Guns are a fact of life. If you have children and a gun then it is important that you sit them down and talk to them about guns, gun safety and the danger associated with kids.
The aim is not to frighten them but to teach them a healthy respect for these potentially deadly weapons.
Of course, you can also share information regarding the best hunting scope or what other accessories you should consider when purchasing a gun.
But before they handle a gun it is important that you do these 5 things:
Your child needs to know that if they ever find a gun they should not touch it but come to get you. It is essential that they know that guns can be extremely dangerous.
The fact is that 1,300 children die every year from guns. You don’t want this to be your child, so tell them the facts and show them pictures if necessary.
It is a good idea to create several scenarios where your child may come across a gun.
You should encourage your child to treat these scenarios as genuine and react in the correct way. Getting as far away from the gun as possible and telling a trusted adult such as you or a teacher must be the first thing they do.
You cannot practice this too much.
After you’ve finished role-playing leave your child to ply for a while. Place a realistic gun somewhere in your home where they will find it and leave the room.
You can use your own gun if you have one but make sure it is not loaded.
Leave the room and wait for them to find the gun. They should come and tell you. If they don’t then you need to repeat stage 2 again.
You can’t always be there to protect your child but you can verify that the places they visit are safe. If your child is going to a friend’s house to play then check with their parents whether they have a gun and whether it is accessible.
If you are not happy with the response you get then invite their child to your house instead of allowing your child to go to theirs.
Before your child leaves to play test them again on the rules regarding gun safety.
When you decide that your child is old enough to handle the gun then you need to make sure they know to always point it away from themselves.
You should not load the gun until they are ready to shoot and your child must understand the damage that a gun can do.
Even when they are allowed to touch your gun you should keep it unloaded and locked away for safety.
Accidents happen extremely quickly even if you are well trained. Your child must know to treat the gun with the utmost respect and assume it is always loaded.