Gun safety isn’t only useful when SHTF. If you teach your kids how to handle a gun, they will know what to do if, for example, they’re spending the night over at a friend’s house and they come across a loaded firearm.
Here are some gun safety basics for children: (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com.)
- Set a good example — Even if you’re already familiar with gun safety, it wouldn’t hurt to sign up for a refresher course. Once you’ve reviewed the basics, you’ll be ready when you have to teach them to your kids. Visit the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) website for a directory of training courses taught by qualified instructors. Using the NRA website, you can easily find a course near you. If you wish to save money, you can purchase a used firearm from a reliable online supplier. (Related: Why more women are joining gun clubs to learn self-defense skills.)
- Observe gun storage safety rules — A major part of gun safety is keeping your gun in a secure place where your child can’t reach it. Once they’re older, you can talk to your kids about the proper way to store firearms. Per Project ChildSafe, gun owners must store unloaded weapons in a locked cabinet, gun vault, or safe. Keep the location of any guns in your home a secret from your kids, at least until they’re old enough to learn about gun safety. Keep ammunition for your guns in a separate location, and don’t keep the keys to your gun safe anywhere near the firearms. For added security, you can equip your firearms with a gun locking device which will prevent them from firing. You can also disassemble guns and store the parts separately to ensure that they won’t be handled improperly. Always unload and clean guns before storage. Double-check if your guns are unloaded, especially since ammunition can remain in a gun’s magazine after it has been fired.
- Educate your kids about gun safety rules — Knowing how to properly handle firearms is another part of basic gun safety. First, always point the muzzle of a gun in a safe direction, away from yourself and others. This way, if the gun is fired accidentally, no one will get hurt. If you’re holding the gun by your side, point it towards the ground and not by your feet or near another part of your body. Second, when handling a gun, always assume that it is loaded. Never assume that a gun doesn’t have ammunition even if you just took it out of storage or is someone tells you that it’s not loaded. You won’t always know what another person has done to a gun, and it won’t do to assume that the magazine is empty. Third, never cock or load a gun unless you’re going to fire it immediately. Keep firearms unloaded when you’re not using them. Fourth, when picking up a gun, make sure that your finger is outside the trigger guard instead of inside it.
- Teach your kids how to handle a gun — Teach your child how to use a firearm so they’ll know what to do if they ever stumble across a gun. Tell them that if they discover a firearm, the first thing they have to do is to tell an adult. Make them understand that an adult will know what to do and that they shouldn’t try to deal with it on their own. A gun can go off accidentally, so warn them that they must never point a gun at anyone, even if they’re just goofing off.
According to a 2015 Gallup poll, at least 41 percent of Americans have a gun in their home. It is highly likely that your child will be around guns at one point in their life, and it doesn’t matter if it belongs to you or a stranger. You can’t protect your children from the whole world, but you can teach them about gun safety, which is a step in the right direction.
Teaching kids about prepping and survival
Once your child has grasped the importance of gun safety, you need to make sure that they understand their role when it comes to prepping and survival. You can do this by telling them that each family member can help keep everyone safe when SHTF.
- Teach them useful skills — You can teach kids that various skills can be useful in a survival scenario. Try showing them how to sort food scraps for composting, or let them check your supplies to see what needs to be restocked.
- Show them the value of hard work — Don’t just show them jars of preserves that you made yourself, teach them how to plant vegetables.
- Get older kids to mentor younger kids — If you have several kids or if you know some family friends with younger children, encourage your older kids to teach them. This will also help refresh their memory when it comes to survival skills.
You can read more articles about prepping and gun safety tips for the whole family at Preparedness.news.