NOTE: Some of this information is taken from an NRA pamphlet, and some from my own experience, it is not all NRA verbatim, it is an informative read, especially for people with children or those whom you know have children.
ACCORDING TO FEDERAL STATISTICS, THERE ARE GUNS IN APPROXIMATELY HALF OF ALL U.S. HOUSEHOLDS. THE PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY; In a home where guns are kept, the degree of safety a child has rests squarely on the child’s parents. Parents who accept the responsibility to learn, practice and teach gun safety rules will ensure their child’s safety to a much greater extent than those who do not. Parental responsibility however does not end when the child leaves the home. Even if no one in your family owns a gun, chances are that someone you know does. Your child could come into contact with a gun at a neighbor’s house while playing with friends, or under other circumstances outside your home. It is critical for your child to know what to do if he or she encounters a firearm anywhere, and it is the parents responsibility to provide that training.
TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT GUN SAFETY; There is no particular age to talk with your child about gun safety. A good time to introduce the subject is the first time he or she shows an interest in firearms, even toy pistols or rifles. Talking openly and honestly about gun safety with your child is usually more effective than just ordering him or her to “stay out of the closet”, and leaving it at that. Such statements may well stimulate a child’s natural curiosity to investigate further, when your not around. As with any safety lesson, explaining the rules and answering a child’s questions help to remove the mystery surrounding guns for them. Any rules set for your child will also apply to friends who visit your home. This will help keep your child from being pressured into showing a gun to a friend.
TOY GUNS vs. REAL GUNS; It is advisable, particularly with very young children, to discuss gun use on TV as opposed to gun use in real life. Firearms are often handled carelessly in movies and on TV. Additionally, children see TV and movie characters shot and “killed” with well documented frequency. When a young child sees that same actor appear in another movie or TV show, confusion between entertainment and real life may result. It may be a mistake to assume that your child knows the difference between being “killed” on TV and in reality. If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to demonstrate safe gun handling and explain how they differ from real firearms. There should be no chance that he or she could mistake a real gun for a toy. (To Be Continued on page 2, G.S. #17)
Mark Shean- About Me
www.mafirearmsafety.com written 12-25-09