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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to play with caps guns and toy guns as a kid. My friends and I would point at each other and shoot. I'm beginning to think that this was a disaster that should never been allowed. So for my son, I was thinking of doing things differently and setting some extremely strict rules about toy guns (he's only 1 now, so I've got some time.)

This is my proposed plan so far, all opionions welcomed:
I'm going to get him a Ring's "blue HiPower" at a young age (suggestions for age? I've had 6 years old recommended from a lot of "the greatest generation"). I stress BLUE, not one of their black ones. It will be kept in the safe with the other guns [actual firearms]. He will get a holster on a belt and he can come to the range with me in full safty gear (Safety glasses, hearing protection, etc.) The gun will go back in the safe after each trip.

The idea will be that he can NEVER point any toy gun at anyone EVER. If he does, his blue HiPower training aid will be taken away along with no more trips to the range and we will look at photos from the morgue that clearly illistrate how guns are not fun to shoot at people [perhaps too much? I'm sure to get some opionions about that one, I might drop that idea.]

TV shows like GI JOE are what I grew up on. In these shows, everybody shoots at people, but not a single person actually has a bullet/lazer/missle/ etc hurt another person. People eject from their planes just in time to see them blow up and the enemy allways retreats instead of being killed. We had a lot of "rambo kids" on my block growing up, and ten years later the media was replaced with urban "gangsta" scenarios in our teen/college years where you keep a glock in your pants just to survive in "the hood." Again, the idea is you shoot every day, and the "cool factor" was multiplied. It was just plain cool to shoot at people. I'm not typically against violent video games, but I'm sure that all of the Wolfenstien/DOOM/James Bond Goldeneye/HALO I've played over the years have not been helpful in promoting gun safety.

Now, I know that I somehow grew up without killing anybody even though I don't approve of the way I was raised. I was just thinking of having the next generation grow up with better safety values instilled. Ideas?
 

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All but one each of my kids and grand-kids are in Australia, so I can only talk about what we are doing with the 3 YO who lives here. He is a very bright, inquisitive child so we decided that he needed to know 'the rules' from the beginning. Whenever my son and I have a gun of any sort out for cleaning, etc., we let the grandson see it, and explain that it is Dad's/Opa's and that it is NOT a toy - It is a gun, and that a gun is a special tool for grown-ups. We then tell him when he is old enough (not older, but old ENOUGH) we will teach him how to use it. He is allowed to stay and watch. The plan is to start him with a single shot .22 rifle when he gets to be about 6. He should be able to shoulder it properly at that age. I prefer a rifle for teaching the basics of sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. Rifles are actually easier to learn to shoot, and the basics translate to handguns - even the stance (ala Mod. Weaver).

I'm not a video game person. I've done the 'combat' thing for real, and just can't get into sitting in a comfy chair, pushing buttons, playing 'pretend combat'. For that reason, any comment I might make would be coloured by my attitudes, perceptions and life experiences.
 

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whiffleball,

I applaud your intentions to teach your son firearms safety. During two former marriages I was never blessed with any children, so I am not a parent. I can not speak intelligently from that standpoint, and even if I could, would be hesitant to tell another parent what I think they should do.

However, I will make one of those comments your were expecting. One of my two majors in college was psychology, but that certainly does not make me a professional talk guy. Just gives me some insights into some things, that's all. More importantly, as a career LEO, I spent my first 12-13 years working all homicides/deaths in my department.

Part of my duties involved attending all autopsies as the investigating detective, and to take custody of any evidence removed from the body during the procedure. I can tell you candidly they are not pleasant to experience first hand, and only the smells associated with them are lost in photographs.

More than once I handed gunshot autopsy photos to the prosecutor who was to try the case, only to watch them vomit. My point is they knew it would not be nice, and sometimes a really bad one would still get to them.

It is your child I am discussing, which give me no right to do anything but offer my personal opinions and suggestions. But unless you intend to make him watch the old "Signal 30" movies most of us were required to watch during drivers training in high school, I think making him look at gunshot autopsy photos at any age, just might be a bit much.

Again, only my thoughts, but they are truly well intended.

twoguns
 

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Hello,

I started both of my teenage boys with .22 caliber rifles teaching them the fundamentals of shooting and firearm safety. We started early and I would let them under close supervision shoot my .22's with careful consideration to safety.

Later on, I began with handguns letting them shoot my Ruger MKII at about 15 and 16 years old.

Right now, they have very little interest in firearms and have shown a total lack of curiousity of them.

At 15 or 16 years, I could leave a handgun on the kitchen table, leave the room and they wouldn't even give it a second glance.

It is important to stress that my kids had an early exposure to firearms and therefore did not develope the inane curiousity about them. They did not have "toy" guns growing up and I think that has something to do with it.

Chris
 

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Whiffel,

I think the morgue photos are a bridge too far for kids.

We want them to respect guns, and so we let them learn slowly and they make their mistakes under our supervision, but at the same time I think we need to be careful not to stamp out the warrior spirit, especially in our boys.

Let's face it, there are times when the good guys do need to point guns at certain people in this mean old world. I want my kids to know that.

Just my two cents.

PGM
 

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Hello,

My kids have been around guns since birth and they hear Positive Gun Talk including Safety on a daily basis. By the time my daughter started Kindergarten she could easily identify 75% of The Browning High Power's Part's. The first word's my son ever said was Browning High Power.

When they want to hold a gun, I'll bring it out and right then remind them to First & Always keep your finger off the trigger & outta the trigger guard and make sure it's UNLOADED and to keep the muzzle pointing in a safe direction even thow it's unloaded, ect., ect..

Now, my kids are very safe with guns, you can hand'em each a pistol and their finger's are "automatically" outta the trigger guard & their muzzle's are pointed in a Safe direction. They even handle toy guns in the same safe manner. My daughter has even told a few adults in Gun Shops to get their finger's off the trigger and to becareful where they point the gun.

I'm not against kids seeing photo's of gun shot wound's. I believe it's very important for them to know what a bullet can do.

Take Care,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
At some point during my kid's firearms training, I'm sure going to pull out a certain T-shirt I have that is stained in blood. I will then tell the story of Patches the happy little dog, and how I carried him to the vet because of the time he wandered onto my property while I was target shooting. He got between the target and the backstop. We were both lucky that day, and Patches eventually got better, but that story could have had a different ending.
 

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Probably the most memorable and valuable learning experiences I had as a child that involved firearms happened at a YMCA summer camp. This particular camp had a .22 rifle range.

One of the counselors that worked the range was a recently returned 'Nam vet. I can still picture him standing on the target stands with a large metal can of spaghetti sauce in his hands. He then gave us the rules of firearm safety and responsibility. He then went on to explain that the can was about the same size and weight as our heads. He then placed the can on the target stand and we returned behind the firing line.

The counselor then shot the can with a .22 LR. The results were very spectacular to an 11 year-old kid. I still remember that lesson today. I think that demonstration is one of the most effective I have heard of.

Now that it's time to teach my son to shoot, I will repeat that lesson for him. Hopefully it will stay with him as long as it has with me.
 

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That is almost the same way I did it. We allowed toy guns but did not allow pointing at people or pets (same thing at our boys group in church) - this cause a bit of a problem as the boys sort of got into a sort of "force on force" game but we kept after them and it seems to have worked out OK.

I started him shooting, under strict supervision, when he was 4. His cousins got the same treatment each summer but of course, not living in the house I cannot say what they did at other times.

Jim H.
 
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