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Too much safety?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by gdcpony, Nov 17, 2010.

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  1. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    I am often asked why my kids have guns in their rooms. Is it really safe to allow an eight year old girl to have a .223, .22, and 20 gauge at her disposal? I simply say that she has never expressed an interest in them BECAUSE she has them. They are posters on the wall, a stuffed animal on the shelf. A bike, if you will, that she knows how to ride, and what happens if she falls off. When I say grab a gun she generally goes for one of mine for me and even forgets her own until I remind that she will need one too if she is to blow up milk jugs with me (a game we play with our empty ones). My older daughter (12 now), if told we’re going hunting, grabs her bow till I tell her we are ground hogging in an open field.

    I think today we place too much emphasis on the wrong things. We stress safety so much that it reminds others that guns can kill. However, are you the same way with a kitchen knife, or a hammer, or even a car? No, we know they can be used the wrong way, and just don’t. Safety with these items is unconscious. We simply do it. That is how it should be. You should not need to stress it to the point that others are afraid of them. There is enough out there doing that right now.

    The more you stress how dangerous something is, the more dangerous it is perceived to be. And then it becomes truth. Self fulfilling prophecy is a common theme in life. If you think it is, then it is. It is true no matter how you deny it that ANYTHING can be as dangerous as a gun if you make it so.

    We always preach that guns don’t kill, people kill. Truth has a certain ring to it. Yet, we ourselves treat a weapon like it CAN hurt someone. What is a gun in reality? It is metal and plastic and wood. Nothing more. It only becomes more if we make it so. If we simply treat it like the bike we rode as a child then is it really so different?

    Think of it this way. When Ronnie (my oldest and best friend) and I were hunting squirrels, we approached it like a military operation against the little tree rats. Fitting that we both became Marines, I guess. At times we would cross in front of one another as we crept through the woods. Amazingly and without thought, the other would dip or raise his muzzle even if it already was. Just like you slow down for the guy in front of you while riding. When we handed the rifles to each other (generally Ronnie to me since I couldn’t get a squirrel to save my life back then) so the other could have his hands, the action was open. Again this is done without thought, just put the foot down as you stop the bike.

    I am teaching my kids to be like this. I don’t remind them to be safe with a weapon anymore than I do with their bikes. I watch and stay in a position to stop anything that shouldn’t happen, just like when I taught them to ride. I will do so until I am 100% sure they are as safe as me, just like them riding their bikes. I did not lock up their bikes unless they gave me a reason to (grounded for not cleaning I think was the last reason both guns and bikes were taken). I reinforce through my actions the very skills and habits I want them to have. But I don’t think about the last part until I am reminded because my daughter hands me my AR with the bolt still closed and I refuse silently to take it. This way they know it is natural to be safe. As it needs to be, as it has to be.

    If you need to be reminded, Or if you need to think about it, you are too new to shooting and should be taught again.
     
  2. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    well the only real way i could see it being irresponsible is if you store the guns loaded( or are easily able to be loaded).....

    ...i mean, as responsible as your kids may be......kids will be kids.
     
  3. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    Whatever you decide.... just keep in mind that you can't undo your decision, should it result in a tragedy.
     
  4. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Member

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    I enjoyed that read, and what I got from it.

    Thankyou
     
  5. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Watch the evening news for a week and see how many times you hear the word "safe" or "safety". Once you start to notice the proflic use of that word, safe(ty), it will make you sick. In our grand construction of the imminent Nanny State, "safety" is key. Everybody wants safety and security and folks will go to great lengths to feel "safe" but it is an illusion. It's become so important to the Chicken Littles of this nation that it is the one thing that people will trade their freedom for and we all know what Ben Franklin said about that. Hopping, skipping and jumping our way to a "safe" existence.....under the tyranny of our Great Nanny, the government.
     
  6. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    The only real safety the American people has anymore is the safety they can provide for themselves (this is not excluding or commenting on the military or the protections and freedoms they have historically provided the American people).

    To the OP: +1, you have a similar method to my own. More people need to take responsibility like that!
     
