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Thread: This Pirate Looks at 40

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member Jojo712's Avatar
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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    How many of you have kids, and what do you do regarding your guns? As it stands, I've got a safe the size of a small room with a combination, an alarm, and a large arsenal. Then, I keep my trusty Wilson Combat by my nightstand as it stares back at me in the middle of the night, with those beautiful green eyes that let me know I'm safe. I keep it locked.

    I ask because those of you who know me know I'm having my first child (and that my wife is likely taking the next couple of years off, and therefore taking up most of my good time). Despite having been an elementary school teacher and then a middle school teacher during most of the 90s, I confess that I don't know the first thing about what I'm getting into with a child of my own ("So," to quote Hunter S. Thompson, "I guess you're about ready then?").

    I am cognizant of the fact that "education" is the solution, but how and how soon should I begin educating a child about what's a toy and what ain't?

    I'm willing to take her (or him, we've chosen not to find out) into my "special room" to watch and help me smith (or try), and I can contemporaneously attempt to teach the child that these aren't toys, but I don't think they'll actually get it until I take them out to kill something. I don't know. I really don't, and I'd appreciate any help you can give me on this one.

    Thanks,
    Jojo

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    My son is three. I keep all of my guns besides my primary defense/daily carry gun locked in safes within a locked and keyed closet. My primary gun is kept on my person except when I am sleeping. When I am sleeping I keep my primary gun holstered in my nightstand. I installed a hidden latch that prevents my son from opening the drawer if he suddenly becomes interested. At this point this is a sufficient safeguard but you have to be vigilant because kids figure stuff out quick.

    As far as talking about guns, I started talking to him as soon as he started really talking. He now knows that he is not allowed to touch guns and that they can hurt you. This is a good start, I think, and as he gets older I'll expand on the education. In addition, my wife and I decided not to have any toy guns in the house until we are sure that he is old enough to comprehend the difference.

    The main thing is restricting access to the firearms. Your kid will be curious, my son asks me all kinds of questions about the gun. Now he tells people Daddy carries a gun, he shoots targets.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    The main thing is restricting access to the firearms. Your kid will be curious, my son asks me all kinds of questions about the gun. Now he tells people Daddy carries a gun, he shoots targets.
    I'll address this only. I have a 10 yo son. Beside the safety of access, which seems everyone handles properly, my main concern is to take away the curiosity. My son has access to any of my firearms any time I'm available. Anytime we're home he can ask to see, examine, hold any of my guns. We get the gun out and we perform a safe check together and then I watch him holding and (for lack of better term) "play" with it under close supervision. I remind him of how to hold it, how to stand, what sight picture to look for..etc
    I also take him shooting often. I also have an unloaded firearm "on display" in a place in our home where he sees it every single day.
    I have taught him to field strip a few of them and when we shoot he helps me clean. Sometimes I will just give him one and tell him he can have a Popsicle if he can show me how to get it apart and back together.

    Anyway my desire is that I completely take away the awe factor. It's just a gun. Yes it must be treated with respect but there's nothing curious about it. I quite frankly have guns out all the time. He never indicates it's strange or fascinating to him. It's just a gun.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    Wow. This is gonna be long winded and somewhat confusing. I'll try my best though.

    For starters, my wife and I have been married for 10 years and together 14. We have a 9 year old son together and he is ALL boy. When we started dating, I carried a glock 26. I mainly kept it in my truck door. One day she saw it and asked me to put it away. She had just lost a friend to suicide and partially blamed the gun. I removed it from her sight for her comfort, but still kept it reachable. It took a couple of years before she was decently comfortable around them. She knew I wasn't gonna hurt her or anyone we loved. Before we married I explained she would be surrounded by guns the rest of her life as long as she was with me.

    Now to the topic. We had a son and she was scared of losing him to anything, knowing I carried, she didn't even want him to have toy guns as he may get confused and grab the "wrong one". I never leave my gun where it can be reached. Well, I, against her will, bought him a toy gun for his birthday and went through the whole gun safety thing. He keeps it muzzle down, never points it an anyone and never puts his finger on the trigger until ready to fire it. After I felt he had that down pat, I got one of my pistols from the safe and sat him down. His eyes were big as school clocks, because I've always told him no when he asked to see it previously. I sat him down, removed the magazine, checked the chamber, showed it to him and let him look at it. Over the next few years, all the time I ask him our house rules of gun safety.
    1. Treat all guns as if they are real.
    2. Remove magazine.
    3. Check chamber whether it be a bolt action, lever action, semi auto, or pump.
    4. Never, never touch the trigger. NEVER

    Now, a few times I have unloaded my pistol, totally empty, and placed it on the dining table "accidentally" to see how he handled finding one. He has always ran to me in panic to get it and make sure it is safe.

