The negative impact of guns is publicized on a regular basis through media outlets, causing parents to worry about the dangers of owning a firearm in their home. While there are some dangers to be noted, that doesn’t mean firearms should be completely taken out of the home. There are key things that should be taught to children about gun safety whether they live in a home with a weapon or not. This will help them to be prepared no matter what situation they find themselves in.
Guns are everywhere around our children, from the toy store to the movies. The proliferation of guns in popular culture may make our children desensitized when it comes to gun safety, meaning it is more important than ever to distinguish between a real gun and a fictional one. When a child watches actors using guns carelessly in the movies, without proper knowledge they will begin to put less value on the importance of gun safety. This is further established when they watch an actor die from a gunshot wound in one movie, yet appear perfectly fine in another film.
Teach your child that there is a clear difference between the toy guns they are allowed to use, and the weapons that should only be used in the right situations with diligent supervision. Use a toy gun to demonstrate the safe and proper way to handle a gun, including the direction it should be pointed. This will help them follow proper safety procedures if they ever encounter a gun while you aren’t around.
There are too many stories of children either in their own homes or in the homes of their friends finding firearms without their parent’s permission and using them in secret because of the meaning that has been attached to them. Even those who don’t own guns should be open with their children, as not everywhere your child goes will be a gun free home.
Talk with your child about the importance of gun safety, gun safes, and more. Let them know how to properly handle a gun, whether it is loaded or not. Teaching them to avoid using guns without parental supervision, but showing them how to safely use one while a supervisor is there will be instrumental in keeping your child safe.
Although unlikely, there are certain situations where your child may come across a gun that is unattended with no adults around. It is important that your child will know what to do should this be the case. Teach your children to not touch the firearm, and encourage their friends to do the same. An unattended weapon could be more dangerous than it appears. In this situation, leave and tell a trusted adult immediately.
Guns don’t have to be dangerous to your child as some people believe. Teach your kids the importance of gun safety, and how to avoid dangerous situations. In this way, you will better protect your children, even when you aren’t with them.