A common question of most parents living in the country is, “When should I teach my children about guns?”
This is a difficult question, because there’s no one correct answer.
In general, age doesn’t matter. It’s the maturity of the child that is important. A 5-year-old who is mindful and listens well to instruction can be taught firearm basics. Another child might not be ready until the age of 15. Thus, it’s critical to use common sense in determining if your child is mentally mature enough to know the possible danger of guns and be capable of listening to your instructions.
Most experts and parents will agree that children should be instructed early on to leave guns alone, unless they have your permission. It’s a good idea to show your kids what guns you have in your home to let them become accustomed to them, in the event they find a gun in or outside of your house.
This can be done when a child is just a few years old. Many parents make the error of telling a kid, “See this gun? Never touch it!” That’s the end of it. This isn’t exactly a good idea for a few reasons.
Think about this: when your parents told you not to do something, you did it anyway, right? Probably the reason you did it was because your parents made a huge deal about not doing it.
The problem with telling a child “don’t touch this!” is that it makes the child curious as to why you’re so over the top about it. There are horrible stories each year of children finding a gun and playing with it, totally oblivious to what they’re doing because they were never taught. These events often lead to death.