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The importance of teaching children to respect weapons

Father & Son Hunting

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, I am still not entirely clear what that word means to Aretha Franklin. However, Webster’s dictionary defines the word as “A feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way.”

One could argue that the very concept of respect is missing in our society today. We see elderly men and women that are neglected. We see a loss of respect for women. We see a loss of respect for life.

As a father, I understand that if my children are to overcome “the norm” in our society, they will need to have strong influences in their life that model for them the path they should take. This is the time I must look in the mirror and say, “This is my job.”

I would contend that one of the most important things we can teach our children is to have the proper respect for weapons. What kind of weapons do you have in your home? Do your children know how to handle them properly? Do your children have access to them when you are not around to supervise? These seem like silly questions to ask. Unfortunately, many people today do not have the adequate answers.

I love hunting. I love waking up early, walking the fields, sitting in my blind, and watching the world wake up. I love the fact that I have the opportunity to use a certain set of skills to bring home my game, and provide nutritious food for my family.

I also love the right afforded to me by the 2nd amendment, to have the ability to protect my family. It is a comfort for me, as well as my family to know that I have the ability to protect them from acts of violence.

However, it appears as though this right has been under attack in recent months and years. This is not a political post. After all, I am a hunter and I love guns. I think you know where I stand on the issues at hand. My concern is not in dealing with politics. My concern is in caring for our children.

Just recently I was reading the local paper, and I came upon some heartbreaking news. The headline read, “12 Year Old Boy Fatally Shoots Baby Brother”. When I read that headline, my heart sank. My heart broke for that family, and that young boy who will never be the same. As a father I couldn’t help but take a look at myself, and my home. I had to ask if something like this could / would happen at my house.

It is time we revive respect for firearms. It is time that we treat them appropriately and make sure our children do as well. I like watching various television shows that highlight weapons and give demonstrations. They are entertaining, and they give me something to dream about. Unfortunately due to the entertainment side of the industry they do not spend much time dealing with the “boring details” of all of the safety precautions that were put into place. This leaves the responsibility on our shoulders (where it belongs) to train our children in these matters.

How to train children to respect guns

Make it fun.

Make sure when talking to your children about firearms safety you do not bore them to tears. Give them some incentive to pay attention. Inform them that if they listen attentively while receiving instruction you will take them to the range later that day and let them have some target practice.

Be consistent.

Telling your children to treat every gun as if it were loaded is great! However, if they watch you and see that occasionally you are careless with your handling, it will have an impact on them. Also be consistent in the sense that safety and respect for weapons is not a “one time” talk. It is something to be discussed frequently within the home, and in the field.

Show them the danger.

Have you ever read an article in the paper similar to what I mentioned above? Have you ever heard one of those heartbreaking stories on the news? Share those things with your children. Make sure that they are aware of the great threat that guns can present if handled improperly.

Let’s make sure that each of us are doing our part to promote gun safety within our homes, and pass it along to the next generation. The world does not need fewer guns. The world needs more responsible gun owners.

Have you found an effective method for teaching children about gun safety? We would love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

About The Author

Troy is a family man. He currently serves as a youth and family minister. Troy is a man who is very passionate about God, family, and guns. He enjoys escaping to the woods at every opportunity for a hunting trip. He is also very passionate about the way we raise our children to have respect for God, fellow man, and of course guns.