“At about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, a girl answered her door to a unknown male at her home in Mayfair Meadows subdivision off H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway,” clickorlando.com reports. “The girl told police that the man, who smelled like cigarette smoke and had crooked teeth, asked her if her parents were home. When she told him they were not, he pulled a gun on her and forced her into his vehicle.” It did not go well from there. The report uses the term “forced himself on her” while the caption on the video calls it rape. Although she may not agree, she’s lucky to be alive. While the anti-gunners would consider any suggestion that she should have been armed “blaming the victim” . . .

they would say that, wouldn’t they? The question here: when is a child old enough to access a firearm for self-defense? I know: it varies. Some kids are responsible from an early age. Some kids don’t achieve personal responsibility until their mid-thirties. So what’s the sitch with your progeny? My 12-year-old doesn’t like shooting but knows her way around a firearm – especially the “all guns are always loaded” and “never point a gun at something you’re not ready to destroy” safety rules. To maintain OpSec all I say beyond that is she values her own life. Highly. Your thoughts. Feel free to generalize – or speak theoretically – rather than reveal your home life.

46 Responses to Question of the Day: When Do You Arm Your Children?

  1. Hypothetically speaking, of course, I would have guns in Mini-vaults with tactical lights and a knife located around the house and office. Then we might review operation of supposed guns. In addition to all the decision matrices that might precede the need to tool up, we would theoretically review the location of fire extinguishers and axes in the bedrooms. And we might review this on a regular basis prompted by what’s on the news. But we’re dumb, lazy, and careless people who lost all that stuff in an unfortunate boating accident……..PS I have five children who may or may not be very well-trained in all types of firearms (ages 25 to 14. Maybe.)

  2. I believe a child is ready to handle a firearm when they have amply demonstrated that they are ALWAYS responsible (even when mom and dad are not looking) with matters of great importance … and when their parents are absolutely convinced that their child is mentally healthy. That could come as early as age 10 to 12 in many cases. And it might have to wait until they are 18 to 24 years old in other cases.

    Of course once your child turns 18 years old they could acquire their own firearms whether or not you think they are ready.

  3. “At about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, a girl answered her door to a unknown male at her home in Mayfair Meadows subdivision off H.E. Thomas Jr. Parkway,” clickorlando.com reports. “The girl told police that the man, who smelled like cigarette smoke and had crooked teeth, asked her if her parents were home. When she told him they were not

    The first thing I would arm my children with is the knowledge not to open the door to strangers.

    • And to shut your trap about stuff like parents being home or not.

      I’m guessing, but I’d be willing to bet that her parents never have broached the subject of personal security and keeping private information private with her. They may well have the attitude that bad things only happen to bad people or whatever…and they did not want to ‘scare’ her with stories of bad people in the world that want to hurt her.

      If so, what a travesty. Even if THESE parents were not so negligent, there are many who are.

      It’s our responsibility as parents to prepare our children for the world…the world as it exists, not the fantasy Utopia we wish it was. The world is a dangerous place. My children have been taught that from a very early age.

      With that teaching has also come the ancillary lesson “But, we don’t let that knowledge of bad stuff out there paralyze our lives. We are aware of dangers, but don’t let them defeat us.”

      This kind of case sickens me, for several reasons. I don’t want to blame the girl victim; my prayers go out for her. I do, however, want to ask the parents some hard questions and invite other parents to take a hard look at what they may NOT be teaching their children.

      There are good ways to discuss these subjects with children without robbing their innocence or scaring the enjoyment of life out of them. Ignoring it while “hoping it goes away” is about as irresponsible as it comes, in my opinion.

    • “And to shut your trap about stuff like parents being home or not.”

      To expand on that just a touch…another one that hit me: I see a LOT of women out alone walking or running with dogs. I assume part of that is companionship but part of it may be the security having a dog can bring…especially when (as they often are) they are bigger dogs.

      But then WHY would a woman with a dog stop to make small talk with a stranger and TELL him something like, “Oh, he’s friendly; he doesn’t bite”? Doesn’t the nullify every advantage the dog gives you?

      It’s happened; I don’t have the link(s) handy, but it has happened where a woman with a dog told her assailant, right before he attacked, that the dog was harmless or some such.

      Geez.

      People are just too trusting…

    • Exactly. My children know (and have demonstrated) not to answer the door to strangers and to call 911 if someone tries to get in (starting with someone actively trying the door handle, prowling, etc.).

      The eldest know the codes to two quick-access security boxes. and has been trained and drilled in the use of both FAs secured inside. The youngest is not ready for that yet.

