The young lady is laboring under the impression that locking up ammunition separately from a firearm adds considerably to gun safety. It’s a dangerous delusion. For one thing, there’s the first gun safety rule: treat all guns as if they’re loaded. One must assume that all guns are loaded. That holds true for your kids and you. If a gun owner reckons its OK to leave a gun unattended in a house with young children because it isn’t loaded, they’re setting themselves up for tragedy. The real answer to gun safety for children is . . .

teaching them to respect the four safety rules. And guns, generally. Let them handle them. Take them to the range. Shoot a pumpkin. Show them what a gun can do. Like public speaking, gun safety improves with practice. Meanwhile, know this: leaving a gun unattended on a night stand with young kids around may be a very bad idea. Not teaching them real gun safety is worse.

87 Responses to Guns for Beginners: Gun Safety ≠ Locking Up Your Guns and Ammo

  1. Mmmm…parentheses

    Your clearly one of those massageogynist the antis are always complaining about. You know someone who like massages

    • now that you killed Blammo’s comment, mine clearly makes no sense.

      Oh how humor suffers in the face of political correctness.

      • LOL! I went back to look at what RF wrote to try and make heads or tails of your post! Glad to see I’m not losing my sense of humor and/or reading comprehension.

  2. I just have to say, briefly, Blammo already posted what I was thinking! While this young lady leaves much to be desired in journalist and especially charismatic speaking skills, she sure does take a load off the ‘ol eye sockets… LOL

    • She seemed to be making an effort in the right direction, but I couldn’t get past the 2:31 mark. Aside from her premise being slightly off, as RF pointed out, she could definitely use a few hours watching Colion Noir before she tries her next video.

      • Egads, that was frakkin’ painful to watch. Not exactly comfortable in front of an audience, let alone a camera. Google delivers better inflection when speaking.

  3. I have to disagree what you Robert. The NRA four safety rules are in themselves also a “delusion” under your level of proof.

    Do you have kids? I do. Mine are 16, 18 and 20 and all shoot, all know the four rules, and two have NRA courses and certs under their belts.

    I lock ammo (and barrels) separately when the wife and I go away for a weekend, because I trust them but I have never heard of a kid who hasn’t invited friends over when their parents were away for a weekend.

    My kids are all well adjusted as well, but I know parents who are gun owners who have had kids with sub clinical level depression or anxiety.

    Why not just leave your comment to “Kyra, you a good idea in many circumstances as long as it does not also mean you don’t teach the four rules”?

    Let’s not conflate good advice and education on the VARIETY of optional measures there are to keep households with kids, and friends of kids, safer with the nonsense mandatory laws. This woman was not pushing mandatory storage laws.

    • Your kids are adults. Also you clearly don’t trust them, which is fine because it means you know the situation. However Robert is right, in the right context.

      • You clearly never had kids.

        l my comments are about the range of years growing up from 0-now. Are you saying a 14 year old has the same self control as an adult? I suggest you never have kids if you think so.

        And if you bothered to read what i wrote is that if you have three kids there will be many times when other people’s kids are in the home, including kids with no training, kids with sub clinical mild issues such as depression etc — and EVERY parent knows — at some point there will be other people’s kids in the home when you are not there.

        • Other people’s kids are a different “x” in the equation. I know how I, and the rest of my compadres were at 12, when we did what we wanted with firearms because we lived in the boonies, and were raised to be responsible. My buddy’s 12 year-old daughter embarrassed some 20-somethings on the 4th because she was as good at 200m as she was at 20.

          We rode motorcycles, carried pistols, rifles, and shotguns, when and where we pleased by 12. No adult supervision required, and we all lived to tell without incident. We kept loaded guns in our bedrooms, and took them to school on the bus (unloaded ‘natch) during whatever season so we could jump on a fiend’s bus and go hunt.

