Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 12.07.59 PM

Richmond, Virginia’s nbc12.com On Your Side Investigative team set up a close encounter between some young ‘uns and a gun in an unsupervised classroom. The results were, as they say, eye-opening. [Click here for the video] A girl named Corianna not only touches the gun, she fingers the trigger. Twice. Calling Eddie the Eagle? Yes well, one of the kids in the story sings the NRA-sponsored Eddy the Eagle song. I’m left wondering if Corianna was a graduate. Anyway, how do you think your young child/grandchild would react if he or she discovered a real gun behind a container of toys in the classroom?

Recommended For You

54 Responses to Question of the Day: Would Your Young Child Touch a Gun?

  1. I don’t have any kids (that I know of) but I’ve taught both my nephews what to do if they see a firearm out in the wild. Their parents aren’t much for guns and don’t own any, and aren’t going to teach them anything. The older of the two has handled firearms and I’ve taught him the safety rules for that as well. The younger is only 6 years old and a little too small to handle my rifle, so he’ll have to wait another year or so.

  2. ONCE.
    I was showing my wife a new pistol.
    I set it down on the table to explain something else.
    The 3 year old grabbed it. Pointed it at me laughing.
    It was the scariest 3 minutes of my life to chase him around the table as he giggled and pointed the gun at me.
    It was unloaded, but the kid knows that pulling the trigger makes a “click”.
    Not gonna do that again.

    • I disagree. Suspect that there is an age that is too young. Very young children really don’t have the reasoning skills that they need to go along with a healthy respect for what a firearm can really do. Heck when they are very young they tend to smash into their siblings like there is no tomorrow and think nothing of it. At least many of them do. Would think it prudent to wait until they are over that phase, at least. Also, most very young children have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy. Not a good thing when dealing with firearms IMO.

    • My 3 year old niece is still in that stage of her life where she doesn’t listen to a damn thing anybody tells her, and her favorite word is “NO!” (her second favorite: “MINE!”) So I’m not even gonna TRY to teach her until she grows up a little more and actually starts listening to what people tell her.

      • That’s the point, only you can determine when they are ready. For some it’s 4 years, some might not be ready until they are 13. You decide.

      • One problem is that at a certain age, the kids won’t listen well to words… but they sure do listen to graphic imagery. So, show them pictures – or better yet, videos – of the results of negligent discharges. And tell them that it’ll be them if they mishandle it.

        But no. We must sugar coat everything because they’re all special snowflakes and can’t have their gentle psyche disturbed by such things.

    • GREAT video! Both me and my wife enjoyed them(and both had slightly different takeaways from it), especially since we are embarking down the road to starting a family. I think I may give TNP another chance, some of the review videos were just too much for me.

  3. I know how my children would react, because I taught them how to react. It’s sort of like asking: do you know how your children would react to a glass of wine? Proper exposure, education, and discipline remove the taboo nature and curiosity-of-the-unknown.

    My children know where I keep my one loaded firearm in the house – not so that they know where to find it, but so that they don’t come across it accidentally. They know to leave it alone. All the other firearms in the house are unloaded, and separated from the ammunition. (And I’ve recently started researching gun safes, since my collection keeps growing. *grin*)

    Of course, I raise my children much the way my parents raised me: that yes means yes, no means no, do what your parents say the first time they tell you, etc. I trust my children to be trustworthy in the degree of responsibility I give them. At this point, that means not touching guns without permission – and for my oldest, it now means getting to shoot her own rifle at the range with me.

    That works for us; I realize that it may not work for everyone. But I don’t think that keeping guns hidden, and making them completely taboo, will be beneficial in the long run. (Just like with alcohol.)

    So yeah, I wouldn’t worry if one of my girls encountered a gun alone somewhere. I very-well may be scared to death of how some other child there with her would react, though. And that’s where Eddie Eagle comes in to play.

    • Same here. My kids won’t touch a gun without permission and know they could shoot anytime if they ask. If I left my pistol and an open beer on the coffee table they wouldn’t give them a second glance. Just had to let them shoot a gun and have a good talk for them to know that guns are potentially dangerous.

  4. I’ve shown my 3 yr old a couple of guns with the following instructions.

    Q: What do you do if you see a gun?
    A: Go and tell Mommy and Daddy.

    Q: Who’s allowed to touch a gun?
    A: Only Mommy and Daddy.

    I have warned her that guns can hurt people, but also that guns keep bad people away. She occasionally wants to look at a gun, but I’ve never let her touch.

    I’ll teach her more as she ages, but right now it’s a strict “do not touch” policy.

