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When is the right time to tell the kids about your guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by stogiegila, Feb 22, 2007.

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  1. stogiegila

    stogiegila Member

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    I keep my guns in a safe at home. My oldest (19) was told about them and to stay away period.

    My question is more toward my youngest (11). He is currently clueless about my guns and IMHO still a bit immature for his age. I'm wondering when in everyone's opinion is the time to tell him about them.

    I'm looking into actually carrying soon, so it may become an issue. Any advise on when and how to tell him would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. scurtis_34471

    scurtis_34471 Member

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    I've been teaching my 9 year-old shooting, with heavy emphasis on the Four Rules and she seems to get it. The rules are literally simple enough for a child to understand. She also knows that she can handle guns under supervision whenever she wants and that I will kick her butt if I ever find out that she has handled one without supervision. Teach your kid. Remove the mystery. Curiosity and ignorance are a deadly combination.
     
  3. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Member

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    Well if they stay locked up, why would it matter?

    Unless he is VERY immature for his age, now would be as good a time as any I would think.
     
  4. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    19?

    Maybe missed the boat on that one. He is old enough to serve already and all that. My kids started with their BBs at 7 and .22s at 8. Most kids out here have taken their first deer by 9. Some earlier some late, depends on the kid. Also check your local laws. You don't want to get in any legal trouble.
     
  5. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    My kids are 4 & 5.

    They know mom & dad are armed, that there are guns locked up in various places around the house, and that they're to Stop! Don't Touch! Leave The Area and Tell an Adult! if they see a real gun.

    If they grow in trustworthiness, our daughters are getting an airsoft for her 6th, a bb gun on her 8th, a 22 on her 12th, and an AR for her 18th.
     
  6. kfranz

    kfranz Member

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    That's pretty much how I do it too. I've got 3 boys, ages 8, 6, and 3. They have all been exposed to firearms (mostly surplus rifles) since they were able to help open the boxes the BBT delivered(probably a year and a half old). They all have some interest, but not a great deal. They know where they are kept, and they know that they can see and handle them simply by asking "Dad, can we look at a gun?" As long as I can stop whatever I'm doing to show them, I do whenever they ask. Sometimes I have to tell them no, and they are good with that. Honestly, they often have as much fun getting and using the flashlight to walk into the storage area as they do holding the rifle they pick....:)
     
  7. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I was introduced to my family's firearms 'formally' at the ages of 4 and 5. My uncle, cousin, or my dad would bring out one and clean it and show it to me. I would sit on his lap as he went over the gun, polishing it and pointing out various parts of it. I particularly remember the .410 pistol one of them had--it was small enough for me to hold properly, and I understood it was a 'special' gun a bootlegger friend of my father's had carried. Otherwise, the firearms I remember were a Western Field Browning 20-ga. pump (my mother's duck gun) a Winchester 94 (father's deer gun), and a few different .22 pumps.

    I also remember getting a child-sized M1 Garand toy gun for Christmas just before I turned five, and I already had SAA cap guns. Those toy guns were used to teach me the fundamentals of safety along with the small .22 pump--what's that turn-of-the-century remington model with the hex barrel and exposed hammer? That's the one they started me shooting with when I was five. My Dad had one that had been cut down, and it fit me well.

    This conscious exposure to firearms doesn't count the times my mother took me duck hunting when I was about ten-eleven months old, snuggled in a backpack. She said I used to squirm around to get over behind her 'other' shoulder to avoid the recoil.

    The point being, guns were a natural part of our family's life. I simply learned to never play with them, and I did not get them out by myself. Ammo was, of course, kept separate from the guns.

    I dunno if we can do it that way any more, to be honest. This was long enough ago that TV didn't exist in our home for another five years or so.
     
  8. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    My son is 4 1/2 & my daughter is 1 1/2 they know I have firearms. My daughter has no idea what they are other than "dadda gun", my son knows he is not to touch my firearms, and he will tell me that my "gun is out" if I have one out.

    My son will only see my firearms if I or my wife are present. If he asks and I'm not busy then I will show them to him, we will go over the four rules plus other rules we have regarding if he finds an unattended firearm when I'm not around or at a friends house, he's really quite uninterested in them most of the time.

    If you remove the mystery and teach respect of the object (can be any tool) most kids will leave them alone.
     
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    holy crap dude, i think it's a little late now. my daughter was helping me reload when she was 2-3 yrs old. she got her first 22lr at age 5, and a nice one at age 8.

    gun discussions are as frequent around my house as "what's for lunch?" and "what's for dinner?" discussions. (i usually don't talk about guns before breakfast, unless it's match day)
     
  10. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    JFH

    We still do it that way around here, except we don't have any toy guns. We have cable TV but almost never watch it. Every single show gets the once over. Someone gave us our first computer game console last year but they only play it on Saturdays if we don't have anything else planned; which we almost always do. We don't allow violent games.

    It has never been the guns that caused the problems it has to do with the kids getting the wrong idea about them.
     