    I've let him shoot all of my pistols, .22, 9mm, .357, 1911, both 38 supers and my 40's. he has great respect for them and can fully disassemble, clean, and reassemble my ar15. I've taught him to be safe, respectful and not scared of any firearm. Hope that helps you

    Oh, and now my wife either carries in her purse, either my glock 23 or my sig p226 in 40. She finally came around and is a pretty good shooter.

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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    Anyway my desire is that I completely take away the awe factor. It's just a gun. Yes it must be treated with respect but there's nothing curious about it. I quite frankly have guns out all the time. He never indicates it's strange or fascinating to him. It's just a gun.

    I think that is awesome!!!!!!

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    I feel you all are on track. good advice everyone.
    Last edited by person DJ; 10-03-2012 at 08:59 AM.

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    Regular Member rvrctyrngr's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new addition to the family, JoJo!!!

    Also, thanks for all you do to protect our rights!
    Director,
    Florida Carry, Inc.

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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    Since we are on the topic. I have a 5 year old girl.
    What age did you guys let them shoot for the first time?

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    This Pirate Looks at 40

    I had my boy shooting a daisy buck at 6 years old. One day when he was 7, we went shooting with some buddies and he got interested. He asked if he could shoot my ar, and since it has little kick, I said yes. 30-30, 2 pistols, and my 12 gauge were all shot by him that day. Did very well, just respects the 12 gauge a little more now.

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    Regular Member twoskinsonemanns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roughneckreed View Post
    I had my boy shooting a daisy buck at 6 years old. One day when he was 7, we went shooting with some buddies and he got interested. He asked if he could shoot my ar, and since it has little kick, I said yes. 30-30, 2 pistols, and my 12 gauge were all shot by him that day. Did very well, just respects the 12 gauge a little more now.
    Very nice!
    Age 7 my son started shooting a .22LR rifle.
    Many different calibers and platforms since.
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Regular Member ADulay's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting an excellent thread.

    I've got a 3 year old (going on about 9 I think) around here a lot and he sees me with the openly carried gun a lot and I don't believe it bothers him at all as he's "seen" it literally since he could walk!

    Of course all of my other guns are locked up and up high in a top shelf file so accidental exposure should not be a problem.

    I'm also glad some of you mentioned at what age you had them fire the real gun. I've got several .22's that will fit a small hand nicely and I was thinking about aged 5 might be the time to see if he's interested enough.

    As it is, he's perfectly happy to just throw empty brass at the steel targets when he gets invited down to the range when I need to check some things out with live fire. He does not like the noise and we make sure his ears are protected, whether he likes it or not!! But for a three year old, hearing the empty brass hit the steel target when he throws it at the targets is just like shooting to him! (Three year olds are like that. You'll soon find out.)

    Anyway, thanks for the thread and I'll be reading this one closely.

    AD (with the 3 year old rental that I can hand back after dinner!)

    Learning how to count to 50 at Uncle Andy's house.....

    Last edited by ADulay; 10-03-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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    Regular Member pfries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt2908 View Post
    Since we are on the topic. I have a 5 year old girl.
    What age did you guys let them shoot for the first time?
    I have five kids and they all started about the same time three to four years.





    Education is paramount, even my 24 year old daughter will not touch one of my guns without good cause or permission. Friends that carry show up and my four year old will tell them that itís not a toy and donít play with it.
    My little guy got his first squirrel end of last season.


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    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    Awesome timing with this thread. I have a 5 y/o grandson that is at my house ALOT now, and he hasn't been raised to this point the way I was, and some of you have raised your kids...His only gun knowledge is toys and video games. I am looking for more guidance in breaking him in PROPERLY. It's way too late for the way I was done, like others, with having guns around all the time, and helping clean them, and learning what they are the right way..
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    Founder's Club Member Jojo712's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvrctyrngr View Post
    Congratulations on the new addition to the family, JoJo!!!

    Also, thanks for all you do to protect our rights!
    In all humility and reciprocity, thank you, Florida Carry, for everything you do to protect our rights.

    Thanks to all of you for your insightful comments regarding children and guns. My wife and I read this today (yesterday was the baby shower) and she and I agree with you on every single count. Judging from your experience, from the amount of folks who have kids here, and from the good advice contained herein, this is an important thread to consider when the child finally comes along. Once the thread has run its course, I'll be printing it out and living by it.

