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Old 09-20-2010, 06:46 AM   #1
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Default Safety discussion with children

Hey guys, if I can I would like to tap into some knowledge & wisdom from some of you more senior members who've been around the block a time or two. Currently I have two firearms in my home for protection(both pistols). I have discussed with my wife that the guns are a "last resort", as we have a very good monitored security system installed. Living in our home is my wife, my 7 year old daughter, & myself. Our families policy concerning firearms is that SAFETY is paramount to EVERYTHING else!! As we all know, you never get a second chance to take back a tradgedy. My question herein lies with my daughter. I need some suggestions on how to speak with my daughter about firearms safety. I personally do not think it's very wise to just never talk to her about the guns, and just always be "hiding" them from her, lest her curiosity & inquisitive nature get the best of her. I think she needs to know what they are capable of & what they are for. I do not yet have a gun safe, but that is among my TOP priorities to obtain,

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:45 AM   #2
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I keep my revolver in a Gun Vault next to my bed. It works by both key and keypad entry. The keys are in a lock box at the bank so now it is operable by keypad only. My gun is never out of the box unless I'm with it. My children are all grown and gone but I do have a 4 year old granddaughter that comes to my house very often. Personally, I would never keep a loaded gun "hidden" somewhere with a child in the house. In my opinion, THAT'S how accidents happen. Definitely talk to her about guns and that she should never touch one without you being present with her but I think first and foremost don't leave that possibility of an accident waiting to happen. I just think a child coming across a 'hidden' gun is going to investigate it. My Gun Vault has 4 buttons that you push in a pattern, no numbers assigned to the buttons so you can open it in the dark. And I have practiced opening it a lot until I got good at it without seeing the keys. When the right pattern is pushed, the door flies open quickly. You don't have to manually open the door. I have a friend who lives in a very large house and he has guns all over throughout his house. Each one is in a locked Gun Vault.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by capnklump View Post
I do not yet have a gun safe, but that is among my TOP priorities to obtain,Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
This is how "top priority" the safety of my granddaughter was to me. I didn't even buy ammunition for my gun until I HAD a Gun Vault. In my opinion, a loaded gun in a house with a child is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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With our kids- and now grandkids- there is an age below which you are NOT going to effectively communicate. Varies with kids, but averages around 6-8. Short attention span thing (like some of the folks that post here )

Below that age, the ONLY reliable thing is to physcially secure the weapon. If you do not have a safe, here is a link to Harbor Freight- Search results for: 'safe' They have a bedside fingertip digital ttype for $120. Cant afford that- small digital combo steel safe for $30. Can't afford that- get a cable type bicycle lock. Yes, cheap Chinese chit- some us may only be able to AFFORD cheap Chinese chit right now.

Old enough that you are no longer attempting to communicate with an alien species? By all means, DO talk with them- but do not make it into the talk of the century (that will come when she starts dating- trust me). Always told our kids if you want to see one, ask, I'll stop what I am doing, we can look together, but that is Mommy and Daddy's, and not for little people. Same thing goes for sharp knives in the kitchen, and my ripsaw in the shop.

When they get old enuff, take them shooting. Old enough, again, varies. DO remember that you have possibility of visitors, your kid's friends, etc.

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Old 09-20-2010, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default A long time ago -

when my kids were 6 or 7, in a different time and place (40 years ago) I took them out with my .410 shotgun got them close enough to hit an melon and let each one fire at it.

1) It kicked which they weren't prepared for

2) Blew a hole in the melon and chunks all over them

3) Since I had their attention we had the don't point at what you don't intend to kill, every gun is always loaded - always. Etc. Back then I only had a .22 semi & the shotgun. But they never touched it and weren't inquisitive about it.

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Old 09-20-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Get with your local PD, Sheriff's Department, or school district, see if anyone in your area teach the Eddie Eagle Program. It is a good start for the younger ones until you feel that they are mature enough to take to the range.

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Old 09-20-2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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Get with your local PD, Sheriff's Department, or school district, see if anyone in your area teach the Eddie Eagle Program. It is a good start for the younger ones until you feel that they are mature enough to take to the range.
+10 on the Eddie Eagle Program!!

I would add....Take her shooting. Demonstrate the destructive power of a firearm. Emphasize that they aren't toys. Insure she knows how to use the weapon in the event she has to defend herself.

Be safe, safe, safe!
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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I don't really remember my Dad giving me much discussion on the topic of shooting safety. The main thing i remember is that the first thing i shot with my first firearm was alive before i shot it and dead after; even at age 6, that made the point pretty well.

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:09 PM   #9
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Eddie Eagle= good. + 1000. When I was a youngster, would go along w/ pop hunting. Bird flies up, BANG, bird hits ground, fetch the bird (we could not afford a me AND a retriever)- you make the connection pretty quick- as well as admiring the old man as a pretty good wing shot-

BTW- not selling their stuff for them, but anyone going the Harbor Freight route, any issue of American Rifleman or Popular Science has a coupon in there for 20% off any one item in the store.

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:31 PM   #10
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I've been teaching hunter safety to kids for nearly 16 years. Most of these kids come from families with hunting backgrounds and been around firearms most of their short lives. There is so much more than telling a child "don't touch" as they need to be taught safe firearm handling practices.

I find that teaching firearm safety to children under age of nine is problematic as their attention span usually goes out the window in a matter of heartbeats. Again, the exception is the kids that grown up in a hunting families as some of these children have been shooting from a very early age. The curiosity factor does not come into play often with these children as it would in non hunting/shooting families.

Lock the firearms away until your daughter is mentally mature enough to realize how dangerous firearms actually can be. As you don't have a safe you can use trigger locks. When you think she is ready, get her in a safety program and take her shooting. Good Luck.

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