5 Rules about Guns for Your Kids
One Sunday morning, a mother from North Carolina was shocked when her son came home shaking, telling her that their eight-year-old neighbor shot another boy next door. At first, she thought her son was talking about toy guns, but when he said that it was a real gun, she trembled.
Who would have thought that a young boy would find a gun in their shed and use it to shoot another boy? Shocking, yet, there are many similar accidents that happen each year across the country.
In 2012 to 2013, almost 100 kids have been killed in accidental shootings. Almost 65 percent of these deaths happened inside the kids’ home or vehicle and mostly, the gun used is legally owned but not secured.
With the prevalence of these accidents, parents who keep guns at home should be extra careful in securing their guns and teaching their kids about gun safety and the dangers of the unauthorized use of guns.
Set Rules with Your Kids about Guns
If you keep a gun at home, setting rules with your kids about guns is important to keep them safe from harm. Here are five basic rules for kids about guns:
Kids Should Know That Guns Aren't Toys
Take time to teach your children about guns and its dangers. They should understand that guns are not toys that they could play with. Instead, they are dangerous materials that should only be used by qualified adults.
Observe your kids if they include guns in their play. Usually, a child’s play reflects what your kids think and want. If you see a hint of violence in their play, you should talk to your kids.
As much as possible, if you really want to shy them away from using guns, do not give them toy guns. Though some consider toy guns as a distraction, they can still cultivate violence and encourage children to use real guns.
Kids Shouldn't Watch Shows Containing Gun Violence
One of the most influential factors to kids’ behavior is the shows that they watch. Violent shows, may it be a movie or a cartoon, may have a negative influence on kids.
According to studies, kids who watch shows with gun violence have a tendency to be more curious about guns and its use.
If you have a gun at home, it is best to screen the shows that your kids watch. Sticking to cartoons is not always safe since there are many cartoons now that show the use of guns, and even worse, taking it lightly.
Kids Shouldn't Have Any Access to Guns
Of course, no matter how you teach your kids to avoid guns, they may still be curious and if you just leave your gun within their reach there is a high tendency that they would try to use it.
Before keeping the gun inside your safe, make sure that it is clean and unloaded. Do not forget to lock the safe and put it on top of a cabinet or in any place that cannot be reached by your kids.
If your safe has keys, you should also keep them out of reach. Meanwhile, if your safe uses number combinations, make sure that only you or any qualified gun user in your home knows the password code.
Do not use a password that can be easily guessed by your kids such as your birthday or wedding anniversary. Think of number combinations that only you know.
Kids Should Report to an Adult If They See Guns
Aside from your home, your kids may also encounter guns outside, whether at their school, on their friend’s house, or even on the streets. You should instruct your kids that if they see a gun, especially in their school, they should immediately inform their teacher.
In most cases, their teacher or school guard should be the one who would handle the situation after they report it. So, after reporting, they should also stay in a place far from where they have seen the gun.
Kids Should Know The Basic Gun Safety Procedures
In the case of emergencies related to gun violence, your kids should know what they should do. Helping them understand basic gun safety procedures may help.
For example, what will your kids do if a younger sibling accidentally shoots someone or something? You must teach them that first, they should see if it is now safe to move.
If it is safe, they should try to take the gun away from the younger sibling. Most kids who have fired a gun accidentally are in shock.
When they take the gun away, make sure that they do not touch the trigger or point it to anyone. Then, they should immediately call you and 911. It is very important that they know how to call you or 911 for emergencies.
Implementing Your Rules
Any rule would be useless if not implemented properly. After setting rules with your kids, you should implement it strictly. As much as possible, do not make exemptions.
Also, except in emergency situations, never use your gun at home or show your children how to use it because that would make them more curious. It is enough that they know you have a gun. No need to show them how you use it or where you keep it.
Proper guidance is important in avoiding any gun accident. Aside from the rules mentioned above, you should be able to make sure that your kids are always on your watch or under proper adult supervision.