There comes a time in every parent’s life when they have to leave their child home, alone, without a baby-sitter. Provided you’re an OFWG living in a low-crime ‘hood who’s not a reformed criminal with a mysterious past, chances are every little thing’s gonna be alright (outside of drug use and teenage pregnancy). That said . . . would you (in theory) leave a teenage child access to a firearm for self-defense? What age? What about a baby-sitter? What gun?

68 Responses to Question of the Day: Home Alone. Access to a Gun? What Gun? What Age?

  1. Kid at home or a trusted house-sitting adult or teen? They get access to the home defense guns, just as they are shown where the fire extinguishers are.

    What guns? Pump shotguns and revolvers.

    John

  2. Fortunately, I don’t have to make that call just yet. However, it depends on the kid. Most teenagers would easily be able to handle a 20ga shotgun or an AR. So in terms of capability, I would give them those over a handgun.

    However, it would REALLY depend on the kid.

    I know that when I was a teenager, giving me unsupervised time with a gun was a really bad idea. The hormones make you act irrationally, and event he best kids can have minor issues. However, with a gun, a minor issue can turn into a major issue.

    • “I know that when I was a teenager” << Thinking back to that time will cause a lot of guys with kids to worry about a lot things! Rightly so.

      "Teenage pregnancy" as Mr. Farango mentions is among the last of my worries since it doesn't result in being killed or maimed. Education and access to birth control can take care of that. What worries me most are drugs, driving, and stupid risk-taking behaviors (which we all know that teenagers, especially boys, engage in frequently).

      • The reason that teenagers are not treated as adults by our society is because they are (typically) biologically not capable of acting as adults in our society. Nothing wrong with that, most of us grow out of it. Some teenagers never grow into it. However, I know I was in boot before my stupid streak got properly snuffed out.

  3. True story; when I was a teenager, my buddys dad had two revolvers locked up in the closet. I know because I saw them, one was an old .38 “tiger,” the other was a S&W J frame. Even held them in my hand, with the trigger lock firmly attached. He and I were about 16 at the time. I once asked him “what if someone breaks in while he isn’t here, could you unlock it?”

    “No, only my sister has the key.”

    His sister was 12.

  4. If they are old enough to not need a babysitter I would leave them with a shotgun in both 20 gauge and/or 410 gauge and/or a rifle in 223

  5. 20 or 12ga shotgun when they start driving. If I’m gonna trust them with a car then I can trust them with a gun. Lets not forget what kills more people every year.

  6. Very tough question, but having worked with adolescents for a lot of years, I would not give a teenager under 16 years unfettered access to a firearm. I say that even though I had access to firearms even before I was a teenager, keeping a shotgun in my closet since about age 12. The thing is, adolescents are known to be especially sensitive to peer rejection, and most will have emotional reactions (sadness or anger) that are way out of proportion to the situation. Teenagers can react emotionally without thinking through the consequences or even remembering that there are consequences. So unless a kid were in an extremely threatening environment (post-apocalypse), I probably would not give any kid under the age of 16 access to firearms when I wasn’t present.

    • i definitely understand where you’re coming from, however, don’t you think the whole “bullying” and “peer pressure” cards are being played a bit too much these days? that may sound like an unreasonable question, especially given the number of school shootings which are said to have stemmed from these issues. however, did youth not face these same elements in schools decades ago? speak with anyone you know who has gone through the public school system and they’ll tell you stories of bullying, harassment, and peer pressure. yet, you never hear of a school shooting epidemic during the 50’s. the fact is, it isn’t easy growing up but you just need to deal with the pressures of life in a healthy manner.

      i think we’re failing to equip our youth with real-life tools. we coddle them and attempt to shroud them against all the trials and tribulations of life. it’s no surprise that they lack the capacity to deal with issues in their social lives. think about it… we just had an obnoxious, spoiled kid slaughter his fellow students because he was socially awkward and couldn’t get laid.

      the problem doesn’t lie in the hormones or emotional sensitivity of our teens, it’s in how most of use are choosing to raise them.

    • 12ga less lethal until I’m 100% sure they are mature enough to have unsupervised access. Age is just a number.

