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Old May 29, 2013, 05:21 PM   #1
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Guns as a learning tool?

Hello everyone I was thinking the other day and wanted to get you opinions on the matter.

At the age of 5 years I started playing with toy guns. You know the plastic pop cap guns that look like the old single action revolvers! Well being the young whippersnapper I was my dad would yell at me anytime I pointed it at anyone. This trend of course continued as I grew, but I learned pretty quick that you never point a gun at someone even if it is a toy. At the age of 6 years my father sat me down and showed me his guns. Taught me how they work and laid down some ground rules. (#1) I was never to touch or even look at them without him being there. If I wanted to see them I had to let him know so he could be present. (#2) Never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to kill. Death is a hard concept for a 6 year old, but he made his point clear. If you accidentally shoot someone you never see them again. This was of course part of the always point the muzzle in a safe direction rule. (#3) If I ever broke rules 1 or 2 I would get a butt beating with a leather belt and it would not be gentle. This was of course just one of many punishments that would be levied in conjunction with each other.

A few years later my dad signed me up for a gun safety class at the gun club. I passed and he began letting me shoot. We went to group meetings and I shot lots of archery and .22 long rifle. After a few months my dad let me shoot his .243 dear rifle. When I turned 12 I got to shoot his 12ga shotgun which knocked me over. Always though the rules were the same. Is dad here? Nope? Then no guns! Once in high school he began trusting me on my own with pellet guns, and would let me take his compound bow over to a neighbor kids house to shoot archery. Eventually I got out of shooting as I had things going on that were more important. At the age of 21 I considered getting my CPL, but just did not have the money. At 22 I looked into attending the police academy and my dad took me out with his 9mm to teach me some basics. After talking to the officers I know still on the force I ended up deciding against it. Things just aren't like they were when my dad did it. This last year I decided no more dancing around it. Time to buy my own gun and get my CPL. After months of research I made up my mind. Now that I have been out shooting again a lot of what the old man taught me is still there. Particularly being mindful of the muzzle. And then I realized that my dad wasn't just teaching me gun safety or how to shoot. He was teaching me personal responsibility and self discipline. Our talks about gun safety were about teaching me personal accountability. That when you screw up it is your fault and sometimes your actions affect other people in a very profound way.

So what do the lot of ya think? Are guns a good way to teach personal accountability? I never got what my dad was really trying to say until a day or so ago and I'm 25! But understood or not the lessons were taught and they did stick.
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Old May 29, 2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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My firearm demonstrated life lessons from my Dad where more along the lines of self sufficiancy, personal rights and the personal cost of induvidual rights.

1. The best way to be protected is to protect yourself.
2. The best way to protect someone you love is teach them to protect themself.
3. If you want the right to do for yourself, you take on the responcibity for yourself, and if you screw up, it's on you.

He also highly encoraged me to be assertive, honest, to stand my ground and make my own choices in life and made sure I knew I could.
Mal: "If anyone gets nosy, know... shoot 'em. "
Zoe: "Shoot 'em?"
Mal: "Politely."
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:13 PM   #3
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Also excellent life lessons. My dad's way of teaching me self reliance was to make me solve my own problems. Worked too.

Anyone else learn important things about life from firearms?
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:36 PM   #4
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Guns as a learning tool?

I learned a very important lesson through firearms:

I learned to base my views on logic, and a foundation of understanding.

I grew up in a family that doesn't realize that they are anti-gun. It's that same kind of awkwardness you experience around people who say things that are flagrantly racist, and believe that they aren't. Some of that stuff seeped into my world view.

My awakening was abrupt, and embarrassing. In time, I went from "zero to sixty" (accidentally anti-gun to managing a gun store).

As my learning journey progressed, it made me question how many misreported facts I digest in the news without realizing it. I now spend a LOT of time researching things to make sure I understand what I'm hearing.
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Old May 30, 2013, 12:27 AM   #5
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Your dad sounds like a smart man and a good father. My dad was the same, and I passed it on to my kids. I taught my kids the same thing about pointing toy guns at those not in the game (non-combatants). People can find it offensive.

I'll never forget the time I rolled in from work and my boys were in the yard having a shoot-out. They were all Starskey & Hutching it with one behind the tree and the other behind a bush by the front door. As I came up the walk through the cross-fire, they both averted the muzzles to low ready away from me, and a quick glance confirmed trigger fingers outside the guard as I had taught them. I gave them a casual good boys as I walked in, but then...whoa. I almost came to tears I was feeling so proud of them! My boys were safer at 6 years old than many thirty year olds are nowadays.

Guns are an absolutely wonderful learning tool for youngsters that encompass such a wide range of life lessons that they are almost indispensable as such. It's all perspective to applicability.
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Old May 30, 2013, 09:47 AM   #6
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
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Teaching kids to follow the four rules with toy guns, and adding "Never point them at non-combatants," is absolutely the best solution to the toy gun question that I've ever heard. Wonderful!

You have every right to be proud, of those kids and of yourself.
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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Old May 31, 2013, 04:50 AM   #7
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I whole heatedly agree with Vanya Edward you should be very proud.

Rbid I am always glad to see when someone does not just take things at face value. It can be hard to do especially when it agrees with your world view. Congrats on being and FFL I hear it is hard to get the license.
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