bought a nice old Remington 1100 shotgun a couple years ago, and a .22 pistol last year.

The ostrich approach just doesn't work.
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Old November 27, 2009, 02:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
The ostrich approach just doesn't work.
Yes, but the point is that it often doesn't work in a way *very* different than it failed to work with you and your wife. :/ You both were curious about and interested in guns, so *as adults* you learned how to handle guns properly and use them appropriately. That's a happy ending.

Not all the endings are that happy, though. A lot of curious kids brought up with the ostrich technique find a gun somewhere, don't know what to do with it, and end up hurting or killing themselves or somebody else. :/ The ostrich approach doesn't just not work. It's IMHO outright dangerous.

One thing I love about Pax's approach to guns and kids is that she thinks childish curiosity is best handled with information, not denial or obfuscation. I can't speak for everybody, but on all sorts of issues that approach worked with me when I was a kid.
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Old November 27, 2009, 07:33 AM   #25
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My dad didn't Ostrich me but more like just didn't let me hold and play with his guns except of the rare trip to the range. No safety education nothing. One day I'm alone in the house after school......I grab the old 36 smith from the closet pull it from the holster and aimed it at a wall of mirrors. It was so cool. I then pulled the hammer back. Now I notice the bullets in the cylinder as I lower the gun from eye level. I didn't know how to lower the hammer aside from pulling the trigger. I thought hard and long about how to do this without firing the gun knowing that dad would kick my butt for playing with the gun much less firing it or leaving it hammer back. Finally I pulled out a #2 pencil from my book bag placed it between the frame and hammer and pulled the trigger. The hammer snapped onto the pencil and I then pulled the pencil out sideways. It left yellow paint shavings everywhere. Thankfully my dad didn't noticed until many years later and after my adulthood.

The point is curiosity put me in harms way. The lack of education on guns worsened this event.
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