  5. at the earliest stages all kids will do anything.
    at some point later they at least become respectful of the stern guidelines that have been laid down. but all bets are still off. this is no time to be disappointed in your kid because you did everything right.
    finally, the age of cognizance (after six?) depending on the kid, at which point something may have truly sunk in. peer pressure and other environmental factors can be a beeyotch. hell i’m 842 in honey badger years, but i wouldn’t trust myself to keep my hands off of a weapon that i find behind the toy chest.
    some brains can’t resist- accept this and understand proper handling goes a long way…

  6. There are parents of little dead kids who used to answer “no” to this question, thinking they taught/trained their child right. They know better now.

    Every time I hear that sort of thing from a parent, I cringe at the arrogance of thinking a parent’s teaching can overcome a child’s knack for getting into trouble 100% of the time.

  7. These rigged “experiments” are pure political theater.

    Some kids ARE too young to be taught gun safety. And of course kids are going to react differently to guns they find mixed in with the toys in their playroom

    • Yes, let’s accurately measure your parenting skills by handing your kids a bag of assorted candy with a few oxycodone or even some cyanide capsules hidden inside.

    • Lets be honest. If you have never been taught what a firearm is beyond television how would anyone handle a firearm. I agree, the experiment is designed to show a particular out come.

      adults or children it wouldn’t matter.

      • Did you miss the part where one of the children in the experiment was clearly in the Eddie the Eagle NRA education program? She damn well knows what a gun is, she even says so right on tape: “look, a REAL gun” – all excited. And then grabs it and pulls the trigger.

  8. I am so tempted to teach my 7 yr. old grandson about my guns, and take him to the range; but in today’s environment, I hesitate. Not because I think he’s not able to follow direction, but the overwhelming desire to go to school and say ‘I went shooting with my Poppa yesterday’. I know I’d be getting a phone call from the school, or a visit from the local P.D.

  9. I have loaded guns all over the house. I always have and always will. My twin girls are 4 years old now, and dont even pay any attention to them. They are just such a normal fixture in the house, that they’re not a big deal. My girls have been shooting for a year, they have seen animals shot and killed, and know exactly how dangerous guns can be, and what they can do.

    Educating children about firearms from the youngest age possible, and making sure that there is no taboo is the key. it also helps if they’ve seen a living breathing thing, stop living and breathing, because it has been shot.

    Start them early, educate, educate, educate, and make firearms a normal part of everyday life.

    • yeah, see i get all that. the girl part helps for sure- just sayin, wired differently (than w/ penis).
      but that variable, i just don’t know.
      what happens on play dates when there’s an added dimension of other?
      you know, just, something.

      • I am in a somewhat unique situation. I am retired Army, so I am here with them all the time. They wont be attending public school, and the only children they play with have all been raised in the same way, by people close enough to me to be considered family.

  10. My kids are grown up. I’ve only been into this for 4years.
    I would do the same things I did to make them the well-behaved, respectful and all-around great guys they are. They have very limited interest in guns. It’s the same thing as not running out into traffic, hot stoves and similar things. YMMV

  11. My S/O has a kid, he’s with us every other week. When I moved in with her (not because I’m a bum but because her apartment is hideously expensive for what it is – lease is up soon though), I invested in a safe for my equipment. If a gun isn’t on me, it’s in a safe. My EDC, when I’m sleeping, is in a biometric smaller safe at our bedside. I can get it out in a matter of seconds. I’ll work around those second if it means her child is safe from an accident if he found a weapon of mine. He knows I own several guns. He’s seen a few of them. For his age level, I gave him the standard brief of “If you see one out in the open, tell an adult – don’t touch”. All he needs to know for now. My S/O is OK with me introducing him to shooting when he’s older. Probably have to get a .22LR pistol with a can soon.

    Now, in my youth, my parents didn’t explicitly own any firearms, but they held onto a shotgun and a .22LR rifle for my uncle when he served in the Navy. I got the standard brief of “don’t touch” from Mom, Dad, and my uncle. The weapons were (unloaded) in a rack in my parents’ closet. Never occurred to me to fiddle around with them or do dangerous things with them. They weren’t demonized objects, just objects I had to respect. When my uncle first came home on leave, I even got to go shooting with him for my first time out. I missed a squirrel but I did manage to perforate a soda can pretty thoroughly at 10 yards.

    The irony is that this was New York State in the 1980s. The .22 was in the back seat of the car, the ammo came from some sporting goods store in town.

    The root issue is, we’re not teaching our kids the fundamentals of living in the real world. We turn them loose on the Xbox and they think guns are toys. I’d rather go in the reverse. Show the kids real guns and how they work, the benefits and dangers of them, let them shoot, and then maybe let them have at it in CoD or whatever.

    Not much of a video game guy (I’d rather spend the $50 on a sack of 5.56 and go to the range than buy a game) so forgive my ignorance if CoD is no longer a “thing”.

    • CoD has been a “thing” since 2003, with a new title being released every year or two.. Advanced Warefare (the newest title) releases this week.. 🙂

  12. My daughter is almost two, and I can definItely say she will touch ANYTHING left within her reach. Guns, expensive and delicate items, animal droppings, you name it. Constant vigilance: it’s not just a tactical thing.