  11. LeoC

    LeoC Member

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    Telling a teenager to "stay away period"... that's a recipe for disaster.

    The allure of the forbidden fruit is great... better be sure your kids at least know enough about how a gun functions that they don't hurt themselves or somebody else if (when) they do run into a gun.
     
  12. mkh100

    mkh100 Member

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    Im really gonna hold back here...... I think that waiting till your kid is 19 and able to go out and buy a gun themselves is a huge disservice to the kid, in fact its a disservice to society in general and to gun owners in particular. I mean seriously, do you think now that they are driving and presumably out the door for good soon you might have waited a bit to long ?


    My kids had bb guns at 5-6 and by 7-8 were/are active shooters. My 12 year old little girl shot an M1 Garand a couple of weeks ago and wants me to take her to the CMP South Store so we can pick out "her" a new rifle.

    Was this post a joke? Seriously?

    Get them younguns to the range, teach them safety and marksmanship.....its a skill that if taught well they will carry long long after you are gone.

    Mike
     
  13. Mr White

    Mr White Member

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    When Mrs. White was pregnant, I would recite the Second Amendment over and over into her belly when she was asleep. :D

    One of the first things I did was take them to the range and let them watch me shoot gallon water jugs an water-filled pumpkins. That makes quite an impression on a 5 year old kid, especially when you're talking their ears off about the damage a bullet can do and why we have The 4 Rules. After a range trip or 2 like that, its very clear in their minds that guns are not toys.

    My boys are now 12 and 10. They've both been shooting since they were about 6. They both shot last year in 4H competitions. They both accompany me to the range quite often and to matches sometimes.

    They both shoot my AR, my M1, my pistols, SKSs, and a lot of other ones. They're both still a little bit afraid to shoot my K31 or any of my MNs yet. Maybe this summer.

    I don't think there's ever too young an age to start teaching kids about guns. Its like sex; The more they learn about it from you, the less they'll learn elsewhere. I firmly believe that by taking them shooting and teaching them that guns are OK, but only with proper supervision, it takes away much of the 'forbidden fruit' mystique and makes your kids less susceptible to temptations when you're not around or when they're at a friend's house.
     
  14. Titan6

    Titan6 member

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    New Years Resolutions

    This year when the 8 year old was making his resolutions in school this was his list (ISYN):

    1. I will renew My NRA membership

    2. I will exercise more

    3. I will help clean up after dinner

    It is still on the frig, I get a warm fuzzy feeling every morning when I am having breakfast.:)
     
  15. LHB1

    LHB1 Member

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    My son and later my grandson were exposed to guns and gun safety rules beginning around 3-4 years old. My grandson could quote the two primary gun safety rules when he was 4. He is allowed to see and handle my guns UNDER SUPERVISION any time he wants. I am always glad to open the safe or let him look in when it is open. My objective was/is to take all the mystery out of guns but make sure the youngster understands basic safety rules. Am hoping to start him shooting .22 rifle during this year. He will be 7 in April.
    No disrespect but waiting until children are 11 or 19 in my opinion is WAY TOO LATE!!!

    Good shooting and be safe.
    LB
     
  16. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    Never too young--My children are around guns (they are both under four) and they are being 'gun proofed'. This in no way means that guns are forbidden to them--just the opposite. Under the right circumstances, when they are physically held by me, my wife, or my Father-In-Law--they may be touched and examined. I never want them to be some exotic forbidden fruit. Is it indocrination--you bet. I can control my weapons and my kids--but I can't control the outside world.

    For your situation, since your 11 year old is right at the 'prime' age--why not take a gun safety or hunter education class WITH him? I plan on doing so with my kids when they're older myself. The time to tell him is now--you've obviously got your security wire tight on your guns--but even if you didn't have any in your home he WILL encounter a firearm in a friends house at some point. You and your rules need to be there in his head when that happens to keep him safe.

    From my own experience I had that 'lets look at my dad's guns' moment at age 11 over at a friends house (friend was 13). I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't been trained (by family, and NRA/BSA) how to handle that moment.

    You know, giving a kid who might be a little immature some graduated responsibility (ie. gun safety training and target shooting/hunting) is the way to go. Best of Luck-

    Mike
     
  17. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    stogiegila

    Dude, it's hard to comment in any relevant fashion without context.

    I don't know how to address your 19-year-old. I don't know the situation.

    I have a 19 y/o daughter whom I take shooting any time she'll go.

    I also don't tell her there are pistols in the safe. She only knows I have rifles. Why? She has very poor taste in friends and, while I trust her not to do something stupid, I don't trust any of her friends. I can't risk that she will slip and "mention" the pistols and start the mental wheels turning that culminate in an attempted burglary. Wife and I practice strict InfoSec regarding the safe and its contents.

    When I believe she's less of a risk on that front, she'll get to know the pistols.

    My son is a year older than she is. He not only knows about the pistols, I keep his 9mm in the safe along with ours.

