Children and Firearms
Teach Them Now, Teach Them Correctly
by John Glatthar
Too often, members of the anti-gun confederacy feel compelled to lecture Americans about guns and children, implying that the two should not be used in the same breath. While rational people agree that guns in the hands of unauthorized persons and unsupervised kids can pose big problems, responsible adults and parents recognize that early education can prevent future problems.
The NRA's "Eddie Eagle" program was gun accident prevention program for children, taught in schools. It offered this simple, four-part message to kids: "Stop. Don't Touch. Run Away. Tell a grown up." Over 32 million children were taught how to stay safe if they ever came upon or found a gun. How many lives did this program save? We will never know.
Believe it or not, because it was the dreadful NRA that created and ran the program, it was wrongly perceived by the ideologically-blinded anti-gun crowd as a sneaky tool to promote gun ownership. Poor Eddie Eagle was removed from many schools as a result.
Many decades ago, in the relatively peaceful, post-WW2 1950s and 1960s, we kids (and I include myself) were taught riflery, using .22 bolt action, single-shot rifles in summer camps across the country. It consisted mostly of bulls eye targets tacked to hay bales, set out at about 25 yards. Under patient, but firm adult supervision, of course. It was one of my favorite activities at camp. I even liked the smell of the gun smoke! I honestly do not know if any summer camps in America offer this activity any longer. If not, too bad, and so sad, for among the valuable lessons a youngster would learn then were:
Adherence to safe gun handling rules. These are the basic, immutable rules applicable to any firearm
Range etiquette and safety rules, beyond just basic gun safety
Concentration: riflery actually calms the mind, as it requires intense, quiet focus
Real guns are NOT toys, nor do they perform like fictional cartoon depictions. Further....
People bleed and can die when shot. There is no "reset" button once the bullet leaves the barrel
Guns are machines, they are tools, and they require responsible ownership and maintenance
Adults are to be obeyed and respected. Get "out of line" and you will receive swift correction
Owning and shooting guns is a popular American pastime. It is a "normal" activity and hobby
The day will come when you are allowed to own your own gun. Until then, you must be with a responsible adult when handling a firearm
And so many more invaluable life lessons.
In that era, decades prior to video games, we watched TV westerns, in which viewers witnessed a great deal of gunfire and gun fights, but not indiscriminate killing of people. There was almost always a moral to the story: guns are tools and can be used for good or evil purposes. The good guys with guns prevailed, and the bad guys with guns were vanquished and defeated.
I am not saying that television was a good substitute for good parenting. I am saying that many modern, violent video games with increasing realism and indiscriminate killing scenarios de-sensitizes the players to the value of human life and makes killing more acceptable. They are even rewarded with a higher score for a higher body count. This cannot possibly be a healthy pastime.
Do you know what is? Teaching your youngster about firearms the right way. Do it for your child. Do it for your family, and do it for your country. We need you to do that to preserve our future right to own guns. Another youngster shooting up a public place just gives the anti-gunners another argument to ban and confiscate firearms from the responsible majority of gun owners who use them for legitimate purposes.
At Semper Firearms Training we encourage you to buy a good firearm, get trained in how to use it, and continue your firearms training as part of a defensive lifestyle.
Please be sure to watch these two important videos and to send the links on to a friend:
Some images courtesy of Oleg Volk
Semper Firearms Training
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Sparks, NV 89441
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Images courtesy of Oleg Volk