Gun Save Life youth kids nra camp
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By Dr. Gary Mauser

Can firearms be kept safely in homes with young children? Yes, with proper precautions. Millions of North Americans have guns at home and do so safely. Around one-half of homes in the US possess guns as do about one-third of homes in Canada.

Thanks to a widespread culture of safety in Canada and the United States, firearms can be owned safely by anyone willing to take responsibility and learn appropriate safety procedures. The risks of firearm ownership have been exaggerated by opponents of civilian gun ownership. Again and again.

Young children should be taught not to touch firearms, and when they are old enough to accept more responsibility, they should be taught how to handle firearms safely. Statistics show that children face minimal risk from firearms in the home with responsible parents.

The five leading threats to children under 10 years of age are drowning, suffocation, poisoning, house fires, and of course traffic accidents.

Accidental deaths, Canada (2000-2019)

0 to 9 10 to 14 15 to 19 20 to 24 25 to 29 30 and older Annual average
Firearm 0 1 2 1 1 11 17
Pedal cycling 3 5 6 4 4 48 69
Drowning 28 8 19 22 17 178 272
Traffic accidents 37 24 144 169 117 952 1,443
Poisoning 3 3 38 116 173 1,503 1,834
Falls 5 2 9 16 13 3,528 3,573

Source: Statistics Canada, Cause of Death (ICD-10) Total, all ages, both sexes.

Children and firearms safety

Firearm ownership imposes serious safety challenges so that owners must act responsibly to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of their family, neighbors, and community. The evidence shows that both American and Canadian firearms owners are responsible and safety conscious. This may be surprising given the horrific news stories about children wounded or killed by guns in the home. Such sensationalism attract “eyeballs,” but official records show that firearms accidents are infrequent and have continued to fall over the past decades.

Accidental deaths, United States (1999-2019)

0 to 9 years 10 to 14 years 15 to 19 years 20 to 29 years 30 and older Total
Firearms 0.09 0.13 0.36 0.33 0.19 0.20
Pedal cycling 0.09 0.27 0.27 0.21 0.36 0.29
Residential fires 0.71 0.28 0.23 0.36 1.09 0.82
Drowning 1.57 0.58 1.31 1.21 1.10 1.16
Suffocation 2.60 0.24 0.26 0.37 2.69 2.02
Falls 0.15 0.09 0.35 0.68 13.72 8.28
Poisoning 0.15 0.16 2.95 14.10 15.40 11.32
Traffic accidents 2.45 2.92 17.42 19.77 13.95 12.74

Crude rates, Both sexes, All races
Source: Centers for Disease Control,

Education, not legislation

Anti-gun activists exaggerate the risks of firearm ownership in order to evoke public support for additional legal restrictions on civilian firearms. Their mantra is that firearms in the home increase the risk of unintentional shootings, suicide, and homicide. Such claims are based on irrational fears bolstered by pseudo-science.

Methodologically sound research does not support claims that access to firearms is linked to suicidecriminal violence, or homicide. The key to safety is accepting responsibility. There is no undue risk as long as owners act responsibly.

Very few children are killed in firearms accidents as is shown in the tables above. Rather than teach children to fear firearms and thereby instil learned helplessness, responsible parents teach their children how to handle firearms safely. Perhaps surprisingly, firearms instruction teaches how to be good citizens. Research shows that adolescents who were introduced to firearms by their parents are less likely to become delinquent than adolescents who have no experience with firearms. (See Figure 13 and the discussion on page 18).

Hunters were the first conservationists

Motivated to protect wildlife and wilderness, hunting organizations were instrumental in encouraging American states and Canadian provinces to regulate hunting and require hunting licenses. US President Teddy Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier laid the foundation for international cooperation in protecting endangered species prior to World War I with the passage of the international Migratory Bird Treaty.

Hunting organizations in both countries lobbied state and provincial governments to create the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which has been exceptionally successful in conserving and protecting a wide variety of wildlife species in North America and teaching safety as well.

The key to broad public access to hunting is widespread firearms ownership by civilians – which in turn requires a strong public commitment to handling firearms safely.

Hunting organizations were instrumental in encouraging American states and Canadian provinces to require safety instruction for hunting licenses.

Currently, hunting organizations in every state in the United States and in every province in Canada support teaching firearms safety as part of hunter education — BCOntario, and New Brunswick, for example. The International Hunter Education Association coordinates state and provincial hunting safety classes.

The National Rifle Association has the Eddie Eagle Program to teach young children what to do if they discover a firearm.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation has a number of firearms safety programs, including Project ChildSafe.


