We live in a society that has a major stigma about firearms. It seems like people are either radically opposed to owning guns or they are vehemently in favor of the constitutional right to bear arms. For the most part, preppers tend to embrace firearms as an essential aspect of being prepared for an emergency situation. However, if you have kids in your home, it puts a whole new spin on the situation.
With horrible events like the Sandy Hook shooting, our nation as a whole seems to be terrified of mixing children and firearms. But the truth is that guns and kids can be in the same place without sacrificing public safety. It is up to the parent to teach a child the proper way to view and handle guns. If you have a child in your home, here are three basic firearm lessons to teach your kids now. By taking time to cover these simple lessons, you can protect your children from harm and start the process of having another educated prepper that knows the proper way to handle your weapons in a survival scenario.
How to Identify the Sound of Gunfire
It is essential that your children know how to identify the sound of gunfire. It can be difficult for even an experienced police officer to discern the difference between a firecracker and a gunshot, but your kids need exposure to understand what the sound means so they can take action for the sake of safety. So what is the best way to get your kids used to what a gun sounds like?
Start by taking a trip to a local shooting range. You don’t have to actually shoot guns with your child if that makes you uncomfortable, but you should get close enough that you can clearly hear the sound that firing a weapon makes. If you visit an outdoor shooting range, just park nearby and let your kids hear the sounds of gunfire without ear protection. As you move closer to the firing range, you can let them hear the sounds both with and without ear protection so they can hear the difference.
Use this lesson as a starting point to teach your kids what to do if they ever hear that sound. Talk about when they should run and when they should take cover. Emphasize the urgency of acting quickly when you hear gunfire and talk about how a bullet can travel large distances quickly. This is also a good time to review how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
How to Hide and Take Cover
The next important firearms lesson should be how to properly take cover if your child ever hears gunfire. Talk about the difference between simply hiding vs. concealing their location carefully. Anyone can hide, but concealment can be tricky. If your child hears gunfire, it’s probably not best to just hide behind a silk tree in the corner of the living room. That isn’t going to offer any protection from stray bullets. Show your child the best and safest hiding places in your home and outside of your home and have them practice a drill where they react to the sound of gunfire. You should teach them to recognize and use the phrase, “Take Cover!” as a signal to go quickly.
With so many school shootings happening, I would also recommend that you talk about how to take cover in public places. For instance, you kid needs to know that hiding behind a brick wall or a concrete barrier is a better choice than just crouching under a wooden desk. These are scenarios that no parent wants to think about, but in today’s crazy world, it’s better to have these conversations ahead of time, just in case.
Guns are Not Toys… Ever!
Teach your children to respect guns as dangerous. They should have a healthy fear of guns before you ever allow them to even touch one. Talk about the difference in how you handle toys vs. how you handle guns. The first rule you should discuss is that you never, ever point a gun at another person. Always assume a gun is loaded and treat it that way, even if you think you saw someone unload it.
Several years ago, there was a tragic accident in my community that could have been avoided if this lesson had been properly communicated to the children involved. A little boy saw his grandfather’s gun tucked in a nightstand drawer and picked it up. He had never held a real gun and no one had ever taught him to respect firearms as dangerous and deadly. So he excitedly showed the gun to his younger sister and playfully pointed it in her direction. He was only joking when he said, “Bang!” but when he pulled the trigger, a bullet landed right in his sister’s chest. She died moments later. By the time the grandfather heard the shot and ran to the room, the little girl was already dead and her brother was forever changed.
Stories like this are heart breaking, but they are true. If you have children, it’s essential that you talk to them about the dangers of firearms whether you keep them in your home or not. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to store the guns out of reach and where kids cannot accidentally find them. However, if they do encounter a gun whether it is at home or at a friend’s house, make sure they know exactly what to do and what not to do.
With a few simple conversations, you could save the life of your child. So what are you waiting for? Go start a discussion right now.