One of the most important aspects of gun safety is the protection of children. Guns can pose to be a danger to anyone, but those most vulnerable of young children and adolescents. It is the inherent curiosity of children of those age groups that can place them in potentially deadly danger.
The hazard of guns and children is further elevated when parents or firearms owners keep guns in the home or place of business. Guns and children are a key factor when discussing the current and heated debate regarding firearms and gun laws.
Among the many arguments supporting gun laws or regulations is that children and teens are most susceptible to be harmed, injured, or killed if more people have access to firearms. Regardless of what the politics or governmental involvement, it is the responsibility of all gun owners to take the proper measures to render their firearms as safe and harmless as they can, especially when the weapons are owned and kept at the home.
Gun owners have the responsibility to make the access to their firearms restricted only to those who are qualified or allowed to use them. In a home where children or teens live, it is important to teach and educate them on basic firearm safety.
It can be argued that the safest thing to do would be to simply remove the guns from the home and store them else where, but this is something that is simply unrealistic. Therefore, that simple steps that can be followed to insure that the firearms are at a safe distance from children and teens, restricting their access to them, and preventing them from getting harmed. It is important that parents talk with their children about guns; give them the necessary knowledge to inform them that they are dangerous objects and should not play or handle them.
It is important for parents to be informed as to the availability of a firearm at certain place, such a child friend's house where he/she may play and the homeowner's having firearms on the premises. For those owning firearms, common sense is the best idea to employ; unload and lock all firearms in a place where children will not have access to them, such as a locked case or gun safe.
Installing a trigger lock on a firearm is also an excellent reinforcing action to take, further minimizing the occurrence of an accidental discharge. Another step to take is to lock and store ammunition in separate location from the firearm itself. All keys or combination codes should be kept away from children, and made available only to the firearm owner, or those who are allowed access to the firearms. Regardless of all the safety measures taken by gun owners, particularly if they are parents, the most important precaution to take is simply educating and teaching their children about guns and the danger around them.
If children can learn to respect and appreciate the power behind guns, they will learn not to treat it as a toy. Though is a parenting decision, a good way to instill respect for a firearm is by actually teaching their children how to use one. Enrolling them a firearm shooting and safety course is a good to not only teach children that guns and firearms are not toys and can be dangerous, but in learning how to handle and shoot a firearm can also be a source of prevention if they ever do encounter a firearm outside the home.
In the past several years, guns and children have a been a topic extensively covered by the media, and have given owning firearms a negative connotation. Regardless of what the media has shown, it is important to understand guns and firearms may be the tool that young children die by accidental discharge or in some cases by way of suicide, but they are not entirely to blame. Firearm ownership is a responsibility in itself, and storing firearms in the home is even more so.
A person deciding to keep guns in the home must take all the necessary measures to keep the guns safely stored and away from children. A way in which the government is stepping in to compensate for some parental supervision is that many states require that firearms must be purchases along with a form of safety device or trigger lock.
Though it is not completely devoid of causing accidents, requiring that all firearms have trigger locks may be a small safety measure from assuring that children will not be able to fire or discharge a weapon. Regardless of what extent firearm owners take, it is a crucial step in gun safety to keep guns and firearms away from children and adolescents.