Dateline NBC recently did a series called “My Kids Would Never Do That” including one episode on gun safety. This was a non-biased video on setting your kids up for success in not having an incident involving playing with firearms.
If you are a parent (or grandparent) of young kids or teens, then you owe it to them to spend the 40 minutes watching the free episode.
Those who have trained with me in courses that cover access prevention, know how strongly I feel on the topic. As gun owners, we have a responsibility to prevent access to those which have not been trained or cannot be trusted with firearms.
Although educating kids does not prevent access, proper education and exposure play a huge role in preventing incidents. Training which only incorporates telling your children not to touch something because it is dangerous is not enough nor is it training. What it does do is mystify the object making it more appealing. What if someone placed a box on your desk this morning that included a note saying you’re not allowed to open it, ever. Most would probably choose not to open it, but it would be a constant thought eating at you every time you sat at your desk looking at it. Children have not developed the control needed to not give in to their curiosity.
Role playing to increase the odds of the kids actually not touching or playing with the firearm is covered in the video. The featured doctor’s research shows that repeated training, role playing and testing are all required for to increase chances of success.
It isn’t covered in the video, but I believe repeated exposure and handling of firearms in a controlled setting is one of the better methods when incorporated with the above. Kids have to be allowed to explore the curiosity that we create by teaching them to stay away.
Watch the video, let me know your thoughts and look for a safety course geared to parents and kids from Bearco Training in the future.
Here are a few more words I wrote on the topic a couple years ago for Personal Defense Network.