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    The difference is how easy it is for something to go wrong with a gun. You drop a knife that's pointed towards you, it will fall to the ground. Gun fires when it's pointed towards you, and you will fall to the ground. Even if the knife is heading towards you, if you react quick you can move. Unless you're Neo or Agent Smith, I don't think you'll be moving away from that bullet. If your daughter has an accident on her bike, it's likely to lead to a scraped knee or something similar. If she has an accident with the gun, it's likely to be a lot worse.

    With that said, it sounds to me like you at least respect guns and what they can do. It doesn't matter if someone is 12 or 42, they're capable of making bad decisions. It just usually occurs that you make more of them at a younger age. You're also more likely at a younger age to have the mindset of "I've used a nerf gun, I can use a real gun," without realizing what can actually happen with a real one.
     
  8. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    I don't think a gun is any different than anything else we decide for our children. We decide when they are mature enough to ride their bicycles by themselves out of the driveway. We decide when they are mature enough to go with their friends or alone somewhere after school. We decide when they are mature enough to stay home by themselves. Each one of these activities has the potential for tragic consequences. I don't see a gun as being any different.

    I agree with what the OP has suggested - the idea that a gun is the most dangerous object in the world comes from the propaganda that the anti-gun groups have now pushed for decades.
     
  9. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    When I was typing I thought about all those things that "could go wrong." I am the guy most likely to suffer such things. Just my luck. My oldest wants a Honda Rebel and an AR-15. I ask you this: Which one would you get her first? Both could kill her or others. Which is statistically more likey to? and which would the "public" rather see in the hands of a 16 (the age I set for either) year old girl?

    Also, I know Marines I am deployed with I worry more about having armed than my kids to be honest. The biggest difference I see is in when they first touch a weapon and what they think it is. Tool for killing (the people I speak of) or a tool for living (me and my kids).
     
  10. DCR

    DCR Member

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    Thank you for raising two girls the right way; you are undoubtedly a proud Dad and have my kudos.
     
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Gdcpony, very very bad typo in there! It's "public." Not trying to be the grammar police, but that one...
     
  12. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    I have cut myself many more times with a knife than hurt my self with a gun. Don't worry though, what kind of dad would I be to give my kids something to hunt with and not give them a knife to gut it out with? They love their hunting knives.
     
  13. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    That's my point exactly GDC pony, you can cut yourself with a knife and usually walk away from it. An accidental knife wound is usually a nick because you barely clipped yourself, or it's a barely-penetrating stab from a dropped blade that has no force behind it. A bullet is going to do a lot more damage should it hit you.

    Again, I'm not saying guns are evil. I am saying guns are dangerous and deserve to be treated with respect. You can have a healthy fear of something - e.g. safety gear for construction workers, because they have a healthy fear of falling to their death. That doesn't mean the gun has to be locked up at all times, just that you have to understand that should it go off, whatever is in front of the muzzle is going to be hit, and know what to do to make sure that it won't go off in a direction that will hit anyone.
     
  14. sig220mw

    sig220mw Member

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    I agree that safety can be pushed way too much. Guns that have warnings on the barrel about reading the owner's manual. Four wheelers with warnings on the gas tank about wearing helmets. Lawn mowers with warnings about not placing fingers around the bottom while motor is running. Electric home appliances with warnings about immersing in water while plugged in.

    I agree we need safety, but sometimes I wonder how far it has to go.

    I read an article written by a man that had a friend from the UK visit him here in the US. Upon seeing so many written warnings the Brit said " What is wrong, are all Americans idiots"? His American friend responded "It's because of lawyers".

    This is surely a big part of it but there sure are a bunch of idiots here too.

    I have personally met and known college educated people that thought that New England was a state and that 12 midnight was 12pm instead of am.

    It certainly makes you wonder.

    As late as the 40's and 50's, school boys would bring their shotguns to school and stack them in the corner of the class room. They would hunt on the way home. Can you imagine that happening now? It would be on the national news as the lead story.
     
