What are you going to teach your child about gun safety?
My ninth grade year, I was riding home on the cross country bus from a meet and we saw a flashing ambulance at the hospital. Because living in an extremely small town means we likely knew the person in the ambulance, we immediately started gossiping about what may have happened. As it turns out, it was far worse than our imaginations could have fathomed. Two of my classmates had been messing with the guns one of the fathers kept locked up, and one classmate accidentally shot and killed the other one.
Growing up, my dad always hunted on the weekends whenever he could. We often watched him clean his guns. They were around, I think, locked in a cabinet, but I don’t even know, because I never tried touching them. Until that life changing day in 9th grade, I don’t think it ever even occurred to me that guns could be dangerous. I never held a gun until I took a gun safety class with “Jacy Guns”.
Our kids are growing up in a different world. Gun safety needs to not be an after thought.
I personally believe that it’s important to educate our kids about guns. They are out there. In Rock Island, my friend found one in her yard! At North Scott last year, a gun was wrested out of the hands of a seventh grader. He had shown it to a few friends before the incident in the classroom. If the kids he encountered had known what to do, perhaps that morning would have turned out differently.
The idea of children being in unsafe contact with guns terrifies me, but helping them know what to do if they see one, and teaching them safe handling as they get older, is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street. I’m talking about a true education which begins with a healthy respect about what the gun is for and what it can do.
We teach our kids about tricky people, to ask another mom for help if they are lost at the zoo, how to wipe their bottoms the safe way, and to not run after a ball into the street. Teaching them about gun safety is no different. A good place to start is with the NRA’s Eddie Eagle mantra: “Stop! Don’t touch! Run away! Tell an adult!” The Eddie Eagle Program’s goal is to teach kids what to do if they ever find a gun.
WHAT AND HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to demonstrate safe gun handling and to explain how they differ from genuine firearms. Teach them the same rules with dart guns as they should follow with real guns. Discussing guns and their use on TV with children is very important as well, as guns are often mishandled, and most young children are not able to understand the difference between being killed on TV and being killed in real life.
You may consider letting your child watch you shoot a melon so that they can experience the noise and damage a gun can do. When they are mature enough, teach them how to load and shoot the gun.
Just like you should talk to your kids about everything from protecting themselves from seeing porn when they’re too young, to what to do if a stranger asks for help to find his dog, back to school safety and how to stay safe when home alone, we need to include conversations about guns. “What would you do if you were at Jaimie’s house and she wanted to sneak into her parents’ dresser to show you a gun?” “What would you do if you were playing outside and found a gun?”
Talking openly and honestly about firearm safety with your child is more effective than just ordering him or her to “Stay out of the gun closet,” and trusting they will! As evidenced by my school’s ninth grade tragedy, by two kids who should have known better, such edicts may just spark children’s natural curiosity to investigate further.
If you have children in your house, and you keep firearms, keep the guns locked and unloaded, with the ammunition locked in a separate location. Don’t let the kids know where you keep the key. The father in my story had done the right things, but he trusted his 12 year old to not be impetuous, and tragically, 12 year olds are notoriously impulsive.
Gun Safety at Other’s Homes
Before your child goes to a friend’s house, you should ask the friend’s parent whether the family has guns in the house, and how they are stored. You have the right to know that your child will be safe.
According to federal statistics, there are guns in more than one third of all U.S. households. Whether or not you make the choice to keep a gun in your home, your children will undoubtedly be in one of them. Guns exist. Educating your children in gun safety is a necessity for all children whether you personally own guns or not.
The NRA Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Rules For Children are that if you see a gun:
Leave the Area
Tell an Adult
The NRA has a wonderful children’s gun safety program for children in Pre-K through third grade, The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. Anyone may teach The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, and NRA membership is not required.The purpose of the Eddie Eagle Program isn’t to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children. The NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program includes an instructor guide, activity books, poster, and an animated video to explain its four-step safety message. For more information about the program, visit www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie or call (800) 231-0752
Take a gun safety class.
Get in contact with “Jacy Guns.”
Hello, my name is Jacy Hajostek. I’ve been a gun instructor since 2011; I have over 5000 students throughout the USA. I’ve taught as far as Maui, Hawaii.
I’m telling you my story because I believe that gun safety is one of the most important things in the world. Like spiders, firearms do exist. If you have an unwanted spider in your house, you kill it because if you just let it go it might come back to bite you later in the night!
This is my theory on guns: you have to deal with them, the thing of the matter is how? Being educated is what needs to happen. I believe starting as firearm safety education as young as is key to a safe life.
I look forward to training people who have never touched a firearm before because they have no bad habits yet. This is what gives me pleasure in my work. Over the past five years I’ve been taking a better approach for my students to ensure that they can feel safe every where they go! I’m proud to say five of my students have survived an attacker, and thanked me because the training helped save their lives.
I’m a strong believer in education for any safety training. I hope you consider the 2nd Amendment as a right and understand how important it is to give yourself the right of safety!
Teaching has been a great way to get gun safety training out to a lot of families. I have over 2000 students following me daily on social media or coming back into contact with me. This tells me how much they loved the way I taught! “So blessed” is what I say daily knowing my family, my friends, and my students are safe!
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