Author Topic: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it  (Read 3903 times)

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SARGeek

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Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« on: July 22, 2013, 12:45:18 PM »
This is a tangent off the thread here:
http://guntoters.com/index.php/topic,5030.0.html

So as not to hijack that thread away from it's own important discussion.

The topic of having a gun available for your kid(s) for home-defense purposes came up and I wrote the following post which seemed well-received. In order to toss some ideas around, identify judgement points, and special considerations I thought another thread might be useful so here it is.

<<<<<<<<<<<<< Re-post from other thread  >>>>>>>>>>>>>
My kids get kinda twitchy at the range when bad gun handlers are around too. My only concern with making a gun available to them as would be as they head into the teen angst and the skewed perspective that allows one to really believe in their heart of hearts that being grounded is the end of their life. I sat down with my 18 year-old recently on this topic and explained that the drama was generating serious concerns. He assured me that it was a lot of noise over stuff he knew was not as important as he was making it out to be and it has since calmed down quite a  bit. Teen suicide is still a serious issue, tied also to things like bullying and parents who are not paying attention, and I would hate to leave him the tools that would turn a momentary urge into a tragedy.


"Trust to the Lord but keep your powder dry" is an old, old axiom that applies as much in parenting as anywhere else. If I ever feel that the kids don't have enough self-control to deal with a gun then the guns will be out of ready access at our home for them until that changes. Not a huge deal, simply moving the pan away from the fire a bit so notyhing gets burned during a flare up. But these things are something you have to pay attention to, such monitoring isn't automatic.

In the meantime, 13 is early for that level of angst but plenty grown up enough to have better judgement than many adults. If you are confident in his ability to deal with the responsibility, for now at least (pre-hormone storm if you will), then brief him in and walk him through some scenarios. Here are a few suggestions, you will have to judge for yourself how to deal with this but speaking as a parent and an NRA certified instructor I'd factor these into my plan for my own kids at this age:

1. Keep the sessions short. Kids' attention spans won't be long enough for the whole subject at once.

2. Allow time for questions. Further shortens what you can cover at once but important for them to "own" the info.

3. Have a plan for them, several in fact based on whether or not you are home and what the most likely scenarios are.

4. Allow them some input to the plan. They will buy in to it more and you may be surprised what their uncluttered mind will see that you might have unknowingly made an assumption about. You can even leave some deliberate choice points for them like "Would you be more comfortable grabbing the gun and running out the back door if there is more than one and the opportunity presents itself?" and "Where would you go?" Things like that.

5. Cover the important stuff but don't get fancy. Kids don't usually go for lots of detail in action plans and will disregard them when under pressure.

6. Run through some stuff with airsoft. That will make the training fun and they will be far more likely to react how they trained with you.

Just a some thoughts. We can take it to another thread if you want to talk more about this and bat some ideas around. It's a worthy topic for all parents & grandparents as far as I'm concerned.
<<<<<<<<<<<<< End of Re-post from other thread  >>>>>>>>>>>>>

For the sake of getting things rolling I thought I'd toss out some stuff to discuss and we can work on from there.

Considerations related to having a gun available for your child for home defense.

1. In my view the most important single question here would be: "Does having this gun here make us and out children more safe or less safe?" Everything else would seem to boil down to that.

2. Consideration I believe would apply to this would be:
a. Do the children (or child) in question have the knowledge & skill to use the gun as an effective defense tool?
b. Do they have the judgement to know when to use and when to *not* use the gun?
c. Do they know when running like the blazes is the best option? (Is there too much child-related pride tied to running away?)
d. Can they work as a team if more than one is present?
e. Do they have a realistic understanding of the probable tactical situation and what is and is not possible or probable under those conditions. (Things like understanding that the 9mm isn't going to blow the BG through a wall with one shot, and other HollyWeird silliness)
f. Is there a safe location/method/procedure for storage & deployment?
g. Are they emotionally stable enough to be trusted with a firearm without supervision?

3. I would ask that we set aside legal considerations for the purposes of discussion. We can go there on another thread but I think keeping this one focused on *practical* considerations will pay large dividends and legal details will vary quite a bit State to State. I don't advocate breaking the law, but I think there is more value in this discussion if it remains unencumbered in that respect.

4. I've outlined some of the things I think would make an effective approach in my previous post so consider them repeated here and feel free to pick up any or all of them for discussion.

Let's get started folks, let me know your ideas, feel free to point to flaws in my ideas (respect is appreciated) and let's see if we can't make some good ideas happen!
SARGeek

Tadrian

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2013, 01:35:41 PM »
I like this thread, and what you're hoping to do with it.  That said, I'm not sure I'll have anything to input. 

