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What age is appropriate to introduce firearms to your children?

Discussion in 'EMS Lounge' started by MMohler, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. MMohler

    MMohler Forum Crew Member

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    I saw a video the other day and I am sure some have you have seen it as well. There is a 7 year old girl with her father and younger brother hunting deer. It is about a 2 minute video and at the end of it the daughter tags her first deer. Given the gun was mounted and she did not have to do much more then aim and shoot. I do not have kids so I cannot say for sure what this answer means to me. I do think that every person in my future household should know how to handle and use a firearm effectively and safely. I do think that teaching kids at a young age is appropriate because if you teach them that it is not a toy and show how them to use a gun safely they understand the seriousness of it. Especially in this line of work where I may not be home for 2-3 days at a time I will feel some comfort that my family would be able to defend themselves. There are obviously people that think this is wrong because of school shooting, family shooting, etc.If the firearms are locked up properly this should not be an issue. What do you guys think?
     
  2. Akulahawk

    Akulahawk EMT-P/ED RN Community Leader

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    IMHO, basic firearm safety (cue Eddie the Eagle) should be introduced fairly early on. It teaches kids what to do if they find a firearm and nobody else is around. It's 4 very simple and easy rules. I taught them to my kid when she was 4 and kept reinforcing that for about 2 years. Once she was old enough to understand that her actions have consequences, even serious consequences, then I introduced her to my firearms, taught her about the more "usual" rules of firearm safety, did that over a couple months, and took her out to the range when she was ready. She had fun and enjoyed the time with me. One other thing that I have reinforced with her over the years is that she may look at and handle and shoot (under supervision) my firearms any time she asks me.

    Why did I do this? It's simply because I want to make firearms a "no big deal" and ensure that there's no mystery around them. Consequently, she's not interested in looking for them because she knows where they area and how to get to them if she wants to. She's now approaching 14 and shows little interest in firearms but she's certainly not afraid of them and in many ways, is pro-gun, even if only to protect the right to have them, even if she doesn't ever want one herself.

    When exactly will your kid reach the age where they'll understand consequences like this? You'll know when it's appropriate for each kid you have because you'll know each one far better than I ever will.
     
    Gurby likes this.
  3. VentMonkey

    VentMonkey Sagacious Louse Premium Member

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    "You'll shoot your eye out!" Ok, now that that's done, carry on.

    #DoesntEvenOwnaGun
     
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  4. GMCmedic

    GMCmedic Forum Lieutenant

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    My daughter is 3 and knows not to touch firearms. I dont leave them accessible, but if she continues to listen and do what is asked of her(dont touch the safe period, dont touch dads holstered firearm, etc etc) she will learn to shoot when she is 5.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
     
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  5. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    I love this strategy!

    Eh, the evidence on this is pretty weak. Not that I object to ownership, I am just not so sanguine on the potential positive impacts on home security.
     
  6. CALEMT

    CALEMT The Other Guy

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    Dude! That brings bad memories! I learned how to shoot guns when I was around 4 years old. With my dad being a LEO and a hunter it was imperative that my sister and I learned gun safety. When I was a kid there were/ are two loaded guns around the house. My dads carry for work and my moms 38, so we learned gun safety and handling at a young age.

    Now that I'm older, I feel like that 4 is a good age to learn and like Akulahawk said, reinforce it for a few years so it sticks. I'm 22 turning 23 in June and the things that were taught to me at 4 years old I still practice. Plus I can shoot a rifle like no tomorrow, so thats another plus.
     
  7. Akulahawk

    Akulahawk EMT-P/ED RN Community Leader

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    One thing I do agree with this NOT giving unfettered access to firearms, loaded or not, when I'm away. I have a CCW and I generally have a firearm upon my person while I'm awake. If I'm at work, I do not carry there as that's an instant path to termination of employment. My wife is anti-gun and hates the fact that I'm a gun owner. For a number of reasons, I will not allow her access to my firearms right now. That being said, I do carry when I'm at home. The positive impact upon home security is only present when someone present is trained and is willing to employ deadly force appropriately in defense of the human household occupants from (usually) other humans.
     
  8. StCEMT

    StCEMT Forum Deputy Chief

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    Akulahawk about perfectly summed up how I was taught. I was definitely curious growing up, but I also knew all I had to do was ask, so I never felt the need to sneak around and look. There is no right age necessarily, just level of maturity/understanding.
     
  9. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    That sounds about right: Conditioned on the firearms user being well trained and willing to employ deadly force, I'd wager that the P(Inappropriate Use) falls and P(Appropriate Self Defense Use) rises in circumstances where defense is required. That said, most people aren't going to be using their weapon for self defense - and presence of a firearm in the home is strongly associated with increased risk of interpersonal violence and self-harm.
     
  10. MMohler

    MMohler Forum Crew Member

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    Now I do think that there are pluses and negatives to everything and with the link epi mentioned above it is a tough debate and every household is different. Every gun should be locked up period. I guess it is a time will tell type of situation. I don't own a home or have a family yet so i might have jumped the gun (;)) with the question but it still will always be an interesting topic.
     
  11. Remi

    Remi Forum Deputy Chief Premium Member

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    Oh, say it ain't so, Epi.....you understand much better than most that correlation doesn't equal causation.

