Gun Safety: Don’t Child Proof Your Guns, Gun Proof Your Children

Firearms have been used by the human race for hundreds of years. In fact, the first “firearm” was found in china and dated back to the 13th century… of course; it was a bit different than the guns we use today. Let’s face it: guns are part of our history and will continue to be a viable part of our world. Guns are not “evil” or “bad” in and of themselves, but when handled by someone without the proper training, they can be very dangerous. It’s not enough to keep your guns locked away or hidden from you family. No. It’s much more important to teach children (and adults for that matter) how to handle guns safely so that they can avoid dangerous situations and accidents.

Why teach your kids about guns?

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Kids are curious. They want to know about guns! They see them on TV, they see them in videogames, and they see them in your home. If you teach your kids how to handle guns properly and why it’s important to follow gun safety rules, then guns will lose their allure. Basically, if you teach your kids about guns, then they will treat them with care and respect.

Now you’re thinking: okay, so I want to teach my kids about guns, but how can I do it safely? With so many accidental shootings that are child-related, this concern is a valid one. Remember in that great movie, A Christmas Story, when Ralphie gets his BB gun and his parents just send him to the backyard? It’s a little unsettling to think of sending your child out back to shoot completely unsupervised. There is a better way to do it!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make your kids familiar with the Guns you own.
    Of course you’re not going to just hand your kids the key to your gun safe, but it is important that they understand the guns that you own. When I was younger, my family would go shooting every once in a while. I must’ve been 8 or 9, and I was terrified of shooting. I didn’t know the basics of the guns that we owned, and it was scary to think of holding a firearm with power that I didn’t understand. If my dad had taken me aside and taught me where the safety was and what it was used for, how to hold the gun properly, and had given me a basic play by play of how the gun fired a bullet, I would’ve been much more comfortable. Being familiar with guns can help your kids see guns as useful tools rather than deadly weapons.
  • Show your kids the destructive power of guns.
    You want your kids to be comfortable with guns and understand that they are tools, but you can’t neglect to show them the “dark side” too. Take your kids shooting and let them see a target smashed to pieces. Let them see the bloody holes in the game that you bring home after a day of hunting. Show them that guns are not toys. The memory of watching a parent destroy a target with a single bullet will live on in the memory of your child and the different between guns and toys will be crystal clear.
  • Be a good Example.
    You know how to be safe with guns. You know the rules that you should follow. As you teach your kids age appropriate gun safety, you need to show them the way. Just as a wall is built brick by brick, you must teach your kids gun safety rule by rule. If you don’t live what you teach, how can you expect your kids to follow in your footsteps? Be what you preach. Show respect and reverence for your firearms, and your kids will do the same.

This guest post was written by Penelope — a college student and a blog writer for, an online store that sells standard and inside the waist band holsters. She currently resides in Murray, Utah and loves to go hiking, camping, and shooting with her extended family and friends when she has time.

6 thoughts on “Gun Safety: Don’t Child Proof Your Guns, Gun Proof Your Children

  1. I started teaching both of my boys about guns at an early age. My oldest was about 3 when I started teaching him, the youngest was taught about guns almost as soon as he could crawl. Both boys owned bb guns until they were big enough to handle a firearm, they both had to go through AZ G&F gun safety program before they could own their own rifle. They’ve grown up to be responsible gun owners and have made me very proud.

  2. This is pretty close to what I did, I told our son that if he wanted to look at any of the family’s guns, just ask and we would look at it together. Then we would go through the ritual of each of us checking that it was safe to handle by sight and feel. When we went camping he got to shoot. The guns were no mystery and he knew safe gunhandling from early on.

  3. Particularly like your second suggestion ! I made it a point – when my kids got interested in guns – to allow them to handle them and even shoot them – under strictly controlled conditions. I would then use one to destroy a favorite toy to demonstrate the destructive power of firearms. FWIW all my kids can recite the “Four Rules” verbatim ! >MW

  4. Teaching your kids about guns is an excellent idea.
    Another approach is to get your kids into one of the programs that teach firearm safety. The 4-H Shooting Sports program is an excellent example. The advantages are many. Trained, certified instructors. Your kids learning along with other kids. Better access to shooting ranges. You’ll pick up more teaching techniques.
    Of course you may end up volunteering, and get even more rewarding time with your kids, shared with other parents with their kids.

  5. That’s a sensible way of educating kids about how to handle a BB gun. They always look up to what we do and how we do it so it always makes a lot of sense to be their pole star.

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