Armed self-defense, such as defending your home from a burglar, is something we read about all of the time. There is much controversy about whether or not we should own guns. Armed self-defense, is not just about preparing for the worst, it is about preparing for best. By “the best” we mean possible outcomes. Those are family safety, gun safety, and personal safety. In this armed-self-defense blog, we look at how to go about teaching your family how to defend themselves using a firearm.
Children and guns
In the news, you read about children who shoot their siblings, or how a toddler shot his mom because she had a gun in her purse. Those are examples of poor gun safety and while tragic, they show us that gun safety is important for people of all ages, including our children.
Start with gun safety
Gun safety is a heritage that we pass from parent to child. A good place to start is by teaching them the proper names of the major gun parts. This is helpful when you actually start allowing them to hold a gun. Where to point the barrel while hunting is also a good lesson. How should you carry a gun when traveling in a vehicle, on foot, or by horse for long distances? How to load and discharge a firearm is a very important lesson. Review potential problems such as jamming and provide solutions about how to fix those issues. You should teach them how to clean and care for a gun that is not in use.
A local gunsmith may offer classes geared towards teaching children how to care for their guns. Teaching children to be comfortable around guns is important. Teaching them now to be gun-smart is necessary. Even for small kids, you can teach them fundamental safety lessons such as why eye and ear protection is needed. Teaching kids when they are young makes it easier for you when you get into more advanced lessons. A good tip is to make a list that you continue to reinforce with your children. Those can include rules adapted from Off the Grid News, such as:
- Where to point the muzzle
- Every gun is loaded even when you think it is not
- Never load a gun unless you are about to shoot it
- Think about consequences such as what is beyond your target, and the possibility of ricochet
- Eye and ear protection is a must, even if you are not shooting the gun
- How to move when carrying a gun
- Keep the muzzle under control and clear at all times
- Respect your gun, safety, and other people and their property
As kids get older, consider how to amend this list for shooting at a gun range. A good tip for teaching kids how to shoot is to use only single-fire guns. Once the focus on gun safety is a firmly ingrained habit, then you can focus on accuracy and self-defense.
Self defense situations and training
It is impossible to train to consciously shoot someone such as a home intruder, yet people do shoot and defend their homes. There is a moral barrier that most of us must cross to willingly shoot a gun at a person. Understanding when that is necessary – and there are plenty of times when it is necessary – and