A Kids Perspective on Firearms and Safety
Perhaps my earliest memory with firearms was when I was 3 or four years old and I was practicing the firearms safety rules with my dad. I have no doubt that he started teaching us about gun safety much sooner, but this is the first memory I can recall. Often times we were sitting around the dinner table together when he would randomly ask us what the firearms safety rules were.
Make it Fun
My hand would shoot straight up! I didn’t even wait to be called upon. “All guns are always loaded!” I knew that statement was not in fact, true, however, I knew that all firearms should be treated that way. Then, usually one of my two sisters would take a turn, “Never put your finger on the trigger until your sights are aligned and you are ready to fire.” Then, my other sister, “Always be sure of your backstop and beyond.” You might have spotted me out of the corner of your eye on the edge of my seat, “Never let your muzzle cover anything you aren’t willing to destroy!”
I loved our little quizzes and getting to be included in something that my dad loves. Looking back I can see how diligent my parents were, especially my dad, in making sure that firearms safety was a top priority in our household. We are the type of family that finds ammunition in pockets when going through the laundry, instead of change. I don’t think that my parents ever had to worry about us sneaking around or wanting to ‘play’ with their guns. It just wasn’t an issue. At least speaking from my own point of view, there was never a hunger or curiosity that made me want to seek out the guns for myself. That was a result of the way my parents got us kids involved.
Reward the learned knowledge with range time!
My dad and grandpa took me to the range and allowed me to shoot. I got my first rifle for Christmas when I was 6 years old; a bright pink Davy Crickett Rifle! I understood that guns are enjoyable to shoot, but they are not a toy, they are a tool. A tool that has to be respected. They encouraged and taught me to be a good marksman. To this day my dad still loves to show off my skills on the range. I know that if Track & Field wasn’t my main focus, shooting sports probably would be.
Firearms training with my family has only further empowered me as an individual. I am more confident because of it. Not only in the sense of how it has shaped me into who I am today and how I love spending my time, but also in knowing that if the situation ever arose, I can handle myself and I can handle a gun!
Satisfy the Curiosity
Whether you are a parent or a grandparent to girls or boys, listen when I say, take your kids to the range! Teach them to understand and to respect firearms. Don’t teach them to fear guns or make them untouchable. That will only make them more curious! Make gun safety fun and get your kids involved! You will never regret it. It will only give you further peace in knowing that your kids will handle firearms with knowledge and safety.
Here are some ways you can guide your kids when it comes to firearms:
- Teach them the firearms safety rules from a young age and ask them to recite and explain them!
- Let them know that they aren’t to touch firearms without your permission or supervision, however…
- Encourage them that if they ever want to shoot, all they have to do is ask.
Bio: Hi there! My name is Hallee Layman, I am 17 years old, and this fall I will be attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa on a Track & Field scholarship. I have had a love for firearms since the moment my dad introduced me! We have been shooting together for about 12 years. I love learning everything that he has to teach me and spending time with my family on the range. I especially love shooting our Texas star, and using our MantisX training tool! We have tons of fun together and create memories I will cherish the rest of my life. After I finish college, earning my Bachelors in KRS (Kinesiology and Rehab Science), I will attend PT school on the mainland to become a Licensed Physical Therapist!