    I was particularly impressed with the application of regular "gun rules" as house rules, such as "treat every gun as if it were loaded," etc. I also appreciate the insight with regard to "taking the curiosity out of guns," as it is only the "mysterious" items that draw children to "experiment." I think ADulay and PFries are starting them at the right time and doing all the right things. I'll get her (or him) started as soon as possible.

    Red Dawg's concern with regard to the video game dilemma is both salient and timely, as in these times children are raised with video games that entail a degree of violence that may have a desensitizing influence for children, to both violence and guns. I certainly feel that they may even make kids think that once you shoot someone, they "come back," because everybody on the game gets several "lives"; but again, this is one of the things I know nothing about. I know that the last time I played video games, it was an Atari 2600, and by then my dad had taught me the difference between real guns and the ones on my screen.

    Thanks for putting up with this rambling screed that I called a response, and please accept my utmost thanks for your thoughtful and reflective comments. As always, I am overwhelmed by the knowledge and sympathy of this forum.
    Last edited by Jojo712; 10-08-2012 at 03:18 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Just about everybody has given you great advice.

    No offense, Adualy, but "Of course all of my other guns are locked up and up high in a top shelf file so accidental exposure should not be a problem" needs to be clarified - they are locked up in something that is on a high shelf, or they are either locked up or on a high shelf? One is good but cumbersome, the other is downright scary.

    Back when we knuckledragging Neanderthals were the dominant group on the planet, just about every family had at least one long gun, and most of them were kept loaded and behind the back door. Kids knew about them from the first moment their eyes were able to focus, and they were never made into a mystery or "forbidden fruit" - except that if you even tried to touch it without permission and supervision by either dad, mom, or an older sibling you would be eating standing up for at least a month. Not because the gun was "forbidden fruit" but because you failed to show respect for your elders who had told you not to touch it without their permission. (There also was an adult around almost all the time - you could not get away with much.) The thing was, permission was always granted - and most times that included getting to shoot it, too. By the time kids were able to see over the barrel with the butt on the floor they were taking the long gun out to shoot squirrels or rabbits (and sometimes crows if they lived in farm country). They took their own rifles (that they had been given on their birthday or at Christamas) with them and hunted on the way to school, and picked up their rifle and hunted on the way home. Most families did not depend on the meat brought home for the pot but it sure made a kid feel responsible.

    The anology today would be the automobile. Every kid knows what one is, and even kids whose daddies can barely get the gas tank cap off to put gas in have sat in the driver's seat and been allowed to turn the steering wheel.

    Don't make the gun a mystery. But also remember that kids today are not going to have as much opprtunity to shoot as they did back when the Earth was still cooling. Encourage them to ask about the guns, and unless there is a fire or someone is having a heart attack be willing to stop what you are doing when they ask to see the gun or just have a question about guns. As they get older (middle school) you can start deferring till later.

    In closing - enjoy your kid. You are just about old enough to actually be able to do that, and not too old to be able to keep up.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    Regular Member ADulay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    No offense, Adualy, but "Of course all of my other guns are locked up and up high in a top shelf file so accidental exposure should not be a problem" needs to be clarified - they are locked up in something that is on a high shelf, or they are either locked up or on a high shelf? One is good but cumbersome, the other is downright scary.
    Yes, that paragraph was a bit untidy for sure.

    The "extra" guns are all locked AND in a file (locked) up very high.

    As we all know, the average 2-4 year old can climb ANYTHING and make it look like the World Championships of Lumberjacks!!

    Kids will climb anything!

    AD
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    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
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    I used to have videos on youtube of all the neighbors kids, and mine, shooting every gun I had. Sadly, all were censored and that account was terminated.

    The 6 year old neighbor kid who wasn't even 3 feet tall, emptying the magazine of the 1911 into a steel plate, was pretty inspiring... The girls spitting hot brass out of the Ruger Chargers onto each other was funny, too. They thought the brass-shaped burn marks were cool. The School teachers didn't, lol. Made for a fun show-and-tell day tho. They weren't allowed to bring the empty .22 cases, but they couldn't force them to leave their skin at home.

    Brainwashing for Statism begins at an early age now, and most parents do nothing to counteract it. I unraveled that plot for the whole school district. They hate me (nothing new there). The kids think I'm awesome.

    I annoy my son with it. "Oh great, gun stuff again..." No curiosity left in him. I leave my guns laying all over, round in the chamber, no safeties. Every kid who walks through MY door practices far better gun safety than every cop I've seen put together. Let them put a Ballistic Tip .308 into a pumpkin and they learn respect pretty quick. We all say sir and ma'am to each other, never had to instruct them to do so. Respect breeds more of the same. I sometimes wonder if I am the only one left who knows how to parent properly...
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."
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