Guns Are Not Toys
In video games and cartoons, characters shoot other people and no one dies. However, in real life, guns can permanent injury or kill someone. If you want to teach your child how to use a gun properly, you have that right, but clarify that guns are not toys.
Under no circumstances should you or your child play or joke around with a real gun. It only takes one incident with a bullet in the chamber for your kids to kill themselves or someone else.
Violence is Not Okay
Kids do get bullied, argue with friends and struggle with interpersonal challenges. Violence and guns should never be used to solve problems.
As an adult, never threaten to shoot someone. Teach your kids to follow your example, too. Threats or violent acts could result in police action.
Keep Guns Locked Up
Many times, guns are fired by accident. It’s important for your kids to never access guns stored in your home.
Whether you hunt, have a gun for protection or own a gun collection, always keep your gun in a locked cabinet. Project ChildSafe offers free gun locks, and you can pick one up at your local police station. The ammunition should be locked in a separate cabinet. Keep the key with you at all times as you protect your children.
Teach Kids How to Respond to Guns
You may not have guns in your home, but your kids may visit family members or friends who have guns. Always check with the parents of your child’s friends to see if they have guns in the home. Also, teach your kids how to respond to guns in a safe and responsible way.
If they see a gun lying somewhere, they should:
- Stop what they’re doing
- Don’t touch the gun
- Leave the room or area
- Tell an adult immediately
If a friend offers to show then a gun, they should:
- Say no
- Leave the room
- Tell an adult in the home or call their parents
If someone threatens to bring a gun to school, they should:
- Report any suspicious activities or conversations
- Tell the principal, teacher, guidance counselor or parent about the incident
- Understand that telling on someone is the safe and right thing to do
Gun safety is important. Use these tips as you ensure your kids know the right way to handle situations where guns are involved.