What about those who are able to understand the levels of respect required to handle this kind of weaponry?
Growing up my dad used to say to me that “gun control is a steady hand” whenever an argument percolated in the media about restrictions on firearms. As a youngster, it was not a slogan or a gimmick. It was not an argument for or against. It was a simple statement that holds a paramount truth of gun ownership, stewardship and responsibility.
My childhood firearms experience, and the positive experiences I've been able to share with my own kids were the inspiration for this topic. But it was bolstered by a post shared on Twitter of a young girl - couldn’t have been in kindergarten - who was holding up her target and beaming about her accuracy. This idea of fostering good habits in our kids is critical, since many of us own, or are considering ownership of, firearms.
There is something that happens to a young boy or girl the first time they feel the weight of an actual firearm. It is the same for adults who have never held a manifestation of responsibility in their own hands. For some, it doesn’t happen until they hold a child in their arms. It is this strange polar opposite that often intrigues and confuses the masses: The idea that self-defense and the youth among us are universally intertwined.
For many there is a concern on how we can best train and educate both the young and the new gun owner at any age on the levels of respect required to keep a firearm close. As parents, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the second amendment by taking responsibility of our own.
Being a gun owner is a tradition in my family, as it may also be in yours. But as life changes around us we must keep in mind the importance of a solid foundation when it comes to respect for firearms. Whether your firearm introduction was through the radio with Roy Rodgers, on TV through classic westerns, or even the latest gaming system with that realistic first-person shooter game, these fantasies stop when you feel that weight of real steel for the first time.
It is through a steady hand of a caring individual that we really learn firearm safety. It is up to us as parents to expose our own children to the potentially destructive power in a safe, controlled environment. If you own guns or are considering gun ownership on your path to preparedness and self-sufficiency, make sure you take into account the young bucks around you. They’ll need your guidance and will mimic your behavior – good or bad. Teach them openly and step in when they cross the line. The points where you step in as a parent to curb misconduct will stick with your children for the rest of their lives.
So I encourage you to be open but also to be ever vigilant. As they grow and come into their own, you’ll come to find, as I did, that taking the time to encourage respect for this survival tool is a critical part of being a parent.
Special thanks to Dane D. with the Gunmetal Armory and his help exploring this topic this week.