  7. Depends on the gun, and the kid. I know when I was a child I had access to a bolt action 22 at any time I wanted. This was in suburban Maryland, of all places.

  8. Consistent with my earlier entry, depends on the kid. You really have to be honest and objective about where your child is in terms of maturity and emotional stability. There are 12 year olds I would trust far more than 18 year olds.

    That being said, even though I would trust them enough to have access to a safe with a handgun (note: A safe, not THE safe. They won’t get access to everything.) I would still make it clear that it was in case of emergency only. To the point where I might consider anti-tamper tape. Depending on location, I would say having their own .22 is just fine. It’s location dependent because nobody wants the cops rolling up on their suburban house because their kid decided to go target shooting in the back yard and wasn’t fully cognizant of the vagaries of firearms law.

    If we are leaving them home alone for an extended time (i.e. days), all guns go in the primary safe (which they don’t have access to) and the only gun available is in the emergency safe, with anti-tamper tape. Once again, trust but verify.

    • The tamper-evident tape is a great idea. It reinforces the idea that this is for an emergency only, like a fire extinguisher behind a “break glass” panel.

      And I agree, it completely depends on the kid.

  9. there’s physical maturity and then intellectual maturity. when my kids are in their teenage years, i would hope that i had raised them in a manner where their greatest weapon is their intellect. if they possess that second form of maturity, then i’d have no problem leaving them with a firearm just in case. of course, as with anyone who’s considering putting their hands on a firearm, proper education and discipline is a must. if the necessary prerequisites are met, i don’t foresee any issues.

    i don’t believe in leaving children with baby sitters. in the absence of myself and my wife, a close family member (e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles) would be be only people i’d trust with my children. if i trust the person enough to leave my progeny with them, i’d trust them to look out for their safety and well being as well.

    in regards to the firearm, ideally i’d like to leave them with something that’s easier to manage in terms of recoil, accuracy, etc. unfortunately, i only have concealed carry pistols at the time. when i exit my sad days as a dirt-poor university student, hopefully that’ll change. lol.

  10. If the kids are old enough to not need a babysitter, they’ll be fine with a home-defense weapon. Which weapon would depend on the kid. If the kid is built like me (tall and heavy) then I’ll leave a 12-gauge available should he require it. If it’s a smaller-framed child, I’d likely go as far as to get a weapon that they could comfortably use–an AR probably.

  11. My nearly-16-year-old stays home alone from time to time, particularly when I have to travel for work. I’m comfortable leaving him with my 20-gauge and/or a .223. (And yes, he does keep one or the other by his bed when I’m gone.)

    He’s exceptionally mature and level headed, and yes he can repeat the 4 Rules in his sleep…

  12. No, never. NJ laws/courts are unforgiving. The chances/impact of something going wrong from a legal or handling perspective are greater than the chances/impact of a problem being solved.

  13. I don’t have a good answer. Kids do stupid crap. My older brother SHOT ME in the face with a blank .22 when I was about 12 and he was 13. I couldv’e been blinded. Luckily I wasn’t and we never told my dad. Boys are especially stupid.

    • Deeply stupid.

      I remember making up a batch of gunpowder to mess around with and testing a spoonful of the stuff with a lighter OVER THE REST OF THE BATCH!

      It of course flared out of the spoon and lit up the cereal bowl full of gun powder underneath.

      Should that guy have unfettered access to firearms? Probably not.

      I got better.

  14. It’s going to be a while before my kids are old enough to be home by themselves, but with that responsibility comes the responsibility for their own personal protection. If they haven’t shown me they can be trusted with firearms then they won’t be home alone with them. If I *do* trust them then the choice is theirs to make.

    I’d probably say the AR is the best choice. It’s easy to use and I feel rifles are inherently safer (due to accuracy and ease of handling) than pistols are. You rarely hear the story of “child finds rifle, shoots self”. It’s almost always a pistol in those incidents.

  15. I would say, depending on age, either a pump shotgun, 12 or 20 gauge, or a 9mm handgun. I am twelve, about 4 foot 10 but I am very heavy set (read: overweight) and I can handle a .303 British SMLE, so a 12 gauge wouldn’t bother me. I think kids are underestimated as shooters, so a shotgun would be my choice.