    First, over the past decade or two, rates of all types of violence, including gun violence, have been falling steadily, even as rates of gun ownership has increased steadily. How does one square that with the idea that more guns necessitates more crime?

    The statistical link between rates of gun ownership and rates of gun violence may be strong, but there are important points left out by those who try to use that fact for political gain. Most critical is the fact that still, a very low percentage of gun owners ever use a gun to commit a crime, or are ever a victim of gun crime. Gun violence tends to be fairly concentrated in certain geographical and/or socioeconomic stations where mental illness and violence of all types are much more common than average. Responsible, law-abiding people don't suddenly become irresponsible and lawless when they purchase a gun.

    How often do you hear about shootings happening where there are known to be large concentrations of firearms? Outdoor, uncontrolled shooting ranges? Gun shows? Those are the places that you'd hear about gun crimes happening if the mere presence of guns were a causal factor.

    Finally, the idea that the presence of guns doesn't deter other gun crime is sloppy thinking. How many crimes have been deterred by the presence of a firearm? No one knows, but I think it's a safe bet that the answer is LOTS of them. Where I live (rural southern Appalachia) there are big problems with unemployment, drugs, and all the associated (mostly property-related) crime. But there also are high rates of gun ownership and you know what? You never hear about home invasions and only very rarely do armed robberies of any type happen. I can't prove that's because everyone around here knows that a very high percentage of the population here sleeps with a loaded gun in their bedside table and that many also keep one in their vehicle or on their person when they are out and about, but nor can anyone prove that it isn't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  12. NysEms2117

    NysEms2117 Parole officer/EMT

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    I agree with @Remi completely. I also agree mostly with @Akulahawk.
    I have no kids yet, I am very into firearms, and even more into gun safety. My fiance isn't a gun nut like I am, but she likes the concept of knowing how to shoot, operate a firearm safely, and does in fact want a firearm in the house. I carry open most of the time, because I am mainly working so i'm not worrying about CCW. When/if I have kids i will teach them at a young age this area is a no no zone(gun safe/room), and they will get punished if found there. Once they reach the age when they know wrong from right, I'll teach them gun safety first, have them demonstrate they can safely handle a training gun(got one from work). Then teach them how to shoot. At the proper age this is what i would be doing:
    I think that is a fantastic video demonstrating a competent safe gun owner, teaching his child how to handle a firearm.
     
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  13. CodeBru1984

    CodeBru1984 EMT

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    I was 28 when I shot my first gun handgun, I'm 33 now. I wish I was introduced to firearms at a much earlier age.


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  14. MMohler

    MMohler Forum Crew Member

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    @CodeBru1984 Could you elaborate on this a little more? Why you wish you were younger?
     
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  15. CodeBru1984

    CodeBru1984 EMT

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    I was always taught growing that guns kill, and with that being said never had an opportunity to handle a firearm until I was older. The only reason I handled my first firearm at the age of 28 was because my place of employment at the time (Security Company) paid for me to go through the firearms training course as the company was trying to move in the direction of armed guards.




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  16. Old Tracker

    Old Tracker Forum Lieutenant

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    I think my oldest daughter was about 6 and my son was three when they started getting curious about firearms. First we talked, let them see it, touch it, etc. The talk was along the lines of a weapon is a tool, just like a hammer. A hammer can be used for good, but it can also be dangerous. Hit ant with hammer. Then the talk went to that once the gun goes bang, nothing on earth can bring that bullet back. It can hurt something and kill it. An obliging cotton tail was used as an example of how dead is dead. They got the message and I never had a problem. Did similar with the step kids. Never an issue. And they learned to not tell their friends or try to show their friends. Again, never a problem with any of them.
     
  17. E tank

    E tank Forum Lieutenant

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  18. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    I'm not saying I disagree with your approach - yes, (legal) gun owners aren't going around committing crimes, and I, too, am entirely in favor of the (constitutional) right to own a firearm. The co-variates of violent crime are the same whether you've got guns around or not - but guns increase the lethality (arguably) of violent crime (and there are ample counterexamples to this, I'm sure). Appalachia is a great regional counterexample to the thesis that more guns = more crime.

    All this being out there, though, there is ample evidence that the presence of firearms is "associated" - I use the word carefully - with adverse outcomes, such as increased LEO homicides, ("successful") suicide attempts, etc.

    Now, to be very nuanced about it, I'd say this: Firearms ownership is associated with adverse outcomes just like car ownership is (e.g. car exhaust suicides). We don't go around giving the privilege to drive* to everybody, likewise we need reasonable restrictions on firearms ownership (perhaps prohibitions on ownership of firearms by people who have been involuntarily institutionalized). Carefully done research by objective minds is the way to get those reasonable policies without infringing on the rights of the vast, vast majority of law abiding gun owners.

    *Obviously, restrictions on firearms ownership, given that it is a constitutional right, need strict scrutiny!

    Looks darn right to me! It is a shame that responsible firearms use can't be taught in schools (any more, anyway).
     
  19. cruiseforever

    cruiseforever Forum Captain

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    [Looks darn right to me! It is a shame that responsible firearms use can't be taught in schools (any more, anyway).[/QUOTE]

    In a lot of schools it is by the way of trap shooting leagues. One of the fast growing sports in our area.
     
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  20. StCEMT

    StCEMT Forum Deputy Chief

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    That's what I did in high school. Part of why I chose the college I go to.
     

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