Gary Mauser, PhD is professor emeritus in the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies and the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. He specializes in criminology and economics, has published extensively on firearms legislation, firearms and violence, and has provided expert testimony on criminal justice issues to the Canadian government.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

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    • I taught my son how to be safe with guns. I took away the “hidden fruit” by letting him see them whenever he wanted, which was usually a few times per year.

      Now he has joined me in the competition. Everyone comments his handling is perfect and he is putting in good scores. He said the games taught him nothing. FPS games are nothing like the real thing.


    Quite a few of the mass school murders were done by children who brought their parents guns to school

    Nearly 1,300 children under the age of 17 die from gunshot wounds every year and nearly 5,800 are injured, a new comprehensive survey finds.

    And that’s probably an underestimate, because gun deaths are not always consistently reported, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

    Most of these deaths are not accidents, the CDC team found in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics. More than half — 53 percent — are homicides and another 38 percent are suicides.

    The older the children, the higher the rates.

    “Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years, surpassing the number of deaths from pediatric congenital anomalies, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular causes,” Katherine Fowler of CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention and colleagues wrote.

    Related: Gun Under Grandma’s Pillow Kills Toddler

    “They are the second leading cause of injury-related death in this age group, surpassed only by motor vehicle injury deaths.”

    Children are rarely hurt or killed by guns in other developed countries, the researchers pointed out.

    More than 90 percent of all children aged up to 14 who are killed by guns in high-income countries are killed in the U.S., they noted.

    “Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years.”

    The team looked through CDC data on deaths in the U.S. for their study. “This article provides the most comprehensive examination of current firearm-related deaths and injuries among children in the United States to date,” the team wrote.

    • “Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years.”

      see, this is why the statistics need to be broken out between whites, blacks, etc. calling a 17 year gangbanger a “child” is a sick joke.

        • Note the difference, tho? Rant’s comments are usually bite-sized and digestible, even if sometimes a bit off. Dacian’s are lengthy word salads that I typically abandon after the first few sentences and give a ‘TL;DR’.

        • I Haz a Question,

          I am of the opinion that rant7’s recent comments (in the last few weeks anyway) are not off at all. Rather, people do not understand rant7’s comments.

          Most people look at awful developments/events and attribute them to ineptitude, petty crime, or simple greed. I believe that rant7 is ascribing many awful developments/events to a much more powerful and sinister “cabal” (for lack of a better term) that is yet to be readily identified. In that regard I am rapidly coming to the same conclusion based on some very private first-hand revelations as well as careful analysis of national events in light of History.

          Last thought on the matter. Everyone “projects”: they assume that everyone else approaches and processes events the same way as they do and have similar values. I have recently recognized how incredibly inaccurate that can be–and I believe that rant7 is trying to call our attention to that fact (at least in recent weeks).

        • Haz. US. Rant7 is a fascist. 2a is only a group right to him. A well regulated militia, yada, yada. Want to bet who he thinks is suitable for such a militia. ‘Isolates’ is another favorite buzz word of his. Marching in lock step is his goal.

          And who do you think he sees as the masterminds behind all this? Ask him. He will not answer directly. But parse his words and sayings. I bet 20 bucks its those evil jooze.

          Every time debbie w. sites the murderous nazi’s of the past he steps to their defense and claims the commies were worse.

          In my opinion the modern left is no different than adolph’s boys from so long ago. They dress in black. They loot and burn shops, many owned by minorities and they answer to corporate billionaires.

          As for me being on the sidelines. Both lil’d’s group and the ranting ones groups are evil. I will not side with either.

        • It’s like watching the Leninist and Trotskyite factions of Socialism coming to blows over ideological differences.

        • “‘Isolates’ is another favorite buzz word of his. Marching in lock step is his goal”

          “Isolates” is exactly appropriate. the isolate right simply is individualist approaching sociopathy. their notion of rights and responsibilities begins and ends with themselves alone. they experience Other People as oppressive. they equate community and society and citizenship with fascism. they equate “freedom” with early tennessee – where if you could see the smoke of another man’s campfire he was too close, the statist!

          but the ones who founded this country, who built it, who maintained it, would have recognized them for what they are. they’re just here, nothing more.

        • “people do not understand rant7’s comments”

          some do, but they’ve been trained not to admit it.

          some don’t, because they’re isolates – they really truly can’t work with others and will always associate Other People with oppression.

    • Dacian, Nice try, but again, you are distorting facts to suit your agenda. Where did you get your “comprehensive survey?” Another gun grabbing propaganda group?
      I have to laugh at your position that more children die from guns than heart disease (isn’t that an adult, actually older adult malady”) How about influenza/pneumonia? What are the figures? Somehow you fail to quote them. Wny is that?
      The grandma that left her gun under a pillow? Yeah, OK, was she prosecuted? Was the child ever educated about firearms? Hmm.
      Children in developing countries are rarely hurt by guns? ROFLMAO. Seems you are discounting Africa where Bokka is killing children and adults like it is a sport.
      What is the CDC looking into deaths by guns for? Since when is a gun a “disease”? Last I heard, a gun is an inanimate object which can’t do anything except in the hands of a human.

