teach your child gun safety?
As a parent, you are responsible for your child's safety
as well as for teaching values and good judgement to your
child. There are guns in approximately one-half of U.S.
households, amounting to almost 200 million guns. Even
if no one in your family owns a gun, chances are that
someone you know does. As we live in a rural area where
hunting is very popular, the chances are greatly increased.
Your child could come in contact with a gun at a neighbor's
house or when playing with friends.
should you teach your child gun safety?
There is no perfect age to talk with your child about
gun safety. You, as a parent, must be the judge. A good
time to introduce gun safety is when your child starts
acting out "gun play" or asking questions about
guns. Answer his or her questions. If you don't know the
answers, contact a knowledgeable person. Talk with your
child about guns, their uses and history, and answer your
child's questions honestly and openly. One you remove
the mystery surrounding guns, your child won't see a gun
as an object or curiosity, and a potential accident may
should you teach your child about gun safety?
Teach your child to ALWAYS BE SAFE. Explain to your child
that he or she should not touch or handle a gun unless
you are present and/or give your permission. If your child
sees a gun, he or she should follow the basic safety measures
of the NRA's Eddie Eagle (TM) Elementary Gun Safety Education
LEAVE THE AREA!
TELL AN ADULT!
To thoroughly teach this gun safety measure to your child,
you must reinforce these measures at home. The initial
steps of STOP and DON=T TOUCH are the most important.
To counter the natural impulse to touch a gun, it is imperative
that you impress this step of the safety message upon
you child. In today=s society, where adult supervision
is not always possible, the direction to LEAVE THE AREA
if you child see a gun is essential. Under some circumstances,
Aarea@ may be understood to be a room if your child cannot
physically leave the apartment of house. TELL AN ADULT
emphasizes that children should seek out a trustworthy
adult - such as a neighbor, police officer, or teacher
if a parent or guardian is not immediately available.
versus real life...
Children see guns on TV and in the movies. This is entertainment,
make sure that your child understands the difference between
pretend and real life. Actors on television use play guns.
They pretend to get wounded and die. After the show, they
get up and appear in other films or on other TV shows. Don't
assume that your child knows that. Explain it. Make certain
your child knows the different between a toy gun and a real
gun. Guns used on television are toys. Cap guns and plastic
squirt guns are toys. Guns such as BB guns and firearms
- pistols, rifles, and shotguns - are not toys. They are
real guns. They must never be confused with toy guns. If
you allow your child to play with toy guns, use them to
demonstrate safe gun handling.
Gun safety is common sense...
Whether or not use own a gun, it is important that you know
the rules of safe gun handling so that you can ensure that
these rules are followed:
KEEP THE GUN POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION!
Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never
point the muzzle at yourself or others. Common sense will
tell you which direction is the safest. Generally, it
is safest to point the gun either upward or towards the
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL READY TO SHOOT!
When handling a gun, people have a natural tendency to put
their finger on the trigger. DON'T DO IT!
KEEP THE GUN UNLOADED UNTIL READY!
If you do not know how to check to see if a gun is unloaded,
LEAVE IT ALONE and get help from someone who does know.
EVERY GUN AS IF IT "IS" LOADED!
Many accidents occur because someone thought a gun was
unloaded. Keep all guns unloaded until ready to be used.
Ammunition is not a toy. Cartridges and shells contain
a chemical propellant. Ammunition should be securely stored
and treated with the same safety precautions as a gun.
you own a gun...
Owning a gun is a very personal decision. If you choose
to own a gun, you have the responsibility to set a positive
example for your child. Keep your gun and ammunition securely
stored where a child or any other unauthorized person
cannot reach it. Always follow the safe gun handling rules.
Answer your child's questions about guns openly and honestly.
Don't make a gun an object of curiosity for a child. If
you own a gun and do not know how to operate it, contact
someone knowledgeable and have him or her teach you. An
uneducated adult can be as dangerous as a curious child.
facts about guns...
It is estimated that there are approximately 60 million
gun owners in the United States. People own guns for many
reasons: hunting, personal protection, collecting, and target
shooting. Shooting is an Olympic sport and has been since
the modern Olympic Games began in 1896. According to the
Center for Disease Control (CDC) 86 children under the age
of 15 were killed in firearm-related accidents in 2000 (the
most recent statistics available). Since 1995, however,
the number of accidental shooting fatalities of children
under the age of 15 has declined more than 50 percent. This
decrease has been attributed to safety education programs.
But an increased awareness of gun safety is not good enough;
even one death is too many. You can make a difference by
being a responsible parent. Reinforce safe gun behavior
with your child.
If you would like to learn more..
You may wish to extend your child's knowledge of guns
to safe handling and use, particularly if your child shows
an interest in leaning to shoot. Only you can determine
if and when your child is ready. Just as there is no standard
age to begin teaching your child gun safety. A child's
attitude, physical and emotional development are key factors
in determining when to teach your child how to handle
guns and to shoot. Once the decision has been made, remember
the safety rules:
keep the gun pointed in a safe direction!
ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you are
prepared to shoot!
ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use!
ALWAYS treat every gun as if it "is" loaded!
all, be a positive role model for your child!
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY: