Let’s first understand if there is a “right time” for your children to dive into the world of firearms.
This largely depends on your child, but we will talk about this a little later. In this matter, your internal readiness to explain to the child all the subtleties of handling weapons, what can and cannot be done, as well as all the possible risks that may arise from improper use, is very important.
Believe me, it doesn’t matter if you have a gun for self-defense, whether you often go hunting or take part in shooting sports, it is very important that every child has an understanding of guns.
What you need to know in advance
In our society, one can often come across the opinion that it is unacceptable to introduce children to firearms at an early age. Their beliefs are based on fears that this acquaintance may increase their children’s interest and desire to shoot, as well as lead them on the wrong and even dangerous path, full of delinquency and aggressive behavior.
However, after reading this article, I am sure that you will be convinced that these fears are far from reality.
It is very important to acquaint children with weapons, with the principle of their work, potential danger, which together helps children to realize the “practicality” and “value” of weapons as a tool. Moreover, such children understand the whole concept of shooting, thereby learning a healthy attitude towards weapons.
In the modern world, it makes no sense to present children with weapons as an expensive forbidden raft, because very often children strive for what is forbidden. Unfortunately, they are confronted with weapons, their use, and violence in various films, TV shows, and more importantly, in video games.
The latter can be considered the most dangerous because in games children lose their sense of reality and begin to perceive shooting at someone as a way to reach a new level. Therefore, every responsible parent must educate their children and explain the principles of safety.
For many of us, it has become common, and even somewhat compulsory, to educate children about the dangers of smoking, alcohol or drug use, the risks of reckless driving or unprotected sex. Some even have a prepared plan for disaster, fire, or first aid. In that case, what’s the point in keeping your kids away from the topic of weapons?
Considering the statistics according to which there are more weapons than people in our country, we can say with confidence that this makes no sense. Moreover, it is very likely that even if you do not have weapons at home, your friends or acquaintances have them. Since it is naive to think that their number will decrease over time, you need to start looking at reality in the eyes and be aware.
The importance of nurturing respect, not fear
Do not start teaching by presenting a situation that they might unexpectedly encounter in a public place. This will only scare your child, and it can be unsafe to be nervous even at the thought of a weapon. Your child only needs to understand what a weapon is, what its principle of operation, how to safely handle it, and what to do if they ever across one.
Every year we learn about numerous accidents that could have been avoided if children in such situations had a basic knowledge of weapons. We also often heard about cases when children accidentally “found” a weapon and, despite the prohibition of their parents, took it in their hands, and another accident happened. Do you think that forbidding children to take weapons, will change anything? No, the only thing that can protect you from the current is to explain everything to your child.
The right time
When teaching children how to handle firearms, parents must consider many subtleties. If your child is familiar with weapons from childhood, because you often go hunting, and despite the fact that he is only 8 years old, he is very responsible and attentive, it will be much easier for you. However, if your child does not know how to focus for a long time, or even more, he has cases of reckless behavior behind him, then everything becomes the other way around.
First, you need to analyze your child’s character and behavior. A great place to start learning can be when your child is interested and starts asking questions. However, do not rush to get upset if this moment does not come; this also happens, and that is okay.
It is important to note that any child, regardless of their mental and physical maturity, can learn the basics to reinforce their sense of security and continue the acquaintance when they are ready. It is very important not to rush them in any way. For them, this training should be fun and educational. Try to create a sense of travel for the child.
Many kids can start their journey with low-velocity air or ‘BB’ gun. This is an ideal starting point as they will not face noise, kickbacks, and potential fear when handling real weapons. It is important to emphasize that these are not toys and can cause serious injury if mishandled. Subsequently, they can move to a more child-friendly .22 as part of the process.
Look at the CZ 455 training rifle on this website as a good example:
Safety comes first
Never miss an introduction to gun safety and storage, no matter your kids’ level of awareness. This process can never be superfluous because it is another way to protect your family. When not in use, weapons should be stored in a safe and locked place. Do not try your luck.
Once again, prepare carefully for training based on your child’s maturity and desire to participate in sports or hunting. Depending on your approach, your child may not only learn to shoot but be prepared if he ever accidentally stumbles upon a gun in someone’s house.
You are not alone
In the world of the Internet, there are many resources that can not only help you prepare for learning but can also take over the education of your children. Some of you may not need this as you are very skilled. However, many parents find it easier and safer to get the opinion of professionals.
There are many local clubs and groups that can offer you and your child certified education. Moreover, organizations such as NRA, 4H, and Boy Scouts also offer training programs for young people.
Educating children about gun handling and gun safety can be a way for parents to ensure their family’s future well-being. You do not need to be a strong proponent of the use of weapons to have the basic knowledge.
It will always be beneficial for you and your children to have a foundation in the form of knowledge and to reduce the potential fear of collision with a weapon. This will give your family members the opportunity to think right and make the right choices.