      • “Since when is a gun a ‘disease’?”

        it’s not that the guns are a disease, rather it’s the owners (or anyone/anything) who are not under the left’s control that are the disease.

        • rant7, Yes there are some gun owners who are negligent with their firearms, but that is no reason to take guns from those of us who are responsible gun owners.
          Stupidity is not a disease, it’s a condition of humans.

    • Based on that statistic, .0023% of children in the US are killed by guns each year. Let’s assume the CDC is correct that the majority isn’t reported, and say the stat is 3× as high at .0069%. I don’t know about everyone else, but I think I can live with that.

    • NBC news? Rest assured the books are cooked and fed to easily influenced useful idiots who run around and regurgitate it. However based on darcy dodo’s posts he/she/it could actually be a problem child prone to injuring itself or others.

      • dacian tried stand up comedy once at that mortuary. It caused the dead to rise again and throw him out.

    • “Nearly 1,300 children under the age of 17 die from gunshot wounds every year and nearly 5,800 are injured, a new comprehensive survey finds. ….The team looked through CDC data on deaths in the U.S. for their study.”

      Well since we are using the CDC …

      According to the CDC >

      A. In 2019, 608 child passengers age 12 and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 91,000 were injured.

      B. In 2019, 23% of child passenger deaths among children age 14 years and younger in the United States­­­ involved alcohol-impaired driving (blood alcohol concentration ≥0.08 g/dL); 64% of the time, it was the child’s own driver who had been drinking. … Among children who died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, a higher proportion of those riding with impaired drivers were unrestrained (58%) compared with those riding with sober drivers (37%).

      Then there are the random nut and criminals too that just run people over – for example, more recently >

      of child passenger deaths/injury in car accidents vs your “firearms” child deaths/injury – comparatively, running the risk calculations based upon you numbers in what you posted and those from the CDC for car accidents, a child is 96.3% more likely to die or be injured by car accident, or intent-to-harm by vehicle, or child restraint neglect, or DUI drivers, than by firearm.

  2. Came from farmers and ranchers family for generations.
    We learned before we could walk well, don’t touch anything that’s not yours.

    This was boomers years after the war.
    Oh, the horror, parents would spank us, just like their parents spanked them!

    Back then, actions had consequences!
    For good or for bad.
    Some of us turned out pretty well and some, not so good, hippies and free love.
    At that time, hippies were called hippies and responsible people were called “straight”
    My dad come back from the War and raised us like new recruits, raised my little brother, came along when I was 13 years old, like a beagle puppy.
    It took years for him to grow up and be a man we could be proud of. Just got his Masters Degree in counseling paroles instead of juvenile offenders.
    Life can be hard, or successful.
    It’s a matter of no victims, only volunteers.
    I told my step son that when he came to live with us at age 16.
    I was the stepmother from hell, because I had to get his father from Uncle Daddy to being his father. He’s a good husband and father now, proud of him now.

    • My girlfiend’s idea of a good husband is one that carries a large life insurance policy and test polish bullet proof vest.

  3. I happen to know conclusively that one billion Americans were killed by guns last year. One billion! And half of them were below the age of two months! You can look it up.

  4. Unrelated question. Girl in photo is holding revolver. Is this correct for a revolver? I have one revolver and it’s an extreme antique so I’m not exactly a revolver guy. I’ve always crossed my weak side thumb over strong side hand. That being said, if you can hit the target with tight groups doing x, then that works for you and continue, as long as it’s safe. just curious as I do want to buy a revolver I saw reviewed here a while back. It will have to wait until new winch though.

    • Manse Jolly,

      I use a very similar grip on my revolvers. I believe it enables excellent control.

      I position my “dominant” hand’s thumb parallel to and on top of my “non-dominant” hand’s thumb–and both thumbs are more-or-less parallel to the barrel’s axis (e.g. pointing forward). This is essentially the very same grip that I use on semi-auto pistols as well.

    • I place my weak side thumb over my strong side thumb but I do not cross over the backstrap. Both thumbs on the same side of the frame.

  5. There can be no doubt that children are more likely to be accidentally injured or killed in homes with firearms. That is kind of a “duh” statement because if there are no firearms in the house, then it probably isn’t an accidental death. Still, the rate of injuries and death due to accidents is extremely low. Homicide and suicide are the leading causes of death among the whole spectrum from birth to 17, with suicide significantly higher among teens. The overall rate for accidents is 0.4/100,000 for this age group.