  4. all my children have been able to quote Col. Cooper from about the age of 5 or 6. They all have their own firearms. They all have keys to their own secure storage. Although none of my children are in the age/size described above(my youngest is 6-1, 250lbs at 13) they weren’t always so grown. My daughter is gorgeous and so she’s the first one I bought a pistol for. She know how to use it, as in moving while shooting at moving targets; standard training for all my kids. Good training starts with “don’t open the door”…

  5. Being armed, in a broad sense, does not necessarily equate to being ready to handle a gun.

    To me, being armed means being prepared to deal with foreseeable situations, and I believe you should teach that to children – at various levels that may never include a firearm depending on the child – all through a child’s life untilhe or she reaches maturity.

    Clearly this poor girl wasn’t prepared – either her parents didn’t have the talk about opening the door for strangers when she’s alone, or they misjudged her ability to act appropriately when alone.

    I don’t blame the girl in either case.

  6. My first thoughts on this incident is that this young girl is the progeny of a pair of utopic minded liberals. Nothing like that ever happens in THIS neighborhood. And, by their closed minded thinking, never happens anywhere. Hence the complete ignorance of the true ways of the world. And we are the crazy ones?

  7. I was on the throne the other morning when the FedEx guy knocked and dropped off my new barrel. The 7 yr old granddaughter came running and while pounding on the door, gave me a beautiful description of the gent.
    Right now, she is the Eddie Eagle role model.
    Actual range time will start next summer in preparation for Africa at age 10. Her first hunt!

  8. The question here: when is a child old enough to access a firearm for self-defense?
    Well the title is more aptly correct. When do you arm your children? But the real question is arm them with what? Responsible parents arm their children to deal with the true nature of the world throughout their entire lives with whatever tools are necessary to the task.

  9. These parents should be castrated for failing to teach their female child not to open the door to strange men. Also, admitting that you’re home alone? How stupid can you get…

    My son has a Saiga .223 and a paid of Yugo PAP M85s in his room at the moment. He fired my 1911 for the first time when he was 5. Guns are laying around all over the place, he’s always had access to them.

    The sky did not fall. He did take one to school, though he probably should have. He didn’t shoot himself or me, or anyone else, and luck had nothing to do with. It’s called “Not being dumb as a box of hammers” like this girl is. Accompanied by “Not being horribly irresponsible” like this girl’s parents are.

  10. Here ya go folks… http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf

    3.7 million home invasions per year…
    266,000 of those become violent.

    Teenagers are often home alone and they’re at just as much a danger of being victim as adults. Leaving responsible teenagers without access to firearms is… irresponsible?

    I had my own rifles in my own closet since I was 12. Apparently there were laws against it, but none of us knew it at the time. Even still, leaving access to a safe in the parents room is the right thing to do if you believe in armed self-defense.

  11. For reference, even if you believe your child is not yet ready to have access to firearms when the parents are away, why not provide alternate tools? Leave a full can of wasp spray on a shelf within a few feet of your front door. It is always there and always available. Teach your children how to use it if someone proceeds to break down the front door. It isn’t as good as a firearm. It is better than nothing. Other options could be available as well.

    • “For reference, even if you believe your child is not yet ready to have access to firearms when the parents are away, why not provide alternate tools?”

      An *excellent* point.

      30 foot-range can of ‘Bear-be-Gone’ (or wasp spray) might be just the ticket…

      Or a picture of Ralph (or me!).

      That would make anyone run in fright, screaming…

      🙂

  12. What is wrong with that child’s parents not to teach her about answering the door? That said my own daughter having turned 21 now has her Georgia Weapons Carry License.

  13. I know this guy and his younger brother. When he was about 14 (and his brother about 10), the two brothers suggested to their parents that just the two of them go out for a nice dinner on their anniversary, without toting the boys along. The parents – who up until now always brought the boys along – thought this was a nice offer, and did as suggested. There was never a question about whether the boys were mature enough to stay home alone, on the rural family farm.

    About 30 minutes after the parents left, the boys noted a car pull up the long driveway, headlights dim or off. It sat in the driveway for a considerable time, facing the detached garage. Knowing that a call to the Sheriff would result in a response in about 45 minutes, if at all, the boys decided to investigate. Older brother grabbed the M1 Carbine and a 20 round mag. Younger brother topped off his Model 870 – they exited the back door of the house and maneuvered to flank the car in a crossfire.