    If we had been someplace more "shooting friendly" in the previous years, and if I had awakened from my "RKBA slumber" (or coma) sooner, I would have had them shooting from the age of nine or ten. I still have the occasional twinge of regret about waiting this long.

    Earlier is better.

    Earlier is better. The school system is contaminated with the squishy thinking of psychology and socialism, and actively works to frighten kids about guns and "violence" of all kinds.

    You get to them first. Get to them first and often.

    Trust me, the schools will not offer them anything that's as much fun as shooting. If you're shooting with your kids, you will have their attention. If you have their attention, you can administer the only effective antidote to the socialist crap the schools will dish out: facts and experience.

    If you need to, enlist the help of a High Roader near you.

    Teach them safety and get them having fun as soon as possible.

    You children's future is at stake.
     
  18. GreenFurniture

    GreenFurniture Member

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    You should have told him when he was old enough to understand the words.

    Beyond that you need to treat your kids with a little more respect. Maybe then they won't be "immature" for their ages.
     
  19. 45Badger

    45Badger Member

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    My kids are 11 and 8. Started both on BB guns at 5 or 6, and moved to single shot 22s pretty quickly.

    My older son was shooting a Ruger Bearcat at 8, and competed last summer (at 10) in a steel challenge league with a sig Mosquito. Just picked up a Kimber .22 conversion, and he's doing well with that. He can shoot any .22 rifle as well or better than I can, and can shoot 2", off-hand groups at 50 yards his .243 (Model 700). His little brother isn't as interested in guns, but goes out plinking with us a couple times a year. They both like to help with reloading and cleaning guns.

    Both know where the guns are (in a safe), and know that they are not to touch a gun without direct parental supervision. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    Take your son shooting! Teach him the rules and responsibilities of safe gun handling. You'll both appreciate the time together (it goes fast, and he's not getting any younger!).
     
  20. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

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    My daughter just turned 1, and she is begining her training. Just leave a gun out where she/he can get to it, and when they try to touch it tell them no. Rinse, lather, repeat.
     
  21. eflatminor

    eflatminor Member

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    I was 6

    I was 6 when my father bought me my first weapon, a S&W 243 rifle, which I still own. Of course, I wasn't ready to use it yet, but it sure got my attention! I started that same year with a pellet gun and then a .22 in NRA matches and general hunting. By the time I was 10, I was hunting or fishing just about every day. From age 6 until I moved out of my parents home at 17, I got a new gun for each and every Xmas...damn I miss that!
     
  22. PedalBiker

    PedalBiker Member

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    My kids are 5 & 8. The 8 year old is responsible, but not interested in guns, the 5 year old can't wait to start shooting, but is positively not ready to handle guns yet due to a lack of ability to follow instructions.

    Both have known about guns since they were old enough to understand the concept. Both reallize that guns can cause serious bodily injury and excruciating pain.

    Every time I have a gun out of the safe I show them the gun and go over the STOP, don't touch, LEAVE the area and tell mom or dad or a responsible adult. My guns are ALWAYS locked up, but, if they weren't I don't want a simple oversight to turn deadly.

    The kids get the same drill with drain cleaner, kitchen knives, the natural gas stove, the lawn mower, the drill press, the circular saw, the automobiles and anything else that can kill or maim them.

    If you take a quick trip around your house and vicinity you'll find a number of things the kids ought to be trained to aviod. The #1 for us has been the cars. More kids are killed in and around cars than by guns.
     
  23. Thain

    Thain Member

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    When is the right time to tell the kids about your guns?

    As soon as you can, they must be taught. My daughter is still learning to, y'know, walk so it will be a while before she's coming with me to the range. But, the first rule with any potentially dangerous object (guns, knives, fireplace, dogs, etc.) is to teach the child: Stop! Don't Touch!

    They should be able to understand that between 9 months and a year.

    Then you progress to: Stop! Don't Touch! Walk Away, and Tell An Adult!
    The average child should be able to do that between ages three and five. Although, obvioussly the parent has a duty to keep as many of these dangerous things safely away from the child. Oneposter her on THR teaches his kids with water pistols, I believe, and I plan to start doing the same at about age 3 or 4.

    I'd say that once the kid is old enough to enter school (not that I'm sending my daughter to school mind you, but at that age ;) ) then you can teach them the Four Rules, and probably start teaching them to handle a gun themselves.

    As to th OP... 19? He could go out to any sporting goods store right now and by a rifle. Tell him you own guns, tell him why, and take him shooting. He's an adult, he could be in Bagddah or Kabul right now, let him help you protect the family.
     
  24. DWH

    DWH Member

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    Missed the bus!

    My son got his CZ452 scout for his 6th B-day. He shoots it pretty darn well too! With proper supervision, instruction, and help he has acquired a healthy knowledge and respect for firearms. Now is the best time to make your kids aware, as your bus has long since gone. So, you better start instilling the knowledge, and respect of firearms ASAP since hiding them is a recipe for a curiosity disaster. Catch the next bus!.
     
  25. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    I'm going to have to agree with both of these:

    11 is too old. 19 is way, WAY too old.
     
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