My two sons were raised in a military environment in places where there were always a lot of guns, and they and their friends and most of the parents, Mom's and Dads, were also deeply involved in shooting.  The responsibility of it just seemed to flow into the kids.

We had lots of great experiences but I'm not sure they'd apply here.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 05:47:06 AM by Tadrian »
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Robert Harvey

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2013, 10:05:11 PM »
1
Time will tell.

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 10:06:03 AM »
Kids WILL experiment with guns when no adults are around.
Count on it.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.

SARGeek

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 10:30:59 AM »
Kids WILL experiment with guns when no adults are around.
Count on it.

Oh yeah, if you don't want them to mess with them you need to lock them and keep the key on you. It is too much a verbotten topic in for them not to develop a nearly irresistible curiosity on the subject. Add in the glorification of violence and the whole "voodoo" attitude about guns at schools today and there is little wonder that they want to find out.

Teaching them to shoot and taking them to the range regularly helps a lot in this respect but does nothing for when their friends come over.
SARGeek

LEJoe

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 02:02:21 PM »
Kids WILL experiment with guns when no adults are around.
Count on it.

Oh yeah, if you don't want them to mess with them you need to lock them and keep the key on you. It is too much a verbotten topic in for them not to develop a nearly irresistible curiosity on the subject. Add in the glorification of violence and the whole "voodoo" attitude about guns at schools today and there is little wonder that they want to find out.

Teaching them to shoot and taking them to the range regularly helps a lot in this respect but does nothing for when their friends come over.


+1

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 04:19:01 AM »
In todays climate I really question children access to any type of firearms. Take, for example, the shooting in Conn. That mother has been roasted, by media, and in the public domaine for giving that boy access and teaching him to use the rifle. According to news reports, he was known to have mental problems of some sort. If the lady had lived they would have arrested her, IMO.

Kids go through that hormone time and some have suicidal thoughts during that time period. I just don't believe the public of today will allow you freedom should your child take a gun, that you have taught him to shoot and left before him, and shoot/kill himself or someone else. IMO they will hold you responsible and the media will roast you publically. Now I know there are reports where a 15 year old boy used a gun and protected his sister from home invaders. I believe that to be a righteous shooting and don't believe he was ever arrested or prosecuted for his action. On the other side, I do believe one needs to really examin your child's maturity level and descision making abilities before allowing free access to guns. IMO, if they use them unwisely, you(the gun owner) will pay a serious price because you allowed access to the gun.

I do believe in planning and educating your sons and daughters about gun safety and their righteous uses. Even teaching a young child about self defense, teaching them to shoot, and do running senerios with them, however giving free access to guns at a very early age(13), I just don't know in todays society. I choose to keep my guns locked up or on my person, where my grandchildren do not have ready access.

I applaud what your are attempting to do, but serious caution must be observed here, as you stated in your piece. Just my 2 cents SARGeek.

Some have stated kids are curious. I remember, in my case, my father had a 38 Spl revolver in the head of his bookcase bed. All 4 of us children knew where it was. I do remember that I did look at it, and handle it, a few times, when no one was around. I had curiosity for sure. I do expect other boys will do that same thing also.

My father taught me to shoot at an early age and purchased a 410 shotgun, when I was 8. I was not allowed to hunt alone until I was about 10. The shotgun was kept in his closet, then later in his gun cabinet and locked away from me unitl I was 12. As grade schoolers (1957), we were allowed to bring our shotguns to school, store them in the coat room during class time, and then hunt back to our homes during hunting season. Someone's mom complained so they started making us bring our shottys to the principals office until school dismissial. 

I will say I never had a thought of shooting someone with it, that I can ever remember, but I was not exposed to all the violent video games that boys of today are. IMO, they make a big difference and "Possibly" are resopnsible for a lot of today's youth problems where firarms are involved. Freinds, YMMV on this subject.


SARGeek

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 07:54:06 AM »
My father walked to school and at the time it was common for many of the boys (and even a few of the girls) to bring shotguns and store them in their lockers to hunt on the way home from school. They never had an issue as far as he knew.

You raise some great points about the societal factors and legal factors (which we were going to leave out for purposes of exploring the practical factors according to the OP) and those need to be considered. I's like to focus a bit on the practical (and from a parenting standpoint that does include assessment of the mental state of your child) considerations and folks can work out for themselves what fits into the legal & societal framework where they live. I would imagine that folks in Texas or Wyoming have more freedom in this regard than folks in New York or New Jersey.