        • Do your kids not know where you put your barrels and ammo? It is likely your own kids who would tell visitors where to find them. If your kids do not know enough not to let people snoop around your house then that is a problem. If your kids dont know the combo to where you store ammo then why do they know the combo to your safe, why not just put everything in one safe. At least the guns and what ever ammo will fit. Disassembling guns and hiding ammo seems like a waste of time.

    • I appreciate your post, JJ, it highlights that safety rules are a judgment call based on a person’s living situation. I store my unattended guns differently now that I have kids than I did when I was a batchelor. Then, I could leave guns wherever I pleased. Now, they are always in the safe.
      I also second your notion of increased security for kids. I have three boys. When I was a kid I was a dangerous idiot. The only guys I knew who weren’t dangerous idiots were boring.

    • Sorry, even after all that training and experience with firearms you still don’t trust your grown kids to be around guns when you are not at home? Some sort of disconnect there. Also, you DO seem fine with leaving them at home, unsupervised, and unarmed for their own defense, for the entire time your are away.

      Perhaps you would do better to safely secure your firearms from unknown visitors while giving the “kids” instructions on how to retrieve them if needed? Just sayin’.

      • The Exponential Law of Relative Child Intelligence

        1
        y = ——-
        2^(x-1)

        y= the ratio of intelligence of a group of kids to one kid

        x= the number of kids in the group

  4. Well this thread is off to a great start.

    More on topic, no kids no problems. Cartridges don’t just jump into chambers all by themselves. My HD weapons are all cocked and locked. My stored ammo is just locked up in ammo cans for preservation purposes only.

    • I fully support your right to do that, and would do so my self with no kids. I also oppose any and all mandatory gun securing laws.

      that is different than parents thinking about various risk reduction factors, which are going to vary and which could be used separately or in combination

      • All of my young family members know that it’s verboten to touch the guns when visiting (or even enter my office where most of them are stored) without supervision from myself or the wife. Funny thing is, they obey.

        If you have to lock up your HD weapons because you don’t trust your kids (or them around other kids) then what’s the point of having HD weapons?
        Like I was just telling an anti the other day, last year an 11 year old girl accessed her mom’s gun and shot the man stabbing her mother to death right in front of her. If the gun was locked up, that girl wouldn’t have a mother today.

        • Exactly. If your 10-14 year-old can’t handle weapons responsibly, it’s either a failure of parenting (most likely) or your kid has developmental issues (statistically odd).

        • Wow, tell me the magic secret to getting another adolescent human abide by every rules like a programmable robot, especially when I’m not around.

          The idea that kids not listening to the parents is somehow always the parents fault is bullshit. I’m sure you always listened to your parents and never disobeyed their rules ever. Especially when you were 10-14 years old.

        • blergh, Being responsible with a firearm is not ‘following the parent’s rules’ it’s being responsible and understanding consequences of actions. There’s an entire world full of kids who know how to safely handle firearms by age 10, because they were raised that way.

          Are there outliers? Of course, that’s parenting. You adjust. But kids raised to be responsible are running tractors by age 12, they’re fully capable. Not saying that they always make the best decisions, but handling something as basic as a gun is well within the range or reasonable expectations.

        • The idea that kids not listening to the parents is somehow always the parents fault is bullshit. I’m sure you always listened to your parents and never disobeyed their rules ever. Especially when you were 10-14 years old.

          Not when it came to dangerous objects. Of course, I had corporal punishment as a child. Not by my father, who never laid a hand on me (one threat was all it took) but my mother was a devil with a leather belt.

          But, whatever you have to tell yourself to absolve yourself of responsibility.

  5. Why did the dad in her story leave his gun on his nightstand in the first place?

    Also, her research for this school presentation (?) did not seem to differentiate between “bullet” and “cartridge”.

    • She seems to have the proper mind set, but be lacking in accurate information. It is not uncommon in high school level presentations, especially as she was obviously not comfortable in front of the camera, for the student to have only a rudimentary knowledge of the subject they are espousing opinions on.