    • Sorry, don’t know what happened there. A Remington 870 with an 18 inch barrel or a Glock 26 would be good.

  16. I understand that this may depend a lot on location and age. I don’t have kids, but naturally I was one once.

    I got a Marlin 60 (the Glenfield squirrel version Sears used to sell once upon a time, far, far away) when I was about 7, going on 8. My grandfather taught me the basic rules of safety, quite well I might add. For many many years about the only 2 places I kept it were either on a wall rack in my bedroom or on a pair of hooks on the wall behind the washer and dryer adjacent to the back door. Almost always it was loaded as well, with ammo nearby.

    I never did mess with it without permission. One big thing though – I lived in a farmhouse a quarter mile away from the nearest house except for the one opposite ours and had very few friends, who never got to go inside the house unless both invited and with the grandparents present.

    I’m sure some will say that was too young and nowadays it probably is. If you have kids that visit then you should DEFINITELY keep your guns more secure, because as good as your own kid can be he or she will not always have responsible kids.

    • That’s pretty much my story. I learned to shoot and stay safe with guns at a very early age. As red-neck kid in a small town, my father dcided that I was “growed up” at about 16 or 17 and began treating me as an adult . . . and expecting me to act like one. So I did. Because we were poor, I’d learned early on to take care of what little we had. Maturity is based on matters of trust. When you can handle that kind of trust depends a lot more on upbringing than age, I think.

  17. Depends strictly on a kid. When I was 17 I almost became a statistic when I was at a friend’s house and we went into the backyard to fire a couple rounds out of his mom’s replica colt navy revolver. We both had the same firearm training (having gone to the same military school) and he knew better but as we were finishing up he pointed it at my head from about 4 yards away and asked me what I’d do if he pulled the trigger. My response was, “die. Now get that F@$&ing thing out of my face.” As he pulled it away he started to say, “it’s a single action it can’t-BOOM! The bullet passed so close to my head I felt it pass.

    My 17 year old self was almost as stupid as he was because I knew better than to be around him and firearms unsupervised since he never thought through his stupidity. It was actually one of the main reasons I kept him around as a friend – he was the devil on my shoulder that made life a lot more interesting.

    So it depends on the kids. Just like you wouldn’t go shooting with an irresponsible friend or let them drive your car.

  18. Depends on the situation and the kid in question. Contrary to popular belief you can just rubber stamp any one situation. I’ve known kids that I’d trust with any gun ever and I’ve known adults I wouldn’t give a wet noodle to.

  19. My pre-Navy firearms education was negligible, and I got my ass beaten and confined to bed for the day when I was caught playing with my mom’s boyfriend’s Ruger Old Army; I was eight at the time.
    I made damn sure I gun-proofed and educated my kids when I became a parent. I trusted my 16-YO son with the location of a bolt-action rifle and ammunition. No incidents occurred. My 5-YO daughter will get the same training my son did.

  20. Babysitter? No. Not unless it was a family member, but I don’t think of my siblings as babysitters, per se.

    We do sometimes leave the kids (14 and 12) with access to a gun. Depends on the kid, but I’d say if they’re old enough to be home by themselves, they ought to be responsible enough to have the means to defend themselves.

    We’re in a low-crime college town, but crap still happens; around Thanksgiving some Seattle thugs made the trip to the rural boonies just to take advantage of the unprepared student types who think nothing will ever happen and leave doors unlocked. There were several home invasions, as they’d knock and then just let themselves in if there was no answer. They held a couple of people at gunpoint while they ransacked the house — one of these was only a block away, so I’m pretty sure they cased my place too.

    And this type of home invasion won’t happen unless the criminals are sure there are no adults home. So we make sure the kids can defend themselves if they have to.

    I’d be fine with leaving them the Springfield XD 9mm, but the wife fears they’ll misuse the pistol somehow. So if we do leave them with a gun, the kids get their choice of .22 rifles: the Marlin Model 60 or one of the Henry lever-actions. Loaded with CCI Velocitors, of course. Nobody’s going to just laugh those off, and the kids can handle the .22 rifles really well.

