? Kids Hands on firearms

The report is not all in yet but I have to question how and why a middle school child can get a firearm and go to school and kill another child, 12 year old. This happened in South Carolina.
Personally, this really upsets me.
As long as I can remember, even before my belief and need to conceal carry, I’ve been a child advocate towards abused children.
I see these news reports and it strengthens my belief that USCCA’s training is needed by everyone who owns a firearm.

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Not knowing the details I can’t speak to this situation. I have a young child and all my firearms are locked up. But I know of many people with families who don’t lock their firearms up. In many cases the kids have their own firearms. I didn’t grow up in a gun family or particularly pro firearm area but one of my friends had a .22 in his bedroom. Later when I lived in rural VT you wouldn’t think twice when you saw a kid walking down the road on their own or with friends with a shotgun or .22 over their shoulder.

So while it seems simple to say lock up your guns you are also telling people to give up on generations of tradition where properly educated kids responsibly used guns on their own without problems. I likely won’t give my son individual access to my firearms until he proves I can trust him, and the people he hangs out with, beyond any doubt. But I don’t think it is necessarily black and white. Even if the firearms are locked up teenagers can be pretty resourceful in figuring out ways to access them if they really want to.

I think a much bigger issue is the fragile mental health of so many kids growing up in an increasingly frenetic, stressful, and purposeless world where people are being taught to hate everyone they disagree with on any particular issue.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We can’t have it both ways. If we want people to use their 2A right, we’re going to get all kinds of people and all kinds of results/repercussions. Same with any topic. Driving. HOAs. Hair gel. One can be free or not free on any given topic.

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Agreed. You can’t regulate the stupidity out of people – especially when you’re dealing with “rights” and a crooked government.

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The ‘how’ is pretty easy. Could be as simple as a loaded firearm left unattended, or the student learned the combination to the safe. Not likely that someone gave the student a firearm, but also not impossible.

The ‘why’ is much more difficult and uncomfortable. Kids at this age are extremely vulnerable: they’re smart enough to figure out adult solutions and stupid enough to think their childish problems need adult solutions. Their hormones and emotions are up and down like a roller coaster, and that causes real struggles, especially in children who lack the comfort of a structured life.

Then, there’s always the possibility of mental illness. We think of this more as an adult problem, but it happens at young ages, too. After the “Joker” theater mass shooting, I was warned by a psychologist that we shouldn’t try too hard to understand the motivations of people who suffer from mental disorders. In his words, “If you could understand crazy, you’d probably be crazy yourself.”

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I would also add that firearms safety should be taught to everyone whether they own firearms or not. Especially children. All kids should know what to do if they find a firearm or see someone mishandling one.

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The internet is full of 2A organizations who have been pushing firearms safety to all the new firearm owners over the past few years. It’s not like the info is unavailable. People who fail to properly secure their firearms are either negligent, lazy, or poor (i.e. bought the firearm but can’t yet afford the safe).

And by “negligent,” I mean anything from leaving loaded firearms laying around the house, to not realizing your teenager figured out the combination to your safe, to having a “senior moment” that a child takes full advantage of. The fact that we’re here means that we probably think about firearm safety, but even people that are normally cautious make mistakes from time to time.

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@Shamrock , I understand your reply. My brother and I were hunters as young teenagers and learned early the respect of handling firearms. For those of us who lived in countryside areas were lucky in this type of lifestyle.
As I said the total findings are not in yet on the school shooting. It was my intention to show that these terrible situations make me very upset personally.
I appreciate your column to this subject.

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@Ouade5 , I’ll have to agree with you with that part of my entry.
If you read my reply to Shamrock I hope it can explain a little.
Thank you for your entry to this.

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I’m with you. I have nightmares about my children getting their hands on a firearm and taking it to school, even unloaded. Luckily they can’t fit a rifle in their backpacks, but I keep very good accountability of my pistols. My fear is that one day they’ll be smarter than I am but still too immature to leave my things alone.

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I’m with you @William377 It is a tragedy for the victim, the perpetrator and their families. We should all take the reasonable actions necessary to minimize risks to our children.

As with @Ouade5 , stories like this are a significant concern of mine. I don’t want a decision or action made by my son, with his still developing sense of reason and morals, to haunt him for the rest of his life - regardless of whether or not it involves a firearm.