  15. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    oops sorry
     
  16. BP Hunter

    BP Hunter Member

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    Safety has become a MAIN concern in the American way of life - make sure you wear your seat belt, wear safety goggles, don't forget you life jacket, etc. Honestly, do we really care?? It's our life and I will wear a life jacket if I want to. But no, the warning label on the boat says you have to and if you end up drowning...guess who gets SUED! The label on the coffee cup says, "Warning, contents are hot". WE KNOW THAT! Why must it have to be labeled?! It's because we have become a SUE happy nation! Safety and all that stuff were there because of companies and corporations who failed to add safety labels. The newer generation guns have all these ugly signs stating, "Read manual before use...".

    Sorry for the rant! It what this nation has turned into.

    To the OP, thanks for your post! It was very enlightening.
     
  17. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    This is a serious topic that I have a very hard time getting my arms around. I have two daughters, 14 and 11.... the 14 year old hunts with me, has her own rifle and knows how to safely operate, load and unload all of my guns (Long, Short, Shot, ML, etc....)

    My 11 year old casts, reloads and shoots my (Someday to be hers I am sure...) .357 revolver. She loves it and can shoot sub 4" groups at 21-25 feet dual action. She is also proficiant with the 9mm carbine. To be honest, better then me and I am above average.

    So, they have the knowledge and the skills. They even check to see if doors are locked, we play (asses the threat) games and look for cover/concealment when we are out. Not openly, we do not wear 9.11 gear to walmart for tampons, we look and act normal we just do stuff like this because of my exposures to this website, others, training, IDPA, etc....

    My struggle is when I am not home. Knowing that my kids know how to safely use and operate guns, and knowing that they maintain a safe environment, locked doors, etc... should I have a gun and ammo that is available for them if they need it? I do not know the answer.
     
  18. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    And that is the reason safety should be by instinct not coersion. What good would it do for me to remind how to walk every step you took? You do it because you know every part of what a step entails and can perform it without thinking about it. Going beyond that and demanding that you lift one foot at a time is the very thing we do.
     
  19. dogsoldier0513

    dogsoldier0513 Member

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    DITTO! from a former LEO.
     
  20. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    I understand your concern. I am deployed right now and the wife works. The neighbors help keep an eye in the kids for the hour they spend alone, but...

    My oldest has access to ammo for hers. Though to be honest like me she prefers and usually grabs the bow. Probably would if trouble came up too. She just likes it better.

    My youngest has her weapons but no ammo. Since they use similar (the only difference is my oldest's .410 vs the younger's 20ga), I guess she could get the key from her sister for hers, but I don't see that happening. The younger has her arrows to if it came to that.

    And the wife has her favorite (my Ultra Slugger with shot shells which equals a can't miss) if anything happens. During the rest of the time.
     
  21. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I have to laugh every time I see someone say something like this...

    Go shoot a few rounds of trap with that same gun and those same loads, you'll be surprised. For that matter, set up man size targets at HD ranges and shoot once at center mass into each target. You'll find that inside 25 ft the shot pretty much stays together acting almost like a slug. There is some spread, but not nearly as much as you seem to believe.
     
  22. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Oh okay, I get what you're saying now. "Safety" as in shoved down your throat at every turn, not just general safe practices. And yes, I agree with you. I think you should either be safe with guns by instinct or not have them (I'm not trying to be "elitist" here, but if you're going to shoot me or yourself on accident, you probably shouldn't be near a trigger until you learn some respect for the boomstick).

    BP Hunter, I agree with you. It's also bizzarre that society drew a white line in the sand at specific ages for specific things. It's like, before you're 18 you're too naive to own a gun, but after you're 18 you're suddenly enlightened. What happens during the nanosecond where you turn 18 that suddenly makes you okay to handle a weapon?
     
  23. Mountainman38

    Mountainman38 Member

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    No. Kids brains are not fully developed, and while she may KNOW proper gun care and use, her brain may simply not fire correctly at some point and a tragedy can ensue.

    If you can't see a difference between a stuffed animal and a gun, you seriously need to take firearms a lot more seriously -- as should your daughter. If you forget and touch a bikes pedal wrong, it doesn't fire a round that can kill your sister, a friend, or even just put a hole through a wall.

    What on earth is your point here?! Did you not know guns can kill? And that that's why they were designed? Firearms weren't invented so soldiers could relax after a hard day of swinging a sword and bending a bow -- they were created to make killing enemies much easier.