      Best case for this young lady, IMO, is to provide her the URL for http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com, and Colion Noir’s channel. With a little further education on specifics and terminology she could turn into the next Sara Tipton.

      • Her stance is no more, and perhaps quite a bit less, off base than much of what I’ve heard out of presidents and members of Congress. Although, now that I say it, that’s probably more an indictment of them than a defense of her.

  6. Kids. They screw with your guns, smash the family car and then want you to pay for their college education. Then after they’re all grown up and you’re in hock up to your eyeballs, they want to drop off the grandkids so they can do the same damn things.

    • Make them buy their own car and pay for their own school. My single mother gave us room and board, the rest was up to me. Paid for my own private school through high school and college working 30 hours a week. Modern parenting is a joke.

    • I’m generally a minimalist. Fortunately, my children are finally of the age where they all understand I have more of them than I need. When I’ve seen that “aha” moment in their eyes, their behavior improves dramatically.

    • This is why I say it’s better to be that cool uncle with the guns and the home theater system than to be the broke ass dad… But that’s just my $.02

      Both of my sisters have kids, and I will invite them over from time to time to shoot or play video games. When they’re at my place they tend to be more well behaved than they are at home by a mind boggling amount.

  7. Hard to keep my eyes and mind on what she is saying. Keep getting distracted by her bullet points. 😉
    She is pretty young and does not really seem to know much about what she is talking about. She is trying to help but really needs more experience in talking in front of a camera as well as more technical information on guns and better training on gun safety.

    • “Bullet points” I’m with you on that perspective! After watching that for a while, the “dirty old man” in me came out.
      Can you be committed for “felonious” thinking? Does the “16 will get you 60” rule apply here?

        • Glasses? Sometimes that works. (At least for me, YMMV…) Given hair, makeup, wardrobe – she does have potential, she appears pretty toned at a glance. But the awkwardness and delivery are the real hangup for me – maybe she was just really nervous. Or maybe she’s about as smart as a box of rocks, which I can suffer for maybe a week if she’s incredibly proficient in other fields.

  8. For better or for worse, ammunition locked separately from the guns is law in my part of world. Thankfully a GI ammo can with a padlock through the locking tab is considered adequate.

  9. There are two ways to safely store a gun when you have children around. On your person or locked in a safe. There is no getting around it. And don’t give your kids the combination or unlock code until you are sure that will have an adult level of attention to details.

    When it comes down to deadly weapons like guns and cars assume that your kids will screw it up at some point. You want to eliminate as many opportunities as possible so they have a high probability of making it to responsible adulthood.

    • I agree. Either on your person or secured out of reach when they are young.
      You can train and teach all you want, but kids are not adults, nor do they always make adult decisions.
      Older kids are a different matter, mine had their own long guns at 10-12 depending on when they were mature enough. Still there’s the worry of untrained friends or relatives acting stupid, I don’t leave weapons in plain sight for that reason.

    • Keep gas in the tank of your auto or drain/refill it each time you drive? Lock the car in a garage and container of gas in the woodshed? Kids know the location of any/all of the associated keys?

      Didn’t think so.

        • Don’t think so. Go back and read the comment to the end. My point was to minimize the risk not eliminate it. For those who want understand what a strawman argument really is neiowa provides a perfect example.

          By the way are you in the New Albin area? (neiowa)

      • You realize you have just my point, right? If your children are going to break the rules then they aren’t ready to trusted with firearms on their own. My son demonstrated that he would follow the rules by the time he was 14. Even so, I made him drive 200 hours before getting his license instead of just meeting the basic requirement. He was one road ready on the day he got license. All his friends who had just met the minimum were still afraid to get on expressway even though they had been driving at least 3 months longer than he was.

        And I do know the location of my keys all the tiime.

      • Keep gas in the tank of your auto or drain/refill it each time you drive? Lock the car in a garage and container of gas in the woodshed? Kids know the location of any/all of the associated keys?
        Didn’t think so

        I was talking about young kids, not those old enough to be trusted with more responsibility.
        Do you leave razor blades in reach of your 5 year old? If not, why not?