    By this time the car occupants had opened their doors to exit. However, when the floodlights came on, accompanied by loud shouts to get out of there, the doors quickly closed and the car exited rapidly, in reverse. It is said that it took a few minutes for the adrenaline to leave the boy’s systems.

  14. If they are old enough to be left alone they are old enough to be armed. If they aren’t responsible enough to be armed they aren’t responsible enough to be left home alone.

  15. (Hypothetically) All members of the family are trained on how to use all of the firearms in the home; All members know the condition of all firearms at any given time; All members of the home have access to the weapon and ammunition of their choice. All members of the family know the four safety rules of firearms. Yoots are instructed to not open the door and to wait for another member of the family to provide a second set of eyes before addressing strangers at the door. The front door is visible from three different rooms in the house, one of which is where most of the firearms are stored. All other entryways are kept locked. The youngest member of the household is 15. (Hypothetically).

  16. Something in this article that I notice, besides all the other comments. That is, can’t blame the victim and can’t blame the BG. So all that is left is to find a scapegoat. Which often seems to be a gun. Guns are easy to blame because they don’t hire lawyers or talk back. But blaming guns is really a crime because it moves the focus away from the real issues and possible solutions that may actually work. Like keeping the BGs in prison.

  17. Link to article said the girl was 16. So I guess not too bright. Maybe even mentally retarded, in which case the perp took advantage of a handicapped person and should get double the normal sentence. A number of other thoughts here. All doors should have a window, side light, or peephole so that anyone, regardless of age, can see who is there without opening it. At least get a dog. The girl claimed that she thought it was her father at the door. Any dog, any size, would have known differently from the moment the guy got near the house. Yes, scary times. I grew up in a nice part of NYC and we never locked the door, just like my wife did growing up out in the country. We literally played in traffic, and she grew up with all sorts of unsecured guns in the house. Of course, this was the 50’s and early 60’s and truly, if you lived in a decent neighborhood, you just did not have to worry about kids’ safety, or kids being stupid enough to touch an adult’s gun.

  18. I recently purchased a small camera and LCD screen unit from eBay. The unit mounts in the existing peep hole you may now have in your door.
    When someone is at the the door I press the pwr. button and the screen shows who is there. Not sure how it works at night, if at all??
    Pull up eBay and type “wireless security cameras”There are plenty of them.

  19. My kids are “grownup” at 20 and 22(mommy babies the hell out of them). One has no interest and the other I do not trust with a gun(judgement). But both can defend themselves and would never open the door to a stranger. Also have pepper blaster,knives,bats,bricks and a machete in EZ reach. I wish things were different but I’ve only been into all this for 5 years or so.

  20. My wife is all I need, no kids. Wife is Filipina, has a machete, and an anger problem. Those three together at one time equal Seal team 6.
    I hide in the closet and send her to the door!

  21. I taught my kids never to answer if they’re home alone. Not even for their own parents — if it really is us, we won’t be knocking; we have keys. Not even for the police — if it really is the police, they’ll be able to verify by calling 911 and asking why there are police at the door (and then they’re to tell the police to come back when parents are home).

    Although I trust them as individuals and they both know how to use firearms safely and effectively, a history of depression runs long and deep in the extended family — every last one of us in my house suffers from it — and since it makes the usual teenage angst and mood swings exponentially worse, I can’t trust their hormones or their mental state. Guns stay in the safe unless I’m wearing one or we’re at the range. Impulsive suicide is a far, far bigger risk at this point than any kind of criminal violence.

    However, knives don’t pose such a danger of self-harm, so the kids are armed to the teeth that way. Edged weapons of all types and sizes stashed all over the house (at their discretion, not mine; I’m not even sure I know where they all are, and that’s okay).

    In the ideal world I’d give them access to the guns (which they had when they were younger and depression wasn’t an issue), but we don’t live in that world.

    Still, I’m pretty confident that the kids will be okay in the long run — and in the meantime, may God have mercy on anyone who threatens my kids at home, because they have the tools and the will to make that final meeting happen.

  22. They sign ’em out when they leave, and they sign ’em in when they return…and god help them if the serial numbers are mismatched or the chamber is dirty!

  23. The parents are ALWAYS home! I went to the NRA hunting safety course when I was 1o and hunting that year with a 12 gauge semi-automatic. What did learn at the NRA safety course, know your target and treat the weapon as if it is always loaded. The 2nd Amendment has NOTHING to do with hunting. It has EVERYTHING to do with protecting ourselves from a corrupt and evil government. mrpresident2016.com

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