    And my 14-year-old son has a tomahawk and an honest-to-god spear (w/a short 3-foot shaft), not to mention a plethora of knives, so he could take out a bad person the old-fashioned way in a pinch if he had to. We have options. 🙂

  21. When my kids were too young to be around guns I just didn’t have them in the house. I think gun safes offer a false sense of security. They are fine for preventing visitors from getting access but as a child I could get into everything in the house, whether my parents knew it or not. Knowing full well my children would likely be just as curious and persistent as me meant I did not feel having a firearm was a worthy trade off for the safety risk.

    Now that they are of age, the oldest knows where all the firearms are and where the ammunition is. He is proficient with my main home defense weapon and where it is kept. I would not want to be a home intruder trying to break in when he was here by himself. He will not be an easy target.

    For the youngest, well we do have a dog. On his next birthday we will begin the ritual of learning how to shoot. In the meantime, he helps clean firearms when I get back from the range. This has helped demystify firearms. He understands how to operate one but I don’t expect him to use it unless the situation is desperate. We just now started leaving him home alone. By the end of the year I expect he’ll be far from helpless in the case of an intruder.

    • Rob,

      Some small, inexpensive handgun safes are fairly easy to defeat and open. I saw a video of 3 or 4 year old boy break into different models without breaking a sweat. The solution to firearm storage at home with young children: heavy, full size safes with mechanical combination locks. There isn’t a child in the world that can break into such a safe. Unless you tell them the combination, they are not getting in.

      • Or if they figure out the combination.

        Had I been in a different state of mind when they were younger I would have used a combination of a good safe and education instead of having no guns in the house.

        Education seems to be the key to me. I know too many hunting families that don’t bother with a safe that seem to have no issues simply because the little ones are well educated on firearms, their proper usage, and potential dangers. Not sure I agree on not keeping the guns locked up but with no incidents between any of them what do I know?

      • Oh my god. IT WAS A VIDEO! He’d been TAUGHT how to open the safe, for the purpose of the video.
        P.T. Barnum LOVED people like you. They made him rich.

  22. Since I was given a Stevens 311C 20g DB at the age of 14, I say the answer is 14… for me. Still depends for other kids. We also had several .22 rifles to which I had access.
    We lived out in the country and I had older brothers that taught strict handleing practices (unload while crossing fences, NO exceptions). These were hunting and plinking scenarios though and never a thought to be armed for SD purposes. Therefore I was intrusted with guns for responsible outdoor sport, not to be snatched up at a seconds notice to defend my family. Different mindset required.

    • Also if a gun was in the house, the bolt/action was open, in the gun case, the break action DB was the exception.

  23. Wow… good question. Luckily I have a few years to think about the answer. I haven’t even really gotten to where I’m comfortable leaving the wife with a gun just yet. She grew up in a home/culture where guns were heavily restricted and surprise surprise the only people who had guns were criminals and corrupt police, so she hasn’t completely warmed to the idea of learning how to kill someone if they break into the house. It has not been for lack of trying on my part.

    When I get to that point I would probably leave a handgun that I knew my son/ wife would be comfortable shooting in a lockbox at a predetermined location (ie where you would tell the babysitter to take the kids to call the cops and wait). I wish I could get to the point with my wife where she would be comfortable CCW’ing something but for now thats the best I can think of.

    Under no circumstances would I leave my babysitter in charge of a gun. You can only be so careful picking someone.

  24. I let my stepson (16yo) keep ‘his’ 870 loaded in his room all the time. I figure if something happens having two armed responders is far better than one. He has always respected firearm safety, at times bordering on being a pain in the ass about it, so I am completely comfortable leaving it with him. I have also never had any qualms about leaving him home alone or watching his 6yo sister with the 12ga available to him. If he does very well in school or athletics and gets his chores done, i’ll even let him holster my 1911 for Adolescent Home Carry.