  10. Unless for a home-defense weapon, I’d keep ammo locked separately from the guns themselves if I had children. But one can do both: teach kids to always treat the gun as if it’s loaded while at the same time keeping ammunition stored separately.

  11. Locking up up ammo separately from guns has always seemed unnecessarily redundant to me. Sort of like locking up your pens in case someone steals your checkbook. If the guns are secure in your safe, it doesn’t matter where the ammo is. It could be in the guns, or separately in the safe, or in a separate safe, or on top of the toilet for that matter.

    • If they have the ammo, then they can experiment with building a gun, which could well be more dangerous all around than having access to both ammo and real guns in the first place.

  12. I don’t have any kids around and all of my firearms are either on me or in the one of my safes. I never leave a firearm unsecured. I don’t lock up the ammo though (ammo doesn’t have a serial number or require a 4473).

  13. I see “art collecting Bob” has been busy deleting comments that offend his delicate sensibilities. Should probably rename this site “www.thetruthaboutbetamalegunowners.com”.

  14. Kids, teens and young adults may have mastered the four rules but as disciplined as they are, they rarely can control their friends.

    It’s not worth a tragedy.

  15. I see a lot of “I trust MY kids but not those other kids” going on.
    It’s funny because you know the other kids parents feel the same way about your kids.
    In the end strangers have the same access to your home regardless of locks, kids or whether you’re there or not. Reality is anyone at anytime can enter your home and do or attempt to do whatever they want to do.
    If a lock only keeps an honest man out and any intruder into your home is not an honest man I guess you’re just trying to keep your honest and trusted kids out because if your kids are dishonest and untrusted they’ll bypass your locks anyway. I broke into my first safe at the ripe old age of 12. It’s not rocket science.
    Separating ammo and guns makes as much sense as a waiting period to buy.

  16. If you want to have a firearm readily available for home defense AND you have young children (under the age of, say, 7), either wear a handgun on your hip or install shelves near the ceiling and keep your firearms on those shelves — way up and beyond the reach of children … even children who would stack objects to try and reach those firearms near the ceiling.

    And if you determine that there is any chance at all that a child can get to the shelf near the ceiling, consider keeping a shotgun with an empty chamber on that shelf. It will be next to impossible for a child to stack up boxes, reach the shotgun, cycle the action, point it at someone, and pull the trigger because shotguns are too heavy/awkward for small children to handle. If the child is old/grown enough to build a makeshift staircase to the shotgun, cycle the action, and pull the trigger while aiming it, they are old/grown enough to know that they should leave the shotgun alone.

    And how do you instill the concept into children of leaving a firearm alone? You take them to a range and have them participate as much as possible for one or two shots — under extremely close parental supervision of course with both of your hands on the child and the firearm the entire time. (And make sure the child has hearing protection!) A child only has to fire a firearm once into something like a milk jug filled with water to realize that they NEVER want to play with one. The deafening boom, the body jarring recoil, and the exploding jug of water imprint that concept in a way that no other method of teaching can instill.

    I did this with my children when they were 4 years old and never had to worry about them finding a firearm and “playing” with it. And yes, I tested them to see if the lesson worked. I triple checked that a handgun was empty and put it out on a chair where the children could see/handle it. They had no interest and came to get me to tell me about it.

    Oh, and the final detail: demystify firearms for your children. Help them occasionally handle unloaded firearms (make triple sure that their are no cartridges in the magazine nor chamber). Show them how we triple check that there are no cartridges in neither the magazine nor chamber before handing one to someone else or just plain handling them. This activity greatly minimizes the “forbidden fruit” temptation for children to play with firearms when responsible adults are not around.

