Guns the Right Way: Introducing Kids to Firearm Safety and Shooting (2015)
Refreshers, Reminders and Reinforcements
There is so much information to convey, so many variables, and so many details to take into account when introducing children to firearms. Let’s review some of the key takeaways that we have learned about the proper introduction of youth to firearms.
In Chapter 1, we discussed why every child needs to learn about firearm safety - that it is important not only to expose children to new things and information, but is the responsible and ethical thing for us to do in order to keep all children safe.
Chapter 2 discussed when a child is old enough to be introduced to firearms. The short answer is that it is entirely dependent upon the child.
Chapter 3 had important tips and tricks for preparing to introduce young children to guns: Make certain you are familiar with the rules of safety and handling, create fun situations in which to learn and be consistent. The theme of this chapter was the role of fun and play in teaching young children. There was important information for teaching children of every age, dealing with left- and right-handed students as well as eye dominance.
Variables to consider when teaching kids include left- and right-handedness, and eye dominance.
Chapter 4 discussed tweens and some of the unique issues of teaching children ages 10 to 12. It also dispels the myth that there is a “magic age” that a child is ready to learn to shoot. Competition becomes an effective teaching and learning tool at this age.
Chapter 5 gave some helpful tips and tricks when dealing with teenagers. Teens tend to have issues that are more “adult-like” than younger children.
Chapter 6 discussed how video games can help and hurt, appropriately following the teen chapter. As with all things in life, responsible use and moderation is the most effective method in using video games as a reinforcement or teaching tool.
Chapter 7 discussed the 10 Commandments - the extension on the four cardinal rules of firearm safety. The 10 Commandments are:
Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Be certain of your target and what lies beyond it.
Always keep your gun unloaded until ready to use.
Know how to use and operate your firearm safely.
Always wear proper I am your protection whenever you will be shooting.
NEVER use alcohol, prescription, or nonprescription drugs before or while shooting.
Use only the correct improper ammunition for your firearm.
Never rely on a gun safety as anything but a back up to your safe handling.
Chapter 8 discussed the concept of homework and provided specific exercises, questions and drills to reinforce what a child learns while under your instruction, and to encourage the development of good and safe habits when handling firearms.
Chapter 9 was all about choosing the right equipment and ancillary products to ensure safe, comfortable and fun experience when handling and shooting firearms. The key takeaway from this chapter is the concept of fit-feel-function in choosing a firearm and accessories for a child. Equipment that does not fit well, or is designed for a child of larger or smaller stature, is unsafe.
Chapter 10 described the demonstration of power that is mentioned in several areas of the book. This is an essential part of introducing any youth to firearms, as it makes a real impression of what a firearm, even a small one, is capable of doing and why we always, always, always follow the 10 Commandments of firearm safety.
Chapter 11 was all about putting deadly power in the hands of a child, and dealt mostly with responsibility - a very subjective assessment, and something that is different for every child. There were four key evaluators that you should use prior to allowing a child to shoot - their level of knowledge of firearms and firearm safety, their openness to instruction, their interaction with and around others and their behavior. Use this knowledge to develop an effective plan to mentor that child in the safe handling and use of firearms.
Choosing the right equipment helps ensure a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience when handling and shooting firearms.
Chapter 12 dives deeper into the 10 Commandments, and specifically focuses on the one rule that is never violated. It is the first rule of firearm safety - always treat every gun as if it were loaded - and following it ensures that you or students will never have an unfortunate incident with a firearm.
Chapter 13 dealt with your child’s friends, neighbors, teachers and relatives. The topic of firearms is a delicate issue, one that a child needs to be properly prepared for in order to have a positive experience when facing potentially adverse or even confrontational experiences.
Chapter 14 introduced competition and some of the more popular shooting sports available to youth, as well as the benefits of competition, interaction with other youth their age, and additional instruction opportunities available.
Chapter 15 discussed hunting, whether your child should or shouldn’t hunt and some hints and tips to make an introduction to the sport a positive, fun experience.
An introduction to hunting should be a positive, enjoyable experience.
SO, ARE YOU READY?
By now you should be well on your way to becoming an effective mentor to your child or any other youth you wish to introduce to firearm safety and safe use.
I leave you with this: The fact that you are reading this book says two things very clearly. You care about the safety and future of youth in this country, and you have an interest at least in shooting and firearms.
Our children are our future and I urge you to take the knowledge you have gained from this book and use it to become an advocate for the safe introduction and, hopefully, continued participation in firearm ownership and use by those you mentor. If we wish to continue the pursuit of happiness and freedom that we have today, it is our duty to instill within them the morals, ethics and values with which we have been raised.
As you read this book, our right to possess firearms in this country has been and remains to be under assault. As a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” the future of firearms and firearm ownership in the United States is up to you.
Regardless of your political affiliations, I urge you to become educated on important topics to our society and freedom, from people that you associate with, as well as several, competing viewpoints, and then make sure to take part in our political process by voting your conscience based on that thorough education.