  25. I was a country boy, and I certainly had access to guns from the time I was left home alone. Of course, since my chores included checking on and moving flocks if sheep in pasture, I needed a gun in my hand for defensive purposes when I was manning the homestead. Given my near-fanatical pursuit of woodchucks, I seldom left the house in the summer without my rifle from 12years old on. So, I’m not a typical case, maybe. But I would (in theory, since I don’t have one) expect a teenage child to be responsible with firearms and merit access to the shotgun and/or rifle when home alone.

    • You’re right in that yours was an atypical case. Overall, the odds of a threat from a stranger in a rural area is even smaller than in the cities or suburbs. Still, talk about being all….on….your…..own. Your basic rural county has what, maybe half a dozen Sheriff’s deputies, maybe three on duty at any given time? And that’s to cover a county that could easily be 500-1,000 square miles. So maybe the overall compound threat could be even higher in the rural areas because whatever happens, you need to deal with it yourself.

  26. Aye yay yay … it all depends on the child, their emotional maturity, their emotional stability, specific threats (stalker) versus general threats (random home invasions), crime rate in the community, and whether a trusted next door neighbor could be trusted to assist.

    If you believe your child is mature enough and trustworthy enough to be home alone but may be lacking in emotional stability, then I would not leave out any firearm for them. Instead, leave them with industrial strength bear spray, a good axe handle, and the phone number of the trusted next door neighbor who can assist much faster than calling 911 and waiting for police.

    If you believe your child is mature, trustworthy, and emotionally stable, a semi-automatic rifle in .22 LR is a great choice. Those rifles are short, light, accurate, and they don’t recoil. And the old school rifles with 15+ magazine capacity are going to put a world of hurt on all but the most insane and drugged up home invaders. Just make sure your child knows to keep shooting until the home invader retreats or is incapacitated. In other words, make sure they don’t shoot just once and stop to look at their handiwork.

  27. I always find these kinds of questions very odd.

    I was baby sitting infants when I was 8.

    My cousin had a defensive firearm use when he was 6. Crazy guy came to the farm (had the wrong farm) which is in the middle of literally nowhere. It’s 3 miles of dirt road just to the road, which is 10 miles from town.

    He was chocking my uncle trying to kill him for sleeping with his wife (which never happened) my cousin took one of the shotguns and told the guy if he doesn’t stop, he’d get his head blown off. Guy stopped and then drove off.

    Being left alone with firearms happened when we were literally toddlers. You weren’t allowed in the gun closets unless there was an emergency.

    When there was an emergency, we either got the guns or were handed them. Then again, I was skinning squirrels before I was three.

    Learning to shoot before you were ten was exceedingly common back then.

    • Yes, we adults now find these questions to be absurd.

      Thanks to a generation of parents hovering over their kids’ every move, we now have superannuated children. This is why the DNC is so adamant about making sure that Junior can be on Mommy’s health insurance until he is 26. When we were kids, we were out of the house and on our own, paying our own damn bills by the age of 17 or 18. I left for college at 17, was wholly supporting myself by 19.

      Today, we have hiring managers who are having to create rules that applicants shall not bring their parents to a job interview(!).

  28. It all depends on the kid. Eleven or Twelve is old enough to stay home by yourself, I think. I’m sure there are many of us who were shooting by 12, or younger.

  29. Access to guns, along with training was exactly how I raised my kids. Master bedroom was the designated defense zone, so my two teenage girls (both varsity cheerleaders) were sleeping in that room while we were out of town one night. Two Bad Guys broke into the house at 3AM, and the girls awoke at the crashing sound. They immediately implemented the intruder plan as follows:

    1. Oldest grabbed the 12 gauge from the edge of the bed.
    2. Youngest grabbed the 9mm S&W from the night stand
    3. They positioned themselves on the far side of the bed, about 25 feet from the door, the furthest point from all windows and doors in the room.
    4. Oldest racked the 12 gauge, yelling “we have guns we will defend ourselves”
    5. Youngest called 911.

    Bad Guys stormed out of the house, never to be heard from again, but trashed the main living area in the few minutes inside.

    After confirming with 911 operator that uniforms were on site, weapons were returned to original location and uniforms cleared the house.

