Learning how to use firearms is a skill that provides a lifetime of increased safety and enjoyment. However, you should take everything seriously when kids are involved. Teaching your little one the general principles of gun usage not only displays a sense of trust but helps them become responsible gun holders in the long run.
There are different variations and methods involved, but there is no right or wrong time to start training them. Your kids might be afraid, or even reluctant at first, but teaching them right ensures:
- Increased awareness of firearm-related injuries
- A better understanding of the damage caused by guns
- An understanding of firearm maintenance
Best Ways to Train Your Kids on Gun Usage
- Enforce and Reinforce on gun safety
Gun safety goes a long way towards ensuring your kids stay safe at any given time. The worst thing you need is being another statistic from the common gun violence. As a parent, take the initiative to educate your kid on effective handling, to prevent any foreseeable risk.
The moment your kids show the slightest interest in guns, they are entitled to learning more about handling and managing them, and it is your duty as a parent to make this happen. Help your kids understand why you keep guns and how they should never consider them as a “toy.”
For easier understanding, demonstrate gun safety by making them store their actual toy guns in a lockable chest. In the end, this instills discipline on gun usage effectively. To be on the safe side, don’t use a real gun unless you are sure about your kid’s handling abilities.
- Treat the gun as if it is loaded
There are a thousand different scenarios that give a negative connotation behind gun usage. However, focus on showing your kids the upside of it and the advantages of owning these powerful instruments will help formulate the right mindsets.
Given the magnitude of the situation, always assume that a gun is loaded and ready to use. Instilling this instinct to your kids makes them extra careful when handling, regardless of whether the weapon is loaded or not. Prevention from accidents should be a top priority and is much more relevant than the actual firing procedure.
In the same manner, avoid pointing if you’re not planning to shoot, and always practice in safe spaces. One of the best practices you could adopt is to keep your gun unloaded until you are sure about your child’s handling ability.
- Start small and prioritize maintenance
After enforcing safety and discipline, introduce gun maintenance and related procedures to help your child understand the various parts of a gun and how best to maintain it. Unveiling the mystery and sophistication behind a gun helps quench your child’s curiosity and establishes a code of conduct that is hard to break. The last thing you need is to have your youngster trotting down the path of self-exploration without guidance.
The above steps are mere prerequisites and preparation standards. The real work begins when doing the actual shooting. For safety purposes, use airsoft or BB guns since they have minimal recoil and don’t pose the same risk as real guns.
At this point, your upcoming marksman might be excited, but you should be careful enough to regulate the usage and intensity of training. Also, stress the importance of concealing the guns from friends or taking them outside the house without adult supervision.
- Use visual aids and always look for teachable situations.
As time goes by, your child gets exposed to the real world through the mainstream media. While gun violence has been portrayed negatively in television and video games, you should take it as an opportunity to enlighten your kids on safety standards, the various laws regarding guns, and how to handle delicate situations.
For better understanding, incorporate pictures of the good and bad that guns can do. However, be careful not to go overboard, especially if your child is still young. Do not terrify or traumatize them. Instead, build a better understanding of the underlying issues regarding gun usage.
Above all, walk your talk and understand that your kids learn more from your actions.
Overall, guns and kids are two entities that don’t often fare well together, and it would be quite risky to keep them inside the house. Even so, preventing your kids from interacting with these dangerous tools is not a long-term solution.
Instead, use the above tips to work your way around creating awareness and providing solid guidelines. Over time, you should be able to reshape their perspective and provide insights into gun usage.