Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gun Safety::July 24

Last night for family home evening, we went up the canyon for a nice, quiet, relaxing night. But... I had agreed that bb guns could be brought along, so instead of nice, quiet, relaxing, everyone had a lot of fun shooting at empty root beer cans. :)

There has always been a lot of controversy about gun rights and the dangers that guns present.

I was raised with guns. I remember being a little, tiny girl and my dad warning me that if I ever touched his guns without his knowledge or him helping me, he would spank me. I used to sometimes go into my mom and dad's bedroom and slowly lift up the covers to peek at his guns under the bed. I'd NEVER touch them, because I knew I'd be spanked, and because I knew guns were dangerous. I just wanted to see them; make sure they were still there. Then I'd hurry and let the cover fall down and I'd run away from there! Guns were a little creepy, because I knew the damage that they could do.

When we went shooting, my dad would hold the gun and site it in for me and let me pull the trigger. I learned from a very young age that guns kick and can knock a little girl on her butt, that's why only daddy held the gun.

I was taught to always treat an unloaded gun the same way I would a loaded gun, because you never know if a stray bullet was missed when the gun was emptied.

And, because my dad was a hunter and a great shot, he got a deer, antelope, or elk every year and I got to see what damage bullets can do. Not that it was ever talked about that way, I just realized the cause and effect.

When children are raised around guns, practice shooting with their parents and go hunting with them, gun safety and the damage guns can do is clearly evident. None of my friends that I grew up with ever shot anyone. They were taken out hunting too. Guns weren't a dirty little secret and they were never played with. They were a dangerous tool, like dad's chainsaw, or mom's butcher knife. You don't play with them or you'd get hurt. You can add a "duh" on the end here, because it was a duh. Guns can kill things. We'd seen it.

Steve used to have a picture on his cell phone of all of our older kids standing by our old Geo Metro, each armed with a 22. We've taken all of our kids out shooting. Steve hasn't ever been a hunter (I'm the killer at our house. Which is a sad note, if you remember this post.) They know where the guns are kept. They know that they'll be spanked if they ever touch them w/o Steve or me helping them. They don't play with them. My kids know that guns are a dangerous tool that can tear things apart. They know that their kick can knock them on their butt. They know that they are dangerous tools. They know, because we have taught them. We have taken them shooting. They have seen their effect, not on animals first hand like I did, but on the targets that we practice with.

They know that guns don't kill; people do. They know that when something is dead, it doesn't come back to life. We haven't shielded our children from death. They have seen it around the farm since they were little. They know that new lifes are only on video games, not real life.

And *that* is how we teach gun safety.

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