    • if you put it all in perspective children are more likely to be accidentally injured or killed many different ways. Although children are injured or killed in firearms accidents, and no one is disputing that, considering the other causes firearms are among the least likely source and simply having a firearm in the home does not increase the risk.

      The way the gun grabbers put it makes it sound like one of five things happened;

      1. “Here ya go little johnny, your 5th birthday and you get this nice 9mm. Look in this little hole and pull on this for a surprise.”

      2. “Hey, little johnny go get dad’s gun if you are bored.”

      3. “Now now kids, if you can’t share nicely then no one gets an extra ammo mag.”

      4. “Mom keeps her gun right here in the bedside table drawer. I’m going to watch a movie in the den now.”

      5. “Yes, it does go BANG, never ever touch it unless its loaded.”

  6. Is it raciss to note all the chillen killed or injured on the South/Westside of She-ca-go by gangbangers leaving their gat laying around for their little relative to play with?!? Asking for a friend…🙃

    • yes, facts are racist now.

      Didn’t you get the memo? Make sure you are on the “everyone else except black people” list for distribution.

  7. There are three exceedingly simple practices which firearm owners can implement to virtually eliminate any risk (due to firearms) to children in their homes.

    1) Keep loaded firearms on your person or inaccessible to children.

    2) Keep other firearms unloaded and secure their ammunition from children.

    3) Teach your older children safe firearm practices.

  8. But even ONE dead child is too many, if taking those guns can save just ONE child’s life… (Do I need to add “sarc”)

  9. Before I retired from L.E. I had to deal a a few incidents of child deaths and injuries from firearms. Some were a mentally ill parent killing the children and then themselves. Very few children shooting each other or themselves, all were from homes where the parents had a firearm but never taught children about firearms or safety.
    Studies are rediculious, they never account for all the factors of the individual family dynamics. Total B.S. If you have kids, do you let them take the car for a drive without any instruction or training? Well it’s the same with firearms, However the liberal view of firearms results of a totally ignorant view of firearms training. It’s the stupid parents, yea, the stupid parents, like most of yours in big city America. .

  10. I realize it was a different place in time, but, I grew up in northern Wisconsin. Nearly every household had at least a couple rifles or shot guns. Very rarely did anyone shoot another person, and even more rarely did a kid get hurt or killed by gunfire.
    But, then, with everything we are told is dangerous for kids today, it’s a miracle any of us over the age of 50 survived to adulthood, let alone until today. Bikes with no chain guards or helmets. Cars with no seat belts. Working with large animals. Climbing trees and swimming in ponds or creeks with no life guards. Running farm machinery by the age of ten. Learning to shoot by the same age. Driving trucks around the farm by the age of 12. Going out hunting alone at 14.
    We learned to be responsible at an early age and were taught to not play around with dads gun or any gun without direct permission and supervision until we showed we could be trusted to handle those guns in a safe and responsible manner.

  11. According to the CDC >

    and then the random nut jobs and criminals, for example, the recent Wisconsin parade where children were injured/killed

    Taking all those at the above link into account and the numbers in dacians biased agenda driven results in his post further back up, running the risk calculations, a child is 96.3 % more likely to be killed or inured in a car accident, by intentional harm by vehicle, by a DUI driver, by neglect to use proper child restraint, than by firearm.

  12. I would be Okay with slow roasted
    Tired of Texas death penalty of a sedative first and Phenobarbital in a heart stoping dose, same way we put a cat or dog down

  13. You would think they’d use fentanyl it’s cheap, very effective, it is its own sedative and the Cartels can supply enough to kill every man, woman, child, dog and cat in the US AND Canada made from all those great chemicals they get from the Chinese…

  14. All I know is that I taught my children gun safety, the same way I learned from my own Dad, as he learned from his Dad. Early, Young and Often. EYO works, and it works well. My children are both Responsible Gun Owners.
    Now, I’m working with my Grandchildren, using the same principles of EYO that have worked for 4 generations.

  15. How about the classmates at the kids’ schools? We need massive reforms to our gun laws. Generation Z will vote for the necessary changes to gun laws, equality for all and universal healthcare. There is no stopping progress!

    • Keith What about the classmates? What we really need is to educate kids about firearms. The NRA has an excellent program that does just that.
      Universal healthcare? If you want bad or worse health care, then go for it. Canadians are not getting what was promised, nor are the British. People all over the world come here for health care. Why is that?
      Progress? What you Leftists want is control over the population. That is why you want to disarm us. It is why you want more of your government giveaways. Face it; you do not want is control and regression not progress. You want us to be a second rate nation.
      You say nothing about the Red Chinese Virus except that you blame Trump. You say nothing about your Russian and Red Chinese allies who attack our computer systems and our power grid.
      One has to wonder where your loyalties lie.

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