Monday, November 24, 2008

A Chilling Reminder

As I mentioned earlier, our youngest granddaughter spent the weekend at Casa JR. Saturday was just the two of us, her mom and V made it back to the house late Saturday evening.

I have been working with her brother on the four rules of firearm safety. If we are going to the range, we talk about firearm safety around the dinner table the night before and our Little Lady Bug has picked up on some of the rules and with a little prompting can get through them all. The only problem is that she is, after all, only two. I was reminded of that this weekend.

Sunday afternoon we watched Papa J on the TV running through the shoot house at Blackwater. Later she was in and out of the office while I cleaned my Kimber. While I was reassembling the pistol, we talked about the parts and how they went together. Just as I got it all back together she got the biggest smile on her face and said:

"Squirt me Papa J, squirt me."

I can still feel the chill that washed across me at those words, the same words she shouts when I'm watering the garden or playing with squirt guns in the summer heat.


Anonymous said...

Well the beauty of working with her so much is that she will learn to distinguish the difference at some point, even though she's rather young now.

We were at a friend's celebration of their new son today, and we briefly talked about guns with kids. They decided not to have toy guns around their house since they have so many real guns. I pointed out that the beauty of parenting is that you can decide whatever is best for your child. Millions of kids have been raised just fine with both toy guns and real guns, and millions have had plenty of childhood fun without toy guns while learning about real guns.

I can understand your chill, but I also think that these clues are useful in knowing when a child is actually ready to try a firearm for the first time. And, as you point out, she is only two. It sounds like you guys are doing everything right. :)

Julie said...

wow .. that would make you think twice about things. I must admit I'm facing a bit of a dilemma with my youngest (5) - she has come to the range with me twice now (see my blog for details) and the other day she asked for a belt, holster & "small" gun. I'm trying to decide whether or not to get her a toy gun for Christmas (with belt & holster) or to simply keep reinforcing that guns aren't toys.

I think 5 is old enough to understand the difference between toys and real guns but if I'm trying to get her to memorise the 4 rules how sensible is it to give her something that you play with differently (unless i only let her play with the gun when she has set up a non-human target range!).

John R said...

The toy gun could be a good learning tool for her. Set up a range (indoor or out), define the target and it's surroundings and start working on the basics.

A good sight for general gun safety and raising kids with guns is