According to 2014 report by MSNBC, there are over 7,000 children a year hospitalized or fatally wounded by guns each year. While many of these deaths or injuries are caused by violent acts, many are simply caused by accidents in the homes that could have been prevented. If you are going to have a gun in your home for protection, hunting, or sport, it is imperative that you teach your children about gun safety. While there is a lot of controversy about guns and children living in the same home, the fact is that gun safety training can make all the difference in the world and may just be what keeps your child safe.
Remove the Secrecy
Many parents often hide their guns and do not even allow children to look at them. If a child finds the gun, they, of course, are in awe of its mystery and it is almost guaranteed that they will touch it. D5 Ranges said, “Removing the secrecy is the first step in gun training.” Allow your children to look at your gun, to touch it, and to hold it. Explain to them why you have the gun and how it works. Be sure to also explain that they are to not touch the gun unless an adult is with them and what to do if they were to find one in a friend’s home while playing. This education will take the mystery out of the gun for them and the majority of children will do the right thing if they come across one.
Teach Them Proper Use
While educating your child, you want to teach them what a bullet does on impact. In fact, taking your child to a gun range and showing them what happens is the best education they can have regarding gun safety. It is always better to allow a child to learn how to use a gun than it is to keep its use a secret. Not allowing them to learn the proper use of a gun will only make the gun more mysterious and more tempting to them.
Encourage Their Interest
If your child has a true interest in learning about guns, give them the encouragement. Many children like the idea of learning how to hit the target they are aiming for. Signing them up for classes at a gun range or in shooting competitions will be extremely beneficial to your child. If your child is showing an interest in hunting, sign them up for an age-appropriate hunter’s safety course. You may just find that there are more benefits to your child learning marksmanship skills as it is one activity that is going to improve their hand-eye coordination and will help them to learn control.
Teaching your child about gun safety may go against your first instincts, but according to an ABC News article, Nikki Jones, who teaches a women-only shooting league in Austin, teaching children how to use guns will take the mystery away from guns. Educating your children on gun safety, however, does not mean you should make your guns available to them whenever they want. Guns should still be locked up in a safe place in the home away from a child’s reach. Educating your children about guns will keep them from being tempted by them, though. In fact, after you educate your child about gun safety, your child may be the first one to run to tell an adult if they find a gun. This is the reason that so many people are teaching their children gun safety at an early age. Sadly, not all guns are locked up and out of reach of children, but hopefully, after being educated your child will follow their training and do the right thing if they ever do find one.