Bang! Bang! My Kids Are Gun Safe

Gun SafetyI had an outstanding time this past week camping with friends. There is nothing quite like being content sitting on a dock, staring out onto the water for hours or gathering about a campfire and staring hypnotically into the flames. What was even better was that the kids were happy with it too. It took about 4 – 5 hours for the “I’m bored” stare to drift from their eyes and get into camping mode but after that… They were off the grid and into the elements.

The other cool thing we got to do, was learn all about gun safety. I know ((~~GASP~~)) but it was a good experience for both parents and kids.

I couldn’t be more pleased, that my children’s first exposure to guns was safe, simple and done in the presence of responsible adults. I feel that hands on experience is a far better way of teaching them about guns then turning them loose on a first person shooter video game or letting them watch some Hollywood gangsta, cappin someone’s ass doin a drive by in a pimped out Escalade. It was simply an excellent opportunity for the kids to learn how guns worked, how to use guns safely and how to be safe in the presence of guns.

Now I didn’t do this myself, fortunately I have a friend York Furstenwald who is a certified firearms instructor and gun safety expert who could make this all happen. I don’t own a gun nor had I fired one in more than 20 years, so I was happy Mr. Furstenwald was willing to do this.

York spent a good deal of time going over 4 vital elements of gun safety or ACTS before the kids even touched the firearms.

4 ACTS of Gun Safety

Assume every firearm is loaded.

Control the barrel direction at all times.

Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until ready to fire.

See that the firearm secure, unloaded and safe.

Even after our gun safety briefing out of the deck, we walked out to the range and went over the ACTS again as it related to the environment they were in at that very moment. He went over range safety and commands and ensured the kids had a complete understanding of what was expected of them. What I was most amazed about was that the kids were completely absorbed for more than an hour in the blazing sun. By the time York was done talking about gun safety, the kids were at greater risk of getting melanoma then getting hit by a bullet (thank goodness for 60 sunblock). I was more of a problem student then the kids. I just wanted to SHOOT but it was safety first and I had to learn it all, just like the kids.

What liked most about the whole event is that my kids went away from it, with a solid understanding of how guns work, what they can do and how to be safe around them. Even if my kids never pick up another gun for as long as they live, they are now able to identify safe gun use, especially in a situation where they are in the presence of a firearm but are not in control of it.

Finally, one last word for the skeptics in the room. My purpose was not to create my very own mini militia in preparation of some kind of inevitable Armageddon nor do I have any desire to turn my children into mighty hunters. I just wanted the kids to learn about guns and how to use them safely. I don’t even intend to make this sort of thing a regular family activity BUT if they happen to show an interest in competitive shooting or perhaps biathlon, I would be more than happy to facilitate that but for now, I am just happy that we has such a good time with friends out in the bush.

For some video clips of our shooting sessions. Head to Family Gun Safety

Great article on shooting as a civilized activity

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