    • A woman who works for me told a similar story. They lived in the country and had guns in the house all the time. When her son was 4 years old and showed an interest in dad’s guns, her (now ex) husband took the son out to hunt rabbits. They shot a rabbit, and the dad made sure the kid understood it was dead. They took the rabbit home, dad skinned it, cooked it, and they all ate it. The lesson was designed to instill the points that guns are tools which can kill, children don’t touch guns without adult supervision, and if you are a hunter, you eat what you kill. She said the son never ever touched a gun without adult supervision. PS. He is now in the USMC, got a high rating in shooting during boot camp, and is training to be an aviation electronics expert.

    • “A child only has to fire a firearm once into something like a milk jug filled with water to realize that they NEVER want to play with one. The deafening boom, the body jarring recoil, and the exploding jug of water imprint that concept in a way that no other method of teaching can instill.”

      This. 1000 times this.

      I remember when I was young (6 or so?) and I was the only one among my ‘peer group’ to have fired a real gun (with my Dad and under his professional Firearms Instructor tutelage) trying to explain “recoil” to my friends that had only seen guns “fired” on TV and movies.

      It was a lost cause. I tried to demo it to one boy with a toy rifle (me jamming it back into his shoulder) and he got very mad at me. When I tried to tell him that what I did was “nothing like the real thing,” he looked at me like I was speaking Godzilla.

      The real world trumps “book larnin'” every day and twice on Sunday.

  17. The marginal effectiveness of locking up ammunition is questionable. Everything we do takes time and attention; and doing less valuable things detracts from the attention available to do more important things.

    Safes cost money. Buy a bigger and better gun safe and leave the ammo unlocked.

    You can’t lock-up all the ammo someone might come upon. If I’ve locked-up my guns then someone who shouldn’t use my guns won’t use my guns even if he has access to ammunition. I can’t do much to reduce his access to ammo by locking up only my own ammo. Nor can I be certain I’ve locked up every possible round in my possession. I might have left one round in a pocket or range bag.

  18. Carry your gun on your person, and when you don’t, lock it in a safe if you have kids around.
    Teach your kids not to touch guns, until they are old enough to be trained how to handle them.
    This is simply common sense.

    You have a swimming pool in the backyard? Then fence it and watch your toddlers like a hawk, until they are old enough to teach them how to swim.

    Locking up the ammo would be like emptying the pool. Makes no sense at all.

  19. I watched the whole presentation. On the surface, I give the young lady props for attempting to discuss a wide range of topics within the seven minutes, and for struggling to present clearly as she was obviously nervous about being recorded.
    It may come across as a bit naive, but her closing line was very pro-gun.

  20. There are many deadly things in a house guns are no different. Kids will still: run with scissors, run down stairs, put things in their mouth, cook, it goes on and on. Knowledge of the danger and how to avoid it is the best you can do. IMHO the worst thing a parent can do is deny dangers exist.

  21. I’d like to invite the young lady over for a more personable lesson. But first, I gotta get the old lady out of the house for a few hours.

  22. Hey people. This looks like a school presentation for a online class. She has another video posted with a speech and talks about it being for a class at her community college. The way she starts with the example, covers the broad topics and some of the twists in making connections are classic hallmarks of that. It’s entirely possible that she was assigned this topic by an anti-gun teacher. Here’s a story. Here’s the subject. Give a 5-10 minute speech. Typical assignment. (And yes, I know I’m interpolating background based on experience.)

    For an 18-20 year old young lady to make this kind of pro-gun presentation today in a college setting takes a hell of a lot of courage and she deserves our support, not our mockery. I’m an experienced and skilled speaker and know what it takes to go with a controversial subject even with a friendly audience. I’ve seen older adults do a lot worse than she has done. The way she uses the example which would typically lead into a typical anti-gun spiel but shifts it into a pro-gun position deserves applause. If this is an assignment for a community college, she’s take are real risk with her education. In that sense, she’s doing more for the 2nd Amendment than most keyboard warriors will ever do. Hope she knows CPR, the teacher may have a cardiac arrest after hearing this.