    Is allowing teenagers access to firearms a good thing? Both my daughter would say “Hell, Yes”, as they would have been defenseless victims otherwise. I have had an organized intruder plan in every house since I was in my 20’s, and the kids were always trained on their specific role.

    Why would any parent allow their children to be victims when preparing them is so easy?

    • And the sense of empowerment your daughters gained from defending themselves from what could have turned into a very bad thing will stay with them the rest of their lives. That is a particular kind of self-reliance that really cannot be experienced in other ways. When you successfully defend yourself— by yourself—it has a profound effect on your self-concept. Your daughters will never believe they are supposed to be victims.

  30. Whatever you decide is right for your kids and family, know your state laws inside and out. Otherwise, depending on the law, your son might get a pat on the back for defending his home, and then both of you end up in cuffs for committing a felony.

    And stop with that “better to be tried by twelve” bullshit. You won’t feel that way if you and your kid are doing five years hard time — him in juvie and you in the big-boy joint — while the burglar testifies against you and is out in six months.

    Know your kids, sure. But know your laws, too.

  31. What pray tell, is an OFWG? I’ve read it in your blog before (Pistol Wear PT 2) BUT this time I feel like I missed a point in the post because I know it’s meaning.

      • Thanks cute Thomas, thank you 🙂
        I’d really love to hear from the writer, since it seems he’s either stating that provided you’re white AND living in a low crime neighborhood it’s probably okay to leave your kids at home with access to a weapon, OR that this blog is just simply aimed at old fat white men; of which I am neither.

  32. Depends. On. The. Kid.

    Growing up my .270 was in my closet, when I was 18 it was replaced by a .40 Glock 22. A year later the glock was replaced by a SIG 228 in 9 mm. I had unfettered access to the gun safe. Nobody got shot and there were no negligent discharges. One thing to keep in mind is that your kid is not you, therefore there really is no way to know how they’d behave with an unsecured firearm in the house. But the first step is to teach them how to be safe with a gun and go from there.

  33. Obviously it does depend on the kid, because there’s a legal context involved, too. If that kid does something wrong with the firearm, that comes back on you as the parent for having provided access to the firearm in the first place. Funny how the law works, though.

    In Texas, it’s illegal to provide someone under 17 with unsupervised access to a readily dischargeable firearm. That’s a Class C misdemeanor (traffic ticket level), unless they injure someone. Then it’s a Class A misdemeanor (up to year in jail). However, if their access to the firearm is in lawful self defense, then there’s no crime committed.

    So you’re kind of caught there in the middle in that providing access exposes you to criminal culpability right from the start, but you’re later off the hook after the fact if what they end up using the gun for lawful self defense.

  34. Nope nope nope nope. Kids are dumb. I know this because I was a dumb kid just a couple of short years ago, and I still am a dumb kid sometimes. Even if your kid is smart enough to handle guns safely, they’re friends probably aren’t. All it takes is a kid to find the gun and then you could have an ND. I’ve had people come to my house, pick my (loaded) gun up off the counter, and start playing with it. Not checking to see if it was loaded or anything. I’m talking about 17-18 year olds. I thought that people that close to adulthood would have the common sense to not mess with someones stuff, especially not a gun. Now if my roommates bring people over the gun gets unloaded and put in the closet.

    That’s an example of how dumb kids are and how I’m still a dumb kid in some ways. However, I learned from my mistakes and luckily no one got hurt. Those people got a serious talking to once I took the gun from them as well.

    • You mention an “example”, but think it’s unnecessary to say what it was. Looking forward to you revealing this in a few years. That’s not a sign of a mature man, but I have high hopes for you.

  35. Well, this is a question that has no hard and fast rules. Every child is different, every situation is different.

    For me, it was rather fortuitous that my parents left me and my siblings at home with guns since we were… oh, less than 10. It wasn’t an issue. We knew if we played with the guns while our parents were not home, we were going to get our asses whipped with a belt. If we wanted to see them or go shooting, all we had to do was ask. They weren’t “forbidden fruit,” but my parents were serious that gun usage was to be supervised by parents, unless there was a real emergency.