  13. I don’t see this sort of thing as a gun safety issue – it’s a deeper issue of kids being brought up without respect for others. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t have touched someone else’s gun, just the same as I wouldn’t have touched their wallet, or keys, or Lego blocks without permission.

    Of course, this only applies to children above a certain age/maturity level. Toddlers are inhuman chaos generators, and cannot be trusted with anything. I would rather spend time with a rabid wolverine than a toddler. Rabid wolverines are more predictable.

    • Very true. But you’re never going to convince most parents that their struggles with willful children have a lot more to do with their negotiating strategies (or lack thereof) than with their kid’s levels of cognitive development. Child psychologists earn good livings because of this. Basically, from the point a child learns not to touch a hot stove is the time they can learn to not touch a gun.

  14. Kids, not a problem, for the same reasons as the other responsible parents here. What concerns me, though, are some adults.

    Like most everyone else, I’ve seen some overconfident, unsafe gunowners at ranges who shouldn’t be around firearms. There could be a firearms owner, or even non-owner, guest at our home who could conceivably stumble upon a loaded firearm and think they automatically know what they’re doing.

    In fact, when the parents-in-law visit, we lock everything up tight. Both are elderly, but denying their advanced age, and one is in early Alzheimer’s. So we’re extra cautious when they’re over.

  15. If you have a kid of the age same as ones shown in that video, your guns should be stored securely – and by this I mean in a safe that you know they cannot open. Period.

  16. Brain research indicates that the frontal cortex responsible for rational thought is not fully formed until the early twenties. This accounts for high level of risk taking we see in teens. It is also the reason that my children will NEVER have access to a weapon without me or my wife present. It does not matter how well educated your kid is about guns. There WILL be a lapse in judgment. It’s just that you’ll only find out about it if somebody gets hurt.

  17. Make something forbidden and it is a natual curios wonder. Teach your children about guns and safety and they do not do things like that. There is too early and age keep your guns locked. But when they are old enough take them shooting with pellet or bb gun then a 22.

    Coddle them overly protect them and they go off to college and die from alcohol poisoning or an overdose. Freedom too fast and they cannot handle it. Good parenting has far better odds. We see that in these helicopter parents hovering over their kids. And hear the stories of the College grad who didn’t get a job and the mother calls and wonders why, to the HR dept.

    Libs don’t get it give the boys barbies and the girls GI Joes and the girls are dressing them up the boys are bending them like a pistol. Let your boy play with a stick and it becomes a rifle. It seems to be ingrained in us “guys” weapons are cool.

  18. my children are taught how to use an arm safely, i fear if they ever come into a home of a friend who parents own a firearm and the child parents never taught that child there not toys somthing bad would happen. so ill go on to say teach your children how to properly hold a gun the correct way.. parents that have arms in the home and don’t show the child how to use it they will i repeat THEY WILL WONDER AND PROCEED TO PLAY WITH SUCH TOOL. parents don’t be fools.. yes have a tool of protection and show your loved ones the proper use of such tool..!!. i say tool because gun is used as an evil name for a tool. IT IS A TOOL OF GOOD USE IF USED RIGHT.

  19. somewhat related.. just took my daughter for her 18 month checkup and on the paperwork they sent home under “safety” it of course says “Keep guns out of your home and keep your children out of homes with guns!”

    when my wife read it to me be both snickered a bit.

    • I think that “over- reach” is something that is requested in Obummer care stuff to health providers. Some Doctors are more invasive with their questions about guns in the home or ownership.
      Along with Planned Parenthood given free access to our children at school, in the name of citizenship building groups. While trying to indoctrinate our kids. Watch out if you have kids in junior or senior high school.

    • All you did was snicker? I would have told them to go pound sand with that “advice”. There are other doctors I can take my business to.

  20. Hey Robert F.

    Unrelated but have a couple thoughts/ questions.. BUT hoping you see this!

    What happened to the area, used to be on the right side of the page,
    where recently “commented on” forums or article comments were listed?

    Also with about 1700 pages of ttag article and related, how about INDEX pages by date, topic or ? that can be viewed as a title list for easy quick scanning.

    If someone is away from ttag for more than a couple days or is “new” to the site,
    98 percent of the recent or older content gets missed or is NOT EVER SEEN or FOUND.

    It takes soooo long going from page to page to page with the partial stories (which is great normally) while trying to play catchup.
    As An Index one can look at the title listing and click a link or simply copy paste in the search box and go to it .
    As doing any search (anywhere) you can’t search for something you don’t know is there. (or what to ask)

    Grab a big book and scan through the index to see how something interesting might be found that otherwise would not be seen or know its buried between the covers. unless you read EVERY SINGLE PAGE. and then it would only matter, (and strike you) if you were seeking that thought at that moment.