    As far as her content, she’s using the 3 NRA rules rather than Cooper’s 4. The Boy Scouts use the same 3. The ammo storage position is also an NRA recommendation and only one part of her speech. Remember, that your home defense handgun can be considered “in use.” Thus, having it loaded is appropriate.

    RF is right, teaching kids and taking away the mystery of guns is important, too. However, these speeches are topic specific and time limited. From that perspective, she did fine. And listening to her speech, I don’t think she’d disagree on the importance of teaching kids. If it goes well, maybe she can do one on firearms training and kids, next.

  23. She’s clearly practicing a speech for a school class. I like her topic and that she’s practicing. Based on her subject matter, Southern accent, and handy prop, I’d say she’s pro-2A.

    All good things.

    • This was the performance of an awkward 6th grader, not someone who should have ever graduated HS. I’m still open to the possibility that she was really nervous for some odd reason, but after suffering through it again, I’m gonna say she’s likely a piece of Samsonite – acceptably attractive at a glance, but once you spend a week with the functionality….

      • It looks like she is doing this for an online speech class at her junior college. All it really takes to get someone who might otherwise be Ms. Gabby on camera or at a party or even who works in media, is to tell them this video/speech/etc has a “purpose.” The moment it isn’t casual, stage fright takes over. It’s no longer “goofing around” or even the “job,” it’s now “public speaking.” I’ve even seen it happen with radio/TV personalities, vloggers and podcasters. For those of us who do this sort of speaking all the time, it’s much harder for most people than we realize. Personally, I love the rush of public speaking, but I’m screwy like that.

        When I took the Dale Carnegie course many years ago, I learned that the only things that caused as much stress in most people as public speaking were losing your job, death in the immediate family (i.e. spouse or child) and divorce.

        If you look her up on social media, you’ll find she has the kind of presence that hints at her having a life and not pseudo-living through her keyboard or mobile cam. School, a couple part time jobs, active outdoors/sports and active in her church – signs of a good, normal kid, here.

      • Sorry man, this performance would have gotten anyone laughed out of 9th grade forensics. She’s a deer in the headlights, which is tolerable for pre/middleschoolers, but not those in HS. Let alone beyond. CC or not, that was pathetic.

        • As a double ruby in the NFL, someone who was on the competitive speech team, and a Dale Carnegie grad I’m not foolish enough to disagree with you there. But there is a huge difference between an online intro to speech course and being on the forensics team. That you even. Know the word “forensics” as something more than a CSI reference says you’re either better educated than most or older like me or both. (That you’re named after the keyboard handler interrupt suggests “both.”)

          I’ve coached kids and young adults at times and this girl isn’t much of an exception for what I see today.

        • As a double ruby in the NFL, someone who was on the competitive speech team, and a Dale Carnegie grad I’m not foolish enough to disagree with you there. But there is a huge difference between an online intro to speech course and being on the forensics team. That you even. Know the word “forensics” as something more than a CSI reference says you’re either better educated than most or older like me or both. (That you’re named after the keyboard handler interrupt suggests “both.”)

          I’ve coached kids and young adults at times and this girl isn’t much of an exception for what I see today. What for you and I was a Jr. High elective or a Sophomore requirement isn’t even touched in many kids’ educations. She has likely had just as little training in logic or reason, as well. Hardly a surprise in an education system that values feelings rather than truth.

          So if I’m essentially agreeing with you, why defend this girl? First, she IS trying to use reason. And she’s got the guts to go with a topic like that in today’s collegiate setting. Both of those tell me she’s hungry to learn. Second, I’ve discovered whether you start in 6th grade or hush school or college, you start at the same point where if comes to public speaking.

          The saddest part for me, is that as rough as that was, she is teachable. Unfortunately, this is an online course so she will be unlikely to get better. Without actual face to face and some coaching, there won’t be much improvement.

  24. It makes sense for even non-gun owners to teach their kids about gun safety considering that it is not unheard of for a gun to be found by any child in a playground or other public area.

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