Guns and kids

We own guns. I’ve mentioned it in the past. We each own a handgun, we have a rifle, and we’re planning to purchase a shotgun soon. After that, we might add another rifle. I also, incidentally, want to master a recurve bow (or a longbow, I love the look of them) as well as a slingshot.

Anyway. Yeah. We own guns. AND we have children.

gasp! shock! horror!

So I thought I’d take a moment to discuss gun safety with children.

We take several precautions. First, we store the ammunition separately from the guns, with one exception I’ll mention in a second. So having the ammo in a different place automatically makes the whole system safer, because a person would have to go to two places to load a gun. There’s no “accidentally” loading a gun with this system.

Second, we keep the guns locked up. We have several gun safes. The kids at this age don’t know where the safes are, and they don’t know where the keys are. One gun, I keep the magazine loaded, and stored next to the gun. It’s ready to go at a moment’s notice if we need it, but is not quite loaded. This set-up is, of course, locked up.

Today, alone in the house and significantly freaked out after yesterday’s break-in, I kept one of our guns down in my office with me. I got the ammo and loaded the magazine, but kept the magazine and the gun separate, and both up on a shelf out of reach and sight of the kids. Wally didn’t even know I had it down there with us.

Third, we’ve laid down and emphasized some gun rules. We’ve let Wally handle the guns, unloaded. He’s sufficiently familiar with them that he recognizes them when he sees them and he doesn’t have that “forbidden fruit” aspect of something that’s completely off-limits. He is to touch them only with mommy or daddy there, never by himself, never with anyone else. If he sees a gun, he is to tell an adult immediately. He knows these things, he knows them. I have more confidence in Wally’s knowledge of these facts than I do in his knowledge of right and left.

Last night, when we had the gun out because we suspected there was a criminal in our house (and there was), he never once tried to touch it. This morning, after I realized there was something not working right with it (the magazine won’t load into the gun), I left it (unloaded and in four pieces) on the footboard of the bed. Wally saw it. He didn’t touch it. He looked at it, said “oh,” and that was it.

Additionally, he has his own pistol (it’s a soft pellet pistol) that he can practice with when we go to the shooting range. It stays locked up with the other guns, and is only gotten out when we’re shooting. He gets to feel special and like he has his own special gun that way.

I’ll talk about why I own guns in another post. Short story: I take my second amendment rights seriously. I believe in being able to defend myself. And I believe the second amendment is not JUST a right, but also a responsibly.

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