ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Young Is Too Young For Firearm Safety?

Updated on February 7, 2014

Safety begins when our children enter this world; from day one. As parents we prepare our homes for them. We put items of value out of reach. We put locks on cabinets, toilets and door knobs. We do everything we can to keep our children safe. We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them to stay away from ponds and rivers, to look both ways before crossing a road, not to touch electrical outlets and put cleaning chemicals and medications out of arms way. We teach them to listen and trust us because we want to keep them safe. But how many parents actually teach their children about firearms and what to do when they encounter one?

By the time our children can hold a plastic toy gun, shouldn't we begin teaching them about safety? Consider this; over half of parents who donot have firearms of any sort in their home never discuss firearm safety with their children. Even less never discuss with children what to do if they encounter one. Children are curious, they see guns glorified on television and in video games and yet discussing gun safety with children is less of a priority than teaching them not to touch a cup of hot coffee.

Statistical Data From the Center for Disease Control

The number of deaths per year from accidental discharge of a firearm, all ages:

  • 2008 = 592
  • 2009 = 554
  • 2010 = 606
  • 2011 = 851 (preliminary)


Number of deaths per age group during 2010 as the result of an accidental discharge of firearm:

  • Ages 1 - 4..........25 deaths
  • Ages 5 - 14........37 deaths
  • Ages 15 - 24....145 deaths


Where to Begin?

When your child is old enough to hold a plastic toy gun, you should begin discussing safety related issues. Teach your child to treat a toy gun just as if it was a real; example, a real gun should never be pointed at another person. Discuss safety expectations inside and outside of your home when playing with toy guns. Most importantly, teach them what to do when they come across a real firearm. For the purpose of this discussion, a firearm can be a rifle of any sort, handgun, bb, pellet, paintball, etc... Lastly, show them the below video on the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program and answer any questions they have.

The Eddie Eagle Gun Safe Program began in 1988. It is geared for children of pre-kindergarten to third grade. The video focuses on accident prevention. Created by the NRA, this video does not teach children about firearms, offers no firearm judgment, never mentions the NRA, does not encourage the purchase of firearms, and is not sponsored by any federal or firearm manufacturer funding. There is no hidden agenda with this video. The video strictly teaches safety and accident prevention. It teaches your children what to do should they or one of their friends encounter a firearm whether it be within your house or at a friend’s house.

Gun Safety for Children with Eddie Eagle

Eddie Eagle teaches children the following steps to take when they encounter a situation with a firearm:

  • STOP!
  • Don't touch
  • Leave the area
  • Tell an adult

What Else Can You Do?

As an adult and firearm owner, it is your responsibility to properly store your guns to ensure they do not get into the wrong hands. Proper storage methods are to keep your gun unloaded, keep the chamber open and store separately from ammunition. Never hide your loaded gun; children will find it!

I recommend to invest in a proper fitting lock. A lock will fit around the trigger and prevent it from being pulled. These are normally unlocked by a key, therefore, it is extremely important that the key is put in a safe place and out of reach of children.

Another storage option is a gun safe. Gun safes can be as big or small as you need them to be. They come with various types of locks including a quick open or a combination and key lock (where you need both to gain access). Some gun safes come with adjustable shelves so that you can not only store your ammunition but you can include important documents and jewelry.

As parents, it is our job to protect and teach our children. It doesn’t matter if you are a household who does not have firearms. It does not matter if you do not allow your children to play with toy guns, watch television shows or play video games with guns in them. It doesn’t matter if you have taken proper safety measures within your household for storage of your firearms. Chances are your children will be exposed to firearms at a young age outside of your home. That is why education is the key in protecting your children.

Gun Safes

Gun safes come in just about every shape and size imaginable. They are very affordable and offer a variety of accessibility. Some safes will even indicate if an attempt to open the safe was made unsuccessfully.

And The Survey Says ...

At what age do you think children should start learning firearm safety?

See results

Did You Know?

A child as young as 3 years old has enough strength in their hands to pull a trigger of a handgun. (Source - kidshealth.org)


According to the National Rifle Association, firearms can be found in half of the households in the United States.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)