If you have guns and kids, there are few things in life more terrifying than the thought of one of them getting hold of your gun and hurting themselves with it. While we all may argue that we take all the necessary precautions to prevent that from happening, it only takes a moment’s mistake to lead to a lifetime of tragedy.
To make matters worse is the fact that even if you do everything right, your child may still encounter a gun somewhere “in the wild” and that lead to a bad ending.
That means it’s imperative that we teach our kids from a young age what to do if they find a gun, and to help with that is top-level competitive shooter, Julie Golob.
Golob recently released a children’s book entitled, Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules: A Children’s Book About Gun Safety on January 4, 2018, and it’s already rocketed to the top of the Amazon bestseller list for kid’s safety book.
When I found out about it, I reached out to Julie to see if I could get my grubby little paws on a copy. After all, I’m a father with a small child, so I have a bit of an interest in the subject. She graced me with an electronic copy.
That meant it was time for me to sit down with the Bearing Arms Kid’s Testing Department–otherwise known as my five-year-old daughter–and read the book.
For most of us, there’s nothing in the book that you don’t already know and probably haven’t already tried to teach your kids. However, the book boasts outstanding illustrations by Nancy Batra which work perfectly with Golob’s straight-forward and simple text that at once is understandable to small children without sounding like she’s talking down to them.
No sooner had the Kid’s Testing Department and I completed a read through than she asked for another reading. She said she really enjoyed it, and that’s where a kid’s book will excel where Mom or Dad’s instructions fail. With the book leading to further readings, initial lessons–whether from you or the book–become reinforced over and over again, building a layer of instruction in what to do that will armor kids for the future.
However, Golob doesn’t just stop at telling kids to not touch guns. She also gives parents the opportunity to continue instruction by laying a foundation of firearm nomenclature that would ordinarily be missing from such books. Illustrations show rifles, shotguns, revolvers, and pistols, with other showing the muzzle and trigger of a gun, making it possible to take this basic framework and build on it as the child ages.
The project was near and dear to Golob’s heart.
“I’ve been around firearms and the shooting sports all my life. As a mother of two young children, I wrote Toys, Tools, Guns & Rules to continue to teach my daughters about guns and firearm safety at a young age. My goal is to provide parents this educational resource to help encourage an open conversation with kids, because gun safety is for everyone,” Golob said.
One item of interest is that the book’s illustrations betray Golob’s close ties with Smith & Wesson, with the illustration of a pistol clearly being an M&P, just as an example.
However, that was more of an amusing aside for me than any real distraction.
While TTG&R may not be the very first children’s book regarding firearm safety in the history of man, it’s a well-written, nicely illustrated entry into the category and one that will provide many hours of quality time with your little one.