One occupational hazard of covering Second Amendment news is probably the fact you hear the phrase “gun safety” misused so often you might develop a sort of twitch whenever you read/hear it.
It’s a shame too, because actual gun safety is important. Learning how to properly handle firearms means less chance of a negligent discharge that could have tragic consequences.
In North Carolina, some are trying to keep that from happening to young folks.
Kids as young as 6 years old are firing guns in one North Carolina town.
It’s part of a gun safety course held by Echo Training owner and lead instructor Michael Pegram. Some parents find it controversial, but class teachers say it could actually be preventing future problems.
The course for kids 6-12 has been held for about four years now. It not only teaches gun safety but also how to actually fire a gun.
“This class is teaching you how to be comfortable,” said Pegram, who launched the course. “We start them out at 6 years old.”
The firearms safety class for kids focuses on the knowledge they’ll need if they ever do happen to come across a real gun.
“I do have a lot of negative feedback,” Pegram said. “Those are mostly parents that have not been around guns and that’s understandable.”
What those parents need to recognize is that guns are a fact of life. You can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend they don’t exist, that if you don’t acknowledge them they’ll just go away. That’s not how reality works.
Children encounter guns.
Every year, we find plenty of stories of kids who are killed by another kid playing around with a gun. That’s an unfortunate fact, as well. How many of those kids might be alive if even one of the children involved had been taught about guns?
See, what some people don’t realize is that firearm safety training isn’t all about how awesome guns are. It’s about gun safety. It’s about how dangerous a firearm can be if misused, which is why there are rules in place on how to handle them.
Now, understand, I do think the first thing a kid should do if they see a gun is get away from it and tell a responsible adult. However, what if one of their friends decides to pick it up and start playing with it? At least someone knowing what’s what could be enough to keep someone else from being shot until an adult can get there.
Look, kids are part of the world. They’re going to see things. You can’t stop that by simply pretending these things don’t exist. If doing so had any real power, half the country would be without a president every four to eight years. It just doesn’t work like that.
So, teach them. Train them. Make sure they know what the dangers are so they’ll be better prepared to deal with those dangers when they show up.
Doing so may well save your child’s life or the life of another. That’s a win any way you slice it.