This Is Why You Shouldn’t Shelter Your Children From Guns

child with gunWhen it comes to the subject of children and firearms, there seems to be two prevailing schools of thought. One says that if you have children, all of your firearms need to be locked up and hidden away, and kids shouldn’t even be aware of your firearms until they’re old enough to respect them. The other school of thought suggests quite the opposite. Kids need to be introduced to firearms at a very early age, even if they don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. They need some familiarity with guns, so that it kills their curiosity.

It’s hard to argue with the former sometimes. Little kids don’t mix well with firearms unless they are under strict supervision. It’s not uncommon for children to stumble upon their parent’s weapons, and accidentally shoot themselves or others. Every year, over 2000 kids are accidentally injured with firearms in America, and among kids aged 10 and under, accidents account for 75% of all firearm injuries.

But is sheltering your kids from firearms really the best way to keep them from hurting themselves and others? It’s hard to say since, to my knowledge at least, there haven’t been any studies made on the matter. And sometimes, even when parents familiarize their children with guns, accidents still happen.

However, a recent experiment conducted by KWWL News in Iowa found that it’s probably best to familiarize your kids with firearms, even when they’re really young.  Though the experiment didn’t set out to prove anything in that regard, it sure is compelling. Under the guidance of a police officer, they planted an unloaded pistol in a room full of toys to see how long it would take for several kids to find it, and play with it. If you’re short on time, you can get the gist of the video by starting at the 5 minute mark.


Though the sample size is small, the results are impossible to ignore. The only kids who didn’t play with the gun were the ones who grew in households that have guns. They’ve seen them before, and on some level they know that guns aren’t toys.

So with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s a bad idea to shelter your kids from guns, even though it can sometimes be a little nerve-racking to broach this subject with them. If you’re a gun owner with a family, show your firearms to your kids, teach them how they work and how to be safe with them. And if they’re old enough to understand, explain the lethal potential that is inherent in every firearm. Make it clear that these aren’t toys and they’re not for fun (until they’re old enough to have fun with them of course) and you should be able to stunt their curiosity.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 11th, 2016
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  • Gouchybear

    Yes, teach them at a young age to respect firearms, take them out and teach them to shoot and handle firearms safely. Do this and you will remove the mystery and curiosity that youngsters have about firearms. Guns are nothing more than tools and are very dangerous in the wrong hands, just as a Skilsaw is a tool and dangerous in the wrong hands. i was tought at a very young age about firearms, just as I tought my two boys, and just as they will teach their children.

  • Caitlin

    Wow. Interesting video. I don’t agree with toy guns, except maybe squirt guns, but in those cases I think they should be made to look nothing like a real gun in shape, color, or function. There was a young boy (12 or so) shot by police in my urban area just a few months ago when several 911 calls were made stating a boy was pointing a gun at people…turns out it was a toy gun, but a realistic looking one. Also goes to the point of the importance of doing exactly what an officer of the law asks you to do, without hesitation.

  • MAS

    As a Deputy when my kids were young (31 years go by fast) they were exposed to firearms pretty much everyday. The option of keeping all of them in the safe was not wise due to having to be able to defend us from some of the criminal element I have dealt with and so we educated them as much as they could understand. When my five year old son said his toy gun was just like mine I said “Are you sure?” and took him to the range with several 1 gallon water filled milk jugs. I took my 45 and he took his toy gun. I told him to “shoot” the jugs with his toy gun and he had a great time trying. Then, with safety gear in place I showed him what the 45 would do to the jugs. Needless to say it impressed him mightily. We then had a discussion about how real guns were dangerous but still just tools daddy uses and then went through the don’t touch without permission routine again.

    As soon as both my son and daughter were able to shoot BB guns we expanded the lessons on gun safety, eventually moving up to 22s and larger. Both a safe and education are companions in household gun safety as is family time at the range. Some of the highest quality family time we have spent has been there.

  • FED UP WITH PC

    Teach a kid to shoot as young as possible. I was probably 4 and my daughter was about the same age. No mystery, no curiosity, no accidents. Also wouldn’t hurt to teach them to get behind something if another “untrained” kid points a weapon at them.

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