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“Please consider the fact that teaching your children to be safe and understand guns doesn’t mean that you need to own one or even approve of owning them in general. Your teaching them gun safety does mean that you are a responsible parent. The last thing you want is for your child to be in a gun owner’s house with a parent who has refused to teach their own children safe gun practices, thus putting your own child at risk of being injured or killed–only because you were negligent in instructing your child about gun safety.” – Jason P. Stadtlander in Guns and Children: Don’t be Ignorant [at]

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  1. Yep, guns are a fact of life in America. Teach your children how to protect themselves around them.

    Regardless of a person’s stand on gun control every home in America should have at the very least a shotgun in it. Just like smoke detectors a gun is a safety device that should be on hand.

    • The problem is that the true believers, the ones who work and staff organizations like CSGV, Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action, know that merely exposing children to firearms normalizes them. That’s a problem for their cause because it’s a whole lot more difficult “othering” your opposition when people know what firearms are and how they work. They would never be able to get away with half of the stuff they spew if a basic firearm safety course was part of the national high school curriculum.

      The only way they can win is by preventing people from ever enjoying the joy that comes from gaining an understanding firearms. Therefore, they will do everything possible to make gun ownership as difficult and onerous as possible. Do you really think that it’s an accident that the most recent “background check” bills contain provisions making it a felony just to lend someone a firearm when introducing them to the activity? I don’t.

  2. It’s like anything else. The “just say no” approach doesn’t work for drugs, it doesn’t work for sex, and it doesn’t work for guns.

      • Yes, neiowa, all the same insofar as each one of them, drugs, sex, and guns, represents an attractive activity that some wish were not so attractive. And why have you been so quick to go into insult mode?

  3. Educate them, so they have a respect for guns and their proper use. Take away the mystery my kids know if someone else’s kid wants to show or handle a firearm to leave or get a parent. They know the rules for safe handling. Teach your children well!

  4. I tell fence sitters and antis that eveyone shoud at least go shooting once in their lives. It is a life skill just like learning how to change a tire or balance a check book. Understanding firearms and firearms safety doesn’t mean that you have to own a gun or even support the Second Amendment. It is a life skill just like learning how to change a tire or balance a check book.

      • I can change a tire no problem – I used to help my Dad put on the snow tires each year.

        Can I operate the Rube Golberg machine which releases the spare tire on my SUV? On a good day, but man it’s a giant pain in the @ss Then I have to lift a 6000+ lb vehicle into the air using a jack that appears to be built to hamster scale. Modern vehicles are not user friendly in this regard.

        • I carry a plug/patch kit. I haven’t used a spare in the last twenty years I don’t think.


        • Fix-a-Flat. That crap works. I can change a tire and I have AAA. But the longer you spend on a live freeway in the bay area the riskier it gets. Shoot fix-a-flat into it and hit the next exit and find a tire shop.

  5. Prediction; mawms demand your property will hyperventilate at this article, screeching “who does he think he is” as they lead their kids down the stairs, pack them into a vehicle, drive them to a swimming pool, and pass out from box wine.

  6. I was more OK than not with his piece. Right up until his TAFFT acronym.
    The fear part. To fear guns. Good grief.

      • Rational fear is healthy. Having some fear that that grizzly bear staring you down may kill you is rational. The danger is very real. That’s the distinction to keep in mind…the nature of the danger the fear is in response to.

        Irrational fear serves no survival purpose, and it could said that it distracts from rational fear of real dangers.

        These people that fear guns are irrational. The gun itself poses no danger. A gun sitting on a table, untouched, cannot cause harm.

        The two big problems is (1) the takeover of irrational fear as meaningful…equivalent to the rational, and (2) those with such irrationality seek to make social rules based on it.

      • Based on everything else he wrote, I’m going with the “good” kind of fear, as well, as in a healthy respect for something powerful. “To fear God” refers to this meaning, as does the phrase “dread sovereign” — the king or queen had the power to take your life. But implicit is that God and king are there for your benefit. So it is with a gun.

        • So fear of any kind is unhealthy and should be done away with? I will trust a predictable addict over whatever you are.

    • I caught on the same sentence. It seems out of place with his previous statement about “guns don’t jump up off the table and shoot people”. Now if you changed that one statement to “they need to fear being SHOT”, or even, “They need to respect guns” I would agree with everything in that article.

    • Just found this from one of my twitter followers (Thank you Brett) and very glad I have found it. Some very good and insightful comments on my article.

      Tom, when I said “fear”, I meant fear as in the same type of fear taught regarding God. “God fearing” doesn’t mean people are afraid of God, it means that they respect and appreciate God. It’s a colloquialism.