    One day when I was 15, there was a situation I thought qualified as a “real emergency” even to my parents. A lunatic neighbor, who had moved to the sticks from NYC, was convinced I was disrupting his TV reception, and started trying to kick in the front door. The frame was starting to crack and give after about 10 minutes of his efforts. As the oldest of us three, I made sure the deadbolt was in, the chain was on, the knob was locked, put a chair under the knob, and then put the other two of us in the rear of the house.

    Then I pulled out my father’s Model 70 in .270 Winchester, loaded the magazine with 150 grain soft-points, racked one home, put the safety on and positioned myself as far back inside the front door as I could, which put me against the kitchen stove.

    Other neighbors called the cops, but their response time to our neighborhood was 45 minutes. That was entirely typical, BTW.

    The cop, upon arriving, got the lunatic off our property, then announced himself and asked for me. I unloaded the rifle, stashed it off the side of the fridge, went and opened the door, where we conversed. In the course of the conversation, he asked if there were any guns in the house, since he couldn’t remain there beyond getting the neighbor off our property and taking a report, that it might be a good idea to get a gun out if we had one. I told him of the .270 I’d just been aiming at the center of the door before he arrived. He smiled. He said “That’ll do. Just make sure of your backstop, because it won’t stop with the door or him. Consider what’s across the street.”

    He then went next door to inform the neighbor what was behind the door, should he come over again, trying to break down the door.

    Oddly enough, we never heard another word from him. Funny how city slickers with big mouths get real quiet when they learn how things really work out in country bumpkinville.

    Upon returning home that night, my parents agreed with me that it was indeed a “real emergency,” and the only critical comment my father made was of the choice of the .270. He said I “should have chosen the shotgun,” but I had to remind him that he sold off the shotgun two years ago. He got real quiet and said, “Well then, you made the best choice of what was left. Just think about your backstop.”

  36. Even though many kids are under educated about gun saftey in the time i grew up in southern alabama everyone owned a gun even kids i grew up with a 12 gauge and a mosin-nagant (large caliber weapon 7.62*54R ) and was taught that tombstones come out of the end of every weapon you shoot if placed right so if i had to leave a child with any firearm it would be any age that understood that only for defence means exactly that weapon of choice 12 gauge or 20 close range would be .38 special long range would be. 223

  37. Since I don’t have kids, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but on the topic of the movie trailer embedded in this post, beware. The whole movie is basically a hyperbole for gun control. It was released internationally under the name “Tokarev”, and while I won’t spoil the end for anyone that wants to watch it, lets just say that the message of the movie is basically the opposite of “access to guns enables self defense.”

  38. Well, given that I built my own AR-15s when I was 14, I was allowed unrestricted access to all of the toys.

  39. No “in theory” about it. I left for a long weekend with my daughter, leaving my 15yo son to look after my wife for me. 🙂 Before I left, I made sure that my wife knew where my two pistols were (one in the downstairs office, the other in my bedroom nightstand), but while she’s not anti-gun, she explicitly mentioned that she would not use them. Luckily, my son has no such notions, and he’s trained in their proper use, so I also made sure he knew where both were, and what state they were in, and I left comfortable knowing that he’d be able to be the man of the house while I was gone.

    To his further credit, he also verified where I keep the AR-15, which he’s also trained with and knowledgable about. THAT’S MY BOY! 🙂

  40. After I take my 13 yo daughter shooting. She asks me about our M&P .22 pistol. She asks if I can leave it where she can get at it in case of emergency. I tell her it’s against the law for me to leave a loaded firearm within easy access to a minor. She then says, “well, leave it out unloaded and give me a loaded magazine.” That’s my girl.

  41. My 16 y/o has been shooting competively for a number of years. Since then he’s had the combo to the safe & key too lickbox. We have always had oc by the doors, he could reach it @ 7 plus martial arts classes, enough time to run & his dog is extremely protective of children. He looks scary because of his fur (3lbs when he gets sheared lost). Simply, if proper parenting, start training & a martial art that teaches respect from a dojo that specializes in kids with a verifiable rep. Won’t hurt develops skills & start training w/a .22 or even a b.b. gun as soon as they show maturity. You”ll be doing them a favor later when they have kids.

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