TTAG reader PS writes:
Several years ago my then seven-year-old daughter was staying at my parents’ home. She came wide-eyed down the stairs. There was a gun in her room! Seeing a teachable moment – as our President would say – and wondering what the heck my dad was doing, I asked my daughter to show me . . .
It was a .30-06. I made a mental note to have a word with my Dad. Meanwhile, I took the time to re-introduce my daughter to the four rules of gun safety. I showed her how to pull back the bolt and check if the gun was loaded. It wasn’t. I thanked her for instinctively knowing the first rule for a young child: don’t touch the gun, leave the area, tell an adult.
My daughter listened, but clearly she wasn’t comfortable with her first up-close-and-personal experience with a gun. How to change that? I decided it was time to slowly introduce her to guns, for her own safety and future enjoyment. And to explain the importance of our Second Amendment protected gun rights.
About six months later we were in New Hampshire. We visited SIG SAUER’s company store. It was paradise from my point of view but I didn’t know how my daughter would react. Trepidation was the answer. That changed as fast as a hunting dog seeing a squirrel. “PINK AND RAINBOW!” she exclaimed. We were suddenly off to see the P290s. Thank you SIG.
We talked about guns after. There was still discomfort but a few bright spots. Or should I say, colors. Over the next year or two, I repeated my gentle instruction in small doses- mostly at home. Which brings us to today . . .
My daughter and I had the day to ourselves. I was supposed to take her to the bookstore for her summer reading list. Neither of us were looking forward to that. I asked if she was okay with stopping at our local gun store (LGS). I received a nonchalant “OK.” Maybe it was stalling of the summer reading chore (I learned a while ago not to ask the females in my house why they said or did things).
We entered my LGS. For the first time there was no timidity. I looked around and she did, too. Separately. A minute or two later she came back and said she’d found “another pink one, but no rainbows.”
A salesmen brought a revolver over and asked her if she wanted to see it. He must have been 80. When he asked her if she wanted to see it, she said yes. He asked her if she was old enough, she looked at me. I nodded. Her highlight? Dry firing with the nice old man. Mine? Seeing a knowledgeable child that is no longer afraid.
You won’t get that level of service over the Internet. My LGS has a customer for life, maybe even two. I highly recommend regular visits.