      • OK. Thanks Jason.
        I can agree with that. Though I am only around people I implicitly trust when we are hunting or shooting.
        So I can see that point, if I am ever near the “new guy” to the group. I watch them like a hawk until I am comfortable.
        Just like my parachute rigger. I’m not afraid of the parachute. I’m cautious of the rigger.

    • I have been shooting for 50 years and I fear guns, especially guns I am not in control of. I do not object to his using that term. Kids don’t understand the nuances of the terms respect and caution. I think “fear” is clear and the aim of educating kids is to keep them safe, not drive some political agenda on either side of the argument.

  7. This is kind of how I got in to shooting about four years ago.

    I hadn’t grown up around guns and I figured you aren’t a complete human unless you know how to safely handle a gun, even if you don’t like them.

    Well, it turns out I DID like them and all aspects of target and clay shooting. I needed a new hobby and knitting isn’t really my bag. And here we are a dozen guns later. I got bit pretty hard.

  8. ,We’re encouraged to teach our kids water and fire safety, even if we don’t own a pool or a box of matches. We teach them about “stranger danger,” even though it’s not a common problem.

    Kids could encounter an unattended firearm at a friend’s house…. or ditched by a gangbanger in the bushes of the local park.

    It’s rather curious how firearms safety is taboo.

  9. Wow! Great article! I had to scroll to the top of the page no less than 10 times to make sure I was really at Huffington Post. Great read, educated, and well thought out. The first “gun safety” article that actually focuses on personal responsibility. All the reasons he mentioned are why I teach my son about safe gun handling even with his toys.

    My favorite line was “Ultimately it is we the parents that are responsible for our children, not our government.” That cause a real double take, I am shocked that Huffpo let that go to press, it must be buried on some back page somewhere.

  10. There are thousands of firearm instructors in the US who would gladly teach children what to do when they see an unsecured firearm. Most will do the classes for free.

  11. NRA’s Eddie Eagle program teaches kids to stop, don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult. The anti gun folks went nuts and wouldn’t allow it to be taught. What is their alternative?

    • You know exactly what it is – Ban all evil gunz! Then [crickets]. Because there hs been no follow on thought, just a visceral reaction.

      • We will likely have control of both House and Senate in a month.

        We MUST use that opportunity to introduce an Eddie Eagle bill to drop on Obama’s desk.

        Force him to defend not signing a REAL piece of “Gun Safety” legislation.

        We CANNOT over-reach on that bill. The ‘Four Rules”, that’s ALL.

        • We will likely have control of both House and Senate in a month.

          Not to nitpick, but: make that three months.

          I worry about the potential disaster to be attempted during the lame-duck session.

  12. “a gun owner’s house with a parent who has refused to teach their own children safe gun practices”

    I’ve never met a gun-owner with children who hadn’t taught those children about gun safety. Never, ever.

      • Make your “lawful” into “legal” and I’ll agree with you, as well. Although, I don’t think I’ve met any actual criminals who owned guns and had kids.

        • Although, I don’t think I’ve met any actual criminals who owned guns and had kids.

          Really? Well, to be honest, I haven’t met any, either. But there are plenty of them out there.

        • True, but I’m pretty sure Mr. Stadtlander isn’t referring to Huffington Post readers sending their kids across the train tracks to the ramshackle shacks of gun-safety scofflaws..

    • That was my first thought. Gun-hating liberal progressives know more about “gun safety” than legitimate gun owners? That’s kinda like people who don’t own cars knowing more about defensive driving than people who responsibly use cars. I don’t think so.

      • I meet plenty of customers who know more about cars than I do. They still come to me when that light thingie comes on and they get scared. I reset the code, show them how to properly secure the gas cap and remember I have bills to pay the next time they go off about me being wrong about something mechanical.

  13. If you teach your kids to look both ways before stepping off the curb, or to not touch power tools in the garage, why not gun safety as well?

  14. It’s going to be a lot easier to teach children gun safety if there’s practical application of the skills they learn. The non-gun-owner cursory GUNS ARE ALWAYS BAD NOW GO PLAY CALL OF DUTY talk once in 18 years isn’t going to teach anything. It’s going to be a parental rule to be broken “as long as we don’t get caught” from I dunno, age 10 on.

    Put one in their hands. Train them and expect responsibility. Don’t gloss over it an pretend like that’s going to do anything for child safety.

  15. Like many others here, I mostly agree with the article. Every kid should be taught how to be safe around firearms, even if their parents don’t like them. The truth is you never know what you’re going to run into out in the wild and you can’t safeguard your kids from every little thing. The more knowledge they have, the better prepared they’ll be to deal with a world that mostly doesn’t care if they live or die.