    I give respect to anything that can harm me. I use my Spyderco Manix for many kitchen chores, and because I keep it very sharp, I give it great respect. Every time I cut something with it, I think about what could happen if I slipped, and where the blade would go. As a result, I've never cut myself with it. Same for a car -- small lapses can have huge life changing results, so I give my vehicles the respect they deserve.

    It's making safe handling an unconscious thing that causes negligent discharges, fingers chopped off in lawnmowers, etc. Consciously thinking about safety is what keeps it in focus, and us safe.

    There's a difference between being afraid of something to the point that you imbue it with power to move on it's own and come after you, and having a very healthy respect for the damage something can do.

    This sounds like you're trying to minimize the hazards associated with firearms. Pretending like they aren't dangerous, doesn't make them non-lethal.

    Huh? Is this your example of how saying something is true, makes it so? Simply stating that no matter how much I deny it that ANYTHING can be as dangerous as a gun is disingenuous, and patently not true. How is a spoon as dangerous as a gun? How many police officers have lost their lives as a result of a felon attacking them with a spoon? Or a paper towel?

    People use guns to kill, because guns are really good at doing that. This whole line about guns just being a misunderstood collection of parts is hogwash. Guns are deadly weapons, and should be respected as such. They're not autonomous killing machines, but they are certainly deadly tools -- and intended to be. Yes, truth certainly does have a ring to it, but I don't see it in this statement.


    Yes... because it can. I have to say, this statement shows a disturbing disconnect from reality.

    Wow. You seriously need to work on your reasoning skills, if you can equate riding a bike to shooting a gun.

    I do agree that you should know the proper way to treat objects with the power to kill, and practice safe handling. This doesn't mean you shouldn't think about it -- that's how negligent accidents happen.

    Most accidents don't happen because someone thinks it's a GOOD idea to point a gun at someone and see if the safety is on by pulling the trigger -- they just got distracted or careless, and something awful happened.

    It sounds like you ARE still reminding them, such as when you don't take the AR with the bolt closed. I think what you're doing here is good -- but being aware of the consequences of that gun being loaded every time she hands it to you is still the way to go.

    This is kind of condescending. How do new shooters learn, except by being reminded when they forget to follow proper procedure?

    I have been rock climbing for over 20 years. I was fortunate to be taught by a very conscientious instructor, and we went through the same safety check and verbal exchange EVERY time we started up or down a rock -- and still do. Both of us checked our own harnesses and rope tie in, then checked each others. We went through the same communication exchange every time, as well. Climber: "On belay". Belayer:"Belay is on". Climber:"Ready to climb". Belayer:"Climb on". Climber:"Climbing".

    While doing this, we don't think about how dumb it sounds, or how we're good climbers who shouldn't have to think about what we're doing -- we realize that a harness opening, or a carabiner coming loose, or taking someone off belay while they're depending on the rope could send someone plummeting to their death.

    Have respect for what you do! Safe handling of firearms should be instinctive, but an awareness of why you're doing it should always be at the front of your consciousness, too.
     
  24. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    Just thought of a good example.

    My younger one was out with me last deer season. She had her little Rossi 20ga and we were on a steep hillside. She slipped and fell. The whole way down-and it was a good slide- she kept her muzzle up and away from her sister and I. Afterwards she was ok and climbing back up looking for something. I asked her what she lost.

    She said, almost crying, "I popped out the shell so when I slipped. I didn't want it loaded in case I dropped it. You told me I don't get another till I put this one in a deer."

    Before she started crying I gave another slug. She didn't have to think about it, or be warned. She just did what she thought was right without thinking about it twice.
     
  25. Mags

    Mags Member

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    But knives aren't dangerous? I bet alot of people on here only focused on the children with guns in their room portion of the OP and skimmed through the main point that there are many dangerous "tools" in our everyday lifestyle. So what's with the over emphasis on guns? I mean a car, knife, skilsaw, etc... can kill you just as efficiently as a gun, but do we see power tool guntrol advocates in the news? No, we see gun control freaks out there. As for Mountain Man you missed the point entirely or you are trolling.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
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