As a country that values personal freedoms, the United States has safeguards in place that ensure its citizens will always be free to pursue their God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One of these safeguards is our freedom to defend ourselves from others that would harm us and/or deny us our rights. The 2nd Amendment, one of the most important yet probably the most controversial amendment, comes with more responsibility than most others. That responsibility should not start when one is an adult; rather, it should start with teaching young children gun safety. Here are a few tips to convey gun safety to the youngest would-be gun enthusiasts.
- Be honest.
Guns are not toys, nor are they harmless. They are designed for hunting and for protection by stopping a threat, either by subduing them or killing them. Regardless of how you choose to use your firearms, you need to be explicitly clear with your children about the dangers of mishandling guns. Teaching them the good and the bad without sugar-coating it helps keep them from learning incorrect information from TV/movies/music or peers.
- Take them to a gun range.
When they are old enough to shoot, take them to a place where they will be able to fire the gun. (It should go without saying that you are keeping a close eye on them and explaining each step thoroughly before and after they fire it.) Becoming familiar with handling a gun and what a gun is capable of doing goes a long way to instilling a healthy fear of firearms that will enable them to handle them and interact with them in a safe manner.
- Set definite rules and boundaries.
Tell your children in no uncertain terms that they are NEVER allowed to touch or handle a firearm unless under direct supervision of an adult who is familiar with the gun or guns. Instill in them that it is NEVER okay to play with a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in your home or elsewhere. If they find a firearm within their reach, tell them they are to immediately tell an adult and let them handle it. Repeat this often; you can’t tell them enough.
The right to self-defense allows us to defend our other rights. But it comes with responsibility, and one of the most important responsibilities is teaching children gun safety so that are 2nd Amendment rights are in SAFE hands!