Bottom line is, in my view anyway, what can the kids handle? I think they are capable of bot more and less than most folks expect. Most kids understand and can deal with complex procedures, accurate assessments, and the difference between reality and games or TV for the most part. Where I think they tend to fall short is that, due to life experience, or lack thereof, they don't really know what is possible and whet is fantasyland when it comes to tactical realities. This is where video games, with their false environment and repetition, can be detrimental. My solution to this would be airsoft. The sting of getting zapped at 250+ fps because you thought it worked like your xbox tends to help sort this out... ;D  But this doesn't sort out the physical, hand-to-hand realities. Perhaps martial arts training would help. I know I learned a lot sparring with real human beings, both in that getting hit wasn't the end of the world and that reality isn't usually what you imagined it would be.

Nothing absolves you as a parent from an honest assessment of your child's ability to handle what you plan to teach them. And that ability on their part will change *daily* at some points in their development. But don't limit what you teach them based on what they may not be able to handle tomorrow. Even if you've had to lock up the guns (and even the pointy stuff) their knowledge of how it all works may save their lives when some crackhead breaks down the door. Grabbing their little sister and bailing out the back door may be the correct action because they know all the stuff can be replaced but they can't be. And they know that getting physical with someone who doesn't even feel pain when they have the option of running is stupid.
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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 09:40:12 AM »
I believe that it all begins with responsibility. If a child is not taught to be personally responsible, and that he will invariably be punished for misdeeds, then any gun-handling education is lost on that child.
Teaching gun safety in an environment in which there is little or no punishment for misbehavior and stupid decisions is a lost effort. Safety, of one's self and of others, depends upon personal responsibility.

We first gave our daughter a good grounding in personal responsibility. Only after that was she instructed about guns and gun handling.
All of the guns in the house, except one, were kept in a glass-front cabinet. It was locked, but she knew where the key was, and how to open the lock. The one other gun was kept loaded, at my side of the bed. She knew about that one, too.
But she also knew that she could handle, and use, any gun in the house, but only under parental supervision. All she had to do was ask. But if she handled any gun without permission, stiff punishment would inevitably follow.

We also forbade "playing guns." Guns were not playthings. And if a friend insisted, she was to leave and come home. Further, if she saw an unattended gun at someone's home, and there was no adult to tell, she was also to come immediately home.

My daughter, now in her middle 30s, is still gun-safe. She is also still strongly personally responsible.
Steve,
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oldranger53

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 08:00:44 AM »
My father walked to school and at the time it was common for many of the boys (and even a few of the girls) to bring shotguns and store them in their lockers to hunt on the way home from school. They never had an issue as far as he knew.

<snip>



Same here.  It was very common to see boy's pickup trucks in the high school parking lot of my hometown with gun racks, with guns in them for after school bird hunting activities.
Those days are LONG GONE, I'm afraid.  Sigh.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 09:08:50 PM »
As much as I try to raise my own kids the way i was raised, culture is also a big player in how someone matures.  Keeping this in mind, I am very cautious with my sons access to my firearms.
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SARGeek

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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2014, 03:21:59 PM »
I doubt anyone here would advocate for anything other than caution regarding children and access to firearms.

That said, supervised learning and use of guns has put my kids in a far better place understanding the reality of what is and is not possible and given them a much better knowledge base against which to judge the drivel handed out on TV and in school regarding guns, and weapons in general, than they would otherwise have had.

Both parenting and growing up have become far more complex than they were as recently as 20 years ago and I suspect that this trend will continue. There is no way school can teach them (nor in my opinion, should teach them) the societal and cultural issues or today, let alone put them in the context of history and the evolution of the culture.

But when is a kid no loner a child? Currently residing under our roof are three of our offspring, ages 11, 18, and 19. The older ones can easily be taught much of what is needed to properly handle a gun and evaluate a home defense situation. But we watch and monitor. When you're 18, getting dumped by your girlfriend is a big deal and you don't yet have the context in which to properly place the impact of the (probably over-dramatic) ending of a three month relationship that never went past holding hands or a light peck on the cheek anyway. So Mrs. SARGeek & I open and close access as needed. It is still our house and even the ones who are technically not minors have to follow our rules. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be taught what they can do, even without guns, to survive and help themselves and each other in a bad spot.
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Re: Your kids and guns for defense - Let's talk about it
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 06:28:25 AM »
I don't have a problem with teaching your children how to properly handle a firearm when they are at the right age, but parents need to be responsible as well, If their child has a mental disorder? maybe? not such a good idea to do, As in the shooting in Conn. It was said that the boy had a mental disorder, Now maybe this disorder was diagnosed after the fact? possibly? but then as the parent, Must take precautions with your firearms, Know your children, Be apart of their lives, Just having a child doesn't make you a dad/mom, It's how you interject with them, Keep them safe as well as yourselves
Shawn, Stay armed, Stay safe