We prevent accidental shooting deaths in children by Defanging the Serpent.
If you have children, as an Armed Citizen you have a duty to protect them not only from external threats, but themselves and other children.
Children are curious. That is the #1 thing on their job description, being curious. They don’t know anything about everything and the way they find out is by touching (sometimes tasting) everything. The unknown attracts children like a magnet attracts steel. Which can lead to tragedy if what they are curious about is a firearm. Some parents will attempt to “protect their children” by hiding their firearms from them. The kids are smart enough to see you hiding them, and all that does is ratchet up their curiousness about it. I suggest you head in the opposite direction.
Show your kids your firearms. Let your children touch them (unloaded, of course) and answer their questions at a level they can understand. This will deflate their curiosity, because they now know about the firearms. This does not mean you can leave them laying out and loaded. Just putting that out there for the Leftists. While showing and talking about the firearms, teach them the Rules of Firearm Safety. Have them recite it on demand. They need to know and understand them more than anything. Get them (and their school) the Eddie Eagle program, the NRA’s program for children on dealing with guns. Which is simply, STOP. DON’T TOUCH. LEAVE THE AREA. TELL AN ADULT. Have your child recite that every week. Drill that into them, especially when they’re old enough to go over to other children’s houses to play.
Here’s a contentious item. If you have access to shooting outdoors, take a gallon jug of water and shoot it. When it explodes, tell your child “the same thing happens to a person hit like that.” Impress upon them in a way they can understand that pointing a firearm at a person can hurt them badly. Be sure to differentiate between their friend Bobby and a Bad Guy in the house trying to hurt them.
Now go a step farther. Get them a firearm they can shoot. There are several firearms for children, such as the Davy Crickett/My First Rifle, and recently, the JR-15. This has so many positive benefits to a child’s growth and relationship with you.
First, this teaches them discipline and responsibility. We start with the discipline to properly handle, use and maintain the firearm. Also the discipline to do their chores around the house to earn their range time. This leads to responsibility, not the obligation itself, but to responsibility of being trusted and doing the right thing when no one is looking. Discipline is a long haul thing. It’s a multi-year commitment to do things that they might not want to do today, but lead to a goal they set for themselves in the future. Motivation is an external force and rarely lasts. Discipline is all internal. Their access to doing things like this pays off in a hundred more ways as well.
Second, it’s “Bonding time with Dad.” Our children imprint who we are on themselves. They are physically and emotionally copies of us. The best time we can spend is with our children. Notice I said “Bonding time with Dad” and didn’t specify “male bonding.” Little girls love spending time with their dad as well, and that can be on the range too. And when your little girl becomes a woman, when she is properly trained and equipped, that makes her to be rape-proof as much as she can be.
Third, this can be more than just “Bonding time with Dad,” but Family bonding time as well. Mom, Dad and all the kids on the range for the day, like dinner time together, anchors all family members to each other.
Gun Proof your child. Inoculate them with the knowledge on how to safely handle firearms. This makes them less likely to become a tragedy from an accidental shooting, knowing when they have to get out of where they are to not be a victim of a mass shooting, and having the discipline to not be a mass shooter.