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Gun Safety for Kids – and Things Everyone Should Know

gun safety for kids via @chgdiapers

This blog is not a political platform, and I don’t intend for that to change. However, a recent discussion on a forum made me want to write this post.

No matter where you stand on the issue of gun control, I think it’s important for your children to know a few basics about gun safety.

In my opinion, all children should know to take the following steps if they ever see a gun.

Do not touch
Leave the area
Tell an adult

While we all hope our children would never stumble upon a firearm at a playground or a friend’s house (and most of us take steps to make sure that doesn’t happen) it’s not unheard of. This discussion should be ongoing, like any other serious subject (fire safety, growing up etc.)

Even if you have no desire to ever see or touch a firearm in your lifetime, I think all adults should know the following basic safety rules:

Always assume a firearm is loaded
Do not aim at anything you don’t intend to shoot
Keep your finger off the trigger unless you are ready to shoot

If you are a hunter or recreational target shooter, you will know additional rules like knowing what is beyond your target, how to assure your firearm is not loaded, how to clean it etc. However, these basic safety rules are must have knowledge for everyone in my opinion.

I think it is absolutely heartbreaking every time I see a news story about an accidental shooting and wanted to share these reminders.

No matter how you feel about guns, have you had any discussions with your children about what to do if they see a gun?


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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
8 Comments
  • Marvin
    October 10, 2016 at 5:59 am
    Reply

    I agree with your stance. Do not ever let a child get close to a gun. Guns are NOT toys!

  • October 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm
    Reply

    Growing up we had guns. I remember my dad bringing my siblings and I in the dining room and telling us that he had a gun. He said we were NEVER to touch it. He put the unloaded gun in the case and put it on top of the china cabinet. He then put the bullets in the sideboard and told us we were never to touch those either.

    When we were in our early teens, he then taught us how to shoot guns in our backyard, but again, he always stressed safety, and if people were being stupid, he was not afraid to tell people to leave.

    In my opinion, it’s fun to shoot guns for target practice and hunting, but children need to understand that GUNS ARE NOT TOYS.

  • Athena
    October 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

    DD is 18 months. Hubby just got into guns a couple months ago and we now own 2. The gun safe is being delivered today and i see this conversation in our future.

  • October 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    Reply

    We own guns, and will take them out back and shoot them. We talk to the kids about them each time we do, but I like your approach to the rules about them. We just talk about them, how they aren’t toys, they can be dangerous, only for grown ups, etc.. And of course, we keep them locked up.

  • October 16, 2013 at 12:17 pm
    Reply

    My kids are too little right now (2.5 and 1) but my husband grew up going to the firing range and was in the military, and is adamant that our kids will growing up being taught how to use firearms, which also means knowing how dangerous they can be and how to ensure you’re keeping everyone safe. He’s just as adamant that kids shouldn’t be allowed to think of guns as toys, and that toy guns won’t be allowed in our house. I think he makes a good point and I’m on board with that, but I feel like there are some grey areas (what about Super Soaker water guns, or Nerf guns? They’re not realistic looking at ALL, but they shoot projectiles, so is that the same thing? I have trouble thinking that kids wouldn’t see anything wrong with approaching a rifle just because they’ve had a water fight, but I wonder if anybody has done any kind of study on that? Kids opinions on guns based on previous exposures to real guns versus pretend guns?) But I can see the problem with giving kids realistic gun toys, and them growing up not learning to take guns seriously.

    • Maria
      October 16, 2013 at 12:21 pm
      Reply

      I have the same questions about the toy guns so I just follow my instincts. They can use squirt guns etc, but I don’t allow any “you’re dead” type stuff. No pretending with firearms basically. Squirting water is OK. 🙂

      • Maria
        October 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm
        Reply

        What I’m trying to say is “squirt squirt you’re wet” is OK with me, but “bang bang, you’re dead” is not, whether it be a squirt gun, a stick, a finger etc. Probably a good habit anyway given all the zero tolerance in schools! My husband and lots of other boys played “cowboys and Indians” and were fine, but for ME, I don’t care for it.

  • Kate
    October 16, 2013 at 10:41 am
    Reply

    We don’t have guns and never will but I absolutely intend to teach my children basic gun safety (they’re a little too young right now). Also, since my older brother is a gun owner (he hunts) when my kids are old enough I plan on having him show them his guns and talk about gun safety in a little more detail. I hope that will help take some of the attraction of the forbidden away from guns and I think that his example (someone who uses guns but is extremely careful about keeping them unloaded and locked up separately from the ammunition) will help impress on them how import gun safety is even for adults.

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