Guns and children
First and foremost I am a rabid defender of gun rights and the U.S. constitution.
I grew up around guns my whole life. Being born in Pennsylvania, I had five uncles and my father who were all deer hunters. Thirty-thirties were in abundance.
My exposure to shooting started around age 12, when my dad took me out to shoot at cans with his 30-30 as well as an old Sears .22 rifle. Needless to say, at that age, I preferred the .22. He impressed upon me the seriousness of gun ownership at that time, and it stuck.
When I was about sixteen, on a visit, I found a black powder rifle stashed in the rafters of my Grandfathers cellar. It dated from colonial times and no one in the family knew it was there, it had been lost to time. It was given to me, as the finder and only male child of the family. My dad on returning home to Florida tore it down and refurbished it as regards, working order. He found a date from the 1700s and numerous proof marks. We never fired it but it resides over the transom of my family room, a true patriot’s weapon.
Unfortunately, during most of my life, my Dad and I were not very close, but in later years when I joined the Marine Corps at 17 and went to Vietnam, he confided to my Mother that he was proud of me. All of my uncles had served in two wars and an occupation, serving in the Army and the Air Force. I was the first Marine in the family. My father was a 100% disabled veteran from WWII campaigns in; North Africa, Corsica, Sardinia, and Italy. I didn’t know it at the time, but he suffered greatly from PTSD.
Many years later I got into steel and combat shooting, quite by accident. I started the sport with a Detonics .45 and a bucketful of 6 round stainless magazines (what an ordeal of mag changes that was). Upon becoming competent with that weapon I moved on to expand my gun collection to compete in combat three gun matches.
Many of my friends expressed an interest in what I was doing and I urged them to come out and use my gear to see if it was for them. Most all of them joined the sport and shot with me, acquiring their own guns.
I became a Range Officer with IPSC and I was a bastard. When someone new came out with us, I would instruct them in detail during the hour and a half drive across the state to the range. Any one bringing a friend was responsible for their behavior, and I expected them to monitor the newbie. I had my own duties.
On the drive home I would occasionally “tear a new one” in a new shooter who had disregarded my rules and in no uncertain terms tell him he was incompetent to own a firearm and that he would never be coming out with us again. I was merciless; I had seen too many stupid, unnecessary accidents as a RO. They were not going to happen on my watch, guns really are not for everyone, just as high speed sports cars are not, some cannot properly control them.
At this time I began buying trigger locks and giving them to my friends who had children. Telling them “lock it up and put the key around your neck, the last thing in the world that I want to hear is that your kid has gotten to your gun and shot himself.” “They can figure this shit out, and will!” I was thanked for the gift and my concern.
Many Preppers have families and have also chosen to acquire firearms to protect them. As in all of your other preps, “Prepare for the worst”: your kids getting into your guns. They are smart and always learning. They are curious; they can and will figure out how to make that lump of metal into a deadly weapon. Do not underestimate them. Teach them about proper gun handling and safety at an appropriate age. Keep your long guns and ammo in a safe. Your hand guns with a trigger lock or in a secure lock box opened by your hand print or combo. You can still get at it in seconds.
Take the initiative and teach your friends with kids and guns, or do as I did and buy them locks. It is cheap peace of mind for you. Don’t ever hesitate to point out unsafe practices with others. They may get pissed, but who cares, they’ll be alive and whole to do so. If you are the expert, pass on your knowledge, you may well save some or many kids lives. Regards, D.
From the Supply House…..
© 2013, Rourke. All rights reserved.