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@William377
If you are still feeling upset hopefully this will cheer you up
Different From ‘Most Kids:’ Teaching Children About Gun Safety1mlca1c_gaMTkyMDYwMzU4Ni4xNjQ2MDYxNzc1_ga_MFZ3H4HBX9*MTY0ODg0MDgyOC4xNzYuMS4xNjQ4ODQxNjgyLjE4&_ga=2.205899857.332855083.1646061775-1920603586.1646061775

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@Robert1246 , Very good link. Yes I believe training/teaching children about anything that is possibly dangerous is one of the most important parental duties there is.
Thank you for your information.

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Well said. Accurate, IMO.

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We’ve talked about firearms safety education in schools a few times on the forum. In the broader community, it’s certainly a contentious topic. But we teach school kids about the dangers of illegal drugs — or at least we did when I was in school.

Except for the fact that guns are legal, and cocaine is not, I don’t see much difference in improving children’s awareness of things in their environment that can cause them harm. No one that I knew had a problem with drug education. No one said it simply taught kids how to get high. The same should hold for firearms safety ed.

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Maybe so but how about this. As kids we were taught how to handle guns but more importantly we were taught WHEN to handle guns, which until we were 12 years old was Never. My mom and dad, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles all taught us about guns. How to use them, how to maintain them, how to store them. We can look outside of the home for education but to me, it all really starts inside of the home.

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I hear tails of a time when firearm safety was taught IN SCHOOL. The fact that it isn’t now, gets to the root of the problem. Also, if a child or anyone else thought it might be possible that the teachers had guns, they might think twice about even trying such a dramatic solution. Either way, I think the point that you can’t avoid stupidity is a valid one. No matter the topic.

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100% agree. Nothing tought my son the need for safety around firearms as teaching him at an early age and allowing him to shoot a handgun with which he literally almost smacked himself in the forehead with from the recoil. He quickly understood the power and devestation guns can cause. But, there’s more to it than just gun safety. It’s teaching children the value of life. It’s teaching them that there are no “takebacks” on death and that, unlike the video games and movies, when someone is shot they will likely NOT just get back up.

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Hi William. Appreciate the post. It’s complicated of course.

I want to continue to have the right to bear FA’s. So when I hear of these stories, of course I empathize with all the victims, but I also realize and respect the power others have – who might overreact and create too strict of laws which can negatively affect law abiding “owners”.

These tragedies do hurt our cause.

And because they do, I’m obligated to help to reduce such tragedies, because I want to protect our rights.

Many children have a natural curiosity of guns, or see it as a toy. The dangers and the need for safety could garner support for more official education of our youth

How can I serve both causes?

Creativity, and hard work? I once heard a police detective describe their work as such.

The article which Robert1246 linked seemed a good example of how we can teach our children at home.

Should we add firearm safety classes as mandatory in grade school, high-school, and college? Such as another replied in this string.

Tests on the U.S. constitution were required when I was in school, as was Drivers’ Ed in high-school, and sex-education.

For those regions which require licenses to own or carry, could we increase child safety strategies in the curriculum?

Could we make licensure classes more affordable? Could we make firearm safety and education more affordable?

What if the government paid for FA use education? They do so for other things. It would be a worthwhile cause. A government for and by the people; That’s us. So “we” set the curriculum, so it teaches responsibility, safety, and respect, not fear or anger. All the taxes we pay, we ought to also have a say.

Nine years ago, no one could conceal carry in my region. I would have never believed how far we’ve come. But now that I know more, I know we can go a lot further if we are united friends. :nerd_face:

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I think firearm safety classes in schools would be the best way to reach the most children. Probably starting in 1st grade or even kindergarten with follow up classes in future grades. Proper education saves lives.

The problem is that half the anti gunners would throw a fit thinking their kids will spontaneously combust if shown a firearm and the other half will want a curriculum that teaches kids how “dangerous” and “evil” guns are and how anyone who owns or wants to own one is mentally unstable. If the anti gunners were truly serious about wanting to reduce firearm related deaths then they should move past their fears and agendas and support the wide distribution of programs that educate kids and adults on safe and responsible firearm practices. To be successful the programs need to be designed and taught by people with actual firearms knowledge and experience. Right now most kids get their firearms training and experience from video games with no real world experience or understanding.

But if saving lives was their true goal the antis wouldn’t be waisting so much time passing more and more laws designed to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens with the overwhelming evidence from legitimate studies showing that these laws don’t stop “gun” violence. They either don’t realize or don’t care that their actions are making us all less safe. Maybe they are just stuck in a utopian fantasy thinking if they disarm the good people the bad people will just happily turn their guns into plowshares??

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