The personal thoughts and comments of Gene, "The Aggie."

Use any information found here at your own risk. I am not responsible for the consequences of your use, misuse or abuse, of this information. I do not advocate or condone violence except for lawful protection of life, liberty and, in very limited cases, property. Nothing included in this site is to be taken as legal advice.

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'Gun-Free Zones' are only gun-free, until somebody brings a gun. - Unknown

Friday, April 18, 2008

Guns and Our Kids (II) - There IS a Difference, You Know!

Our #2 kiddo learned about firearms in a bit of a different way than our first. Our boy was four when he "discovered" we had guns in the house. We had kept them locked away, literally out of his reach, etc. until about his 4th year. This is how it happened.

We had moved and the guns had been stored for some time. I finally decided it was time to give them some TLC and inspect and clean them. I also wanted to extract the Colt Det Spcl and load it up. We prepared our storage space for it.

A brief detour.

#2 kid, as had #1, had shown a willingness to obey. Not that he wasn't strong-willed, but when push came to shove he could be trusted to do what you wanted him to do. Yes, he'd run toward the street like any other crumb-cruncher. However, he'd halt and return immediately when called out. That kind of obedience. In addition, both had been raised around my ham radio equipment. While they both showed curiosity, they both had never "fondled" the gear with out my being present. No fingerprints, no nuttn'.
My schedule for that particular day allowed me to start while #2 was napping, knowing that he might (probably?) awake before I was done. I only had time to do a handgun. By the time he awoke, I had almost finished the Colt (previous post) and was getting ready to reload it for secure placement.

In walked the rug-rat! He caught me! Accidently on purpose. ;>)

I still remember his eyes becoming huge as he realized I had a real gun in my hands. Whooopeee! Of course, he reached out to touch it and I stopped him. Then it hit me. There was a way to impress on his 4-year old mind that this was not to be fooled with.

I began by reminding him of the differences between reality and fantasy, things we had already discussed several times. I told him he could hold it any time he wanted to if I or SWMBO! :

  1. Gave permission and
  2. Supervised.

He just grinned and then sweetly asked permission.

"Of course you can!" He was following the "script" I had just dreamed up!

I sent him to his room to get one of his toy guns. He returned with a plastic toy Colt .45 SAA. We had already been teaching him to not "shoot" at the other kids. He had that part down pat. He stood there, facing me. "Hold out your pistol in one hand and hold out your other hand" I instructed. He did, empty hand palm up to receive the real Colt. I opened the Colt's cylinder and showed him it was empty and handed him the Det Spcl, cylinder open. With a weight of about 1-1/2 - 2 lbs, he almost dropped it. Back to BIG EYES.

He was expecting the Det Spcl to be the feather-weight of his larger toy. Surprise! I caught the Det Spcl and then we had THE TALK.

You know. THE TALK. "There is a difference, you know!"

There's a difference 'tween toys and real. You can't always tell if a
"gun" you find laying around is "real" or a "toy." Ask me, mom or another adult if we're not with you.
If you see a gun:
Don't Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.
(The NRA's Eddie Eagle program)

It works. Teach your young kids gun-safety for their sake. You, or another, responsible adult may not be around to help if they find a real gun.

Kids are curious. Satisfy that curiosity is a safe way. If you are not comfortable with, or knowledge about, guns get help.

Teach your older kids how to shoot, hunt, live in the outdoors and generally fend for themselves. In our case, we didn't get too much of the outdoors stuff due to problems with my health. We did teach them to shoot. They learned to safely operate revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, bolt-action and semi-auto rifles and pump shotguns. Those were the tools we had available at the time.

OUR "kids" know which end of a gun is which. DO YOURS? Your kid's life depends on it!

You can do it. We'll be happy to work with you if you are not too far away. Or, maybe we can steer you to internet-based resources we've found useful. A good place to start, besides the NRA. is the left-side bar labeled "Firearms."

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