  16. I saw an interesting test several years ago. Two kids, about 10 years old were placed in a “white room” where their actions could be recorded. The only other things in the room was a table on which an unloaded handgun was placed. One kid was from a gun-owning family and was schooled in gun-safety. The other kid was from an anti-gun family and had never been around weapons of any kind. You can guess what happened. The anti-gun family kid exclaimed “wow a gun” and promptly ran over, picked it up, and started waving it around. The gun-safety trained kid, said “put that down, that’s a real gun, you shouldn’t be playing with it like that” and promptly left the room.

    In another case, a local kid shot himself while playing with a handgun. Another kid was in the room and commented, “I told him to pull the slide back and see if there was a round in the chamber but he wouldn’t listen to me”.

    Teaching kids about gun-safety is not a political statement. Sadly, it’s something anti-gun parents never seem to realize.

    • Very interesting study and doesn’t surprise me one bit.

      One thing that makes me laugh is people seeing my articles on the Huffington Post and thinking that because I write on the HuffPost, I automatically agree with their political views. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I landed the HuffPost gig so that I COULD inject some common sense into an otherwise ridiculous place lacking it. Guns aren’t going away and the rest of the country needs to realize that. No matter how high up they stand on their left wing pedestal, we will NOT allow the constitution to be altered.

      • Wow! That’s awesome; kind of like the Fifth Column. Keep injecting the truth (I’d steer clear of saying “common sense” around here) and maybe fewer heads will explode when discussing topics on all of the evil (or actually inanimate) firearms.

      • Hey, thank you man. I’ve never read anything there that didn’t make me gag. So, I appreciate you and I’m sure I’m far from the only one.

        You do a really great thing, sir.

      • Thank you for taking the time and effort to write something sensible for HuffPo. Even if you are the “token reasonable person” there, it’s heartening to know more eyes and minds will at least be exposed to our side of the 2A.

      • Thanks for that Jason.
        I read Huffpo daily just because I like to know where my foe’s head is at.

  17. But if all those gun-o-phobes at HuffPo teach their kids that guns CAN be safely handled who knows what might happen. I mean, they might actually learn that guns are inanimate objects with no intrinsic [evil] moral content.

  18. An analogy that just occurred to me: as a parent, you might be opposed to cars for whatever reason, but it would still be a good idea to learn how to cross the street safely and to teach your children to do the same.

  19. Every child should be taught to respect firearms and know how to be safe around them. I think that most owners do this, or accidents involving guns and children would occur more frequently. Non-owners seem more preoccupied with instilling fear in their kids instead of imparting knowledge to them. So, instead of keeping their children safe, they are making them more susceptible to danger.

    Germophobic parents have created superbugs with their antiseptic cleaners. Hoplophobic parents have created endangered and fearful children instead of smart and safe kids. Soccer moms bought into “Stranger Danger,” when all along it was crazy Uncle Harry who was buggering Junior. That’s the way it goes sometimes — the real danger are the parents who mean well but who are too stupid to see the truth. As a result, their kids suffer. It’s too bad, but maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  20. Recently, the sheriff of Cape May County NJ (that’s right New Jersey!) recounted this story. Shortly after assuming his office as sheriff an armed robber tossed his tool-of-the-trade during his get-away. A kid found it in the grass and showed it to his playmate. One of the kids pulled the trigger, killing the other. It was a devastating incident for the community.
    This sheriff decided to do something positive about it. He canvased every middle-school in his county speaking with the administration. He got every school to adopt NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safety program for children. There hasn’t been another like incident in his county since.
    Parents need to recognize that they don’t have control over their children 100% of the time. Allowing their children to play only in “gun-free” homes is still no guarantee a playmate might encounter a gun somewhere unexpected.

  21. When I was little my father taught me about guns in a very easy simple manner. He took me outside showed me the gun and then BANG!!! The shot was really loud – excruciatingly loud and a giant fireball came out the end. Then he showed me the hot smoking barrel. After that, I wasn’t really interested in them at all and didn’t care for touching them, looking at them, handling them, knowing where they were, and certainly not shooting them.

  22. This guy must have gotten slammed for stating some practical common sense.. god forbid! Can’t wait to read the comments after the jump… or do I even want to read absolute baloney from the hoplophobes… arrrggghhhh

    • What? Huh? Where’s Huffpost, the asinine comments, the illogical fear-mongering? Decent comments, dare I say practical and furthered the points made in the article rather than a sh*t show of ignorance.

  23. “gun owner’s house with a parent who has refused to teach their own children safe gun practices” What a load of sh*t.

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