    Hey Also how about a story or article type spot easy to find where comments (like this)
    could be jotted for you, that might be/ or have an interest (like my current thoughts here maybe) for others to support or say not so much or add to. ( should they desire).
    Kinda a MISC OR HOUSEKEEPING thoughts or something to you.

    Safe holidays to you!
    Great site THANKS!

  21. kids went to Eddie Eagle and have been to the range with me and shot my guns. They want a pink .22LR pistol. But they also know the rules. Even demonstrated for the Spousal Unit by leaving an unloaded gun on the kitchen counter. Oldest came upstairs (at time, age 7) and chewed me out in front of Spousal Unit by reminding me that there are kids around and not to leave a gun out. I don’t worry about them, but yes, kids will do dumb sh!t. that means parents have to help kids understand reality. My kids saw all of the news coverage of Newtown and that was a teachable moment about evil in this world and what to do if a shooter got to their school (run run run).

  22. My kids have known since they could talk that they could see a gun anytime they wanted, as long as I showed it to them, and got it out for them, because they could really hurt them, or kill them.

    They were shooting .22 since they were 5, and center fire when they were ready, with a careful introduction. Everytime they were handled, they got the 4 rules quiz. It’s to the point now that guns are no mystery, and kinda boring unless there is a new one, or some Tannerite nearby to be set off..

    I know for a fact my oldest has come across a firearm at a friends house, the friend got it out, at which point my son stopped the “show” and said, “Nobody touch that gun until an adult is here.” I could not have been more proud, as nothing might have happened anyway, or a life/limb might have been saved. I’ll never know, but at least I know he is whole, as opposed to having a hole..

    • In addition to learning about guns, the other important lesson your son learned is that he doesn’t have to do what others are doing in order to be liked. That’s something that’s hard to teach and harder still for many kids to learn. Your son obviously got it and that’s something that will guide him the rest of his life.

  23. The previous article says that 28.7% of accidental deaths are caused by poisoning and only 0.5% by firearms. Firearms safety is important, and I am an ardent supporter of teaching kids about it. But, it is obvious that the frequency of kids shooting themselves is nearly a rounding error. With 300 millions guns in the US, it is amazing how few accidental deaths there are in the US. How about NBC use their medium to help discourage little Johnny from having a drain cleaner latte?

    • Bah. Laws aren’t for the media. Didn’t you know that after that Gregory fellow got away with waved an evil 30 round “high capacity” magazine on Sunday TV even though having one was illegal in DC?

  24. I have to wonder if NBC violated the law by giving these kids access to this gun without direct adult supervision. What would have happened if somehow the gun turned out to be loaded due to negligence on the part of the employees that were supposed to keep it unloaded? I imagine this would have turned into a tragedy not unlike the girl being handed an UZI except another kid would likely have suffered instead.

  25. Been a while since I asked my kids what the rules are, I should probably give them a pop quiz when the get up in the morning. They tend to have my memory, meaning it gets stored in some dark corner of the brain, buried under mounds of useless information, and is rarely found, unless it’s when trying to remember something else. This gets me in trouble with the wife frequently. Sometimes I wish I could plug my brain into my PC and run a disc defrag on it.

  26. this is a take off of the ABC News investigation that basically came to the same conclusions. Weapons need to be stored or on your person. I hesitate to say safe storage laws would be a good thing, but what would the alternative be? Punishing those who carelessly and recklessly leave their weapons lying around that result in injury probably won’t work either.

  27. I was going to the range with my brother when my niece was two. She saw my brother gathering up a few guns and asked him “what’s-a matter, daddy?”
    “Nothing honey, we’re going to the range to shoot guns”
    “Why?”
    “Well mainly for fun.”
    “Oh no, daddy! Guns aren’t toys! They’re for protecting me and mommy.”

    She’s still a smart cookie.

  28. I’ve got a bit of firsthand experience with my son (age 11, as of Sep). As far as gun safety is concerned, he is quite persnickety and frankly handles firearms better than many adults. Even with BB guns he has no patience if his friends don’t handle them properly. He’s gotten the parent and left in the past. Rather than going for someone himself, he’s more likely to send someone else after an adult and keep the other kids away. He would probably do a visual to see if there was a magazine or the safety was set just so he could tell the adult when they got there. I do hope the adult that responds knows how to handle a firearm safely, because he wouldn’t hesitate to correct them. I’ve seen it before.

    Unfortunately, I do fear that there is a case where he might make an exception. A case in which he felt there was absolutely no other choice to keep others safe, and then only to move it to a safe place. When he was younger I know that wouldn’t happen, but at this point, if he was certain the risk justified the amount of trouble he’d get into he could make an exception. He’d be all over the adult, though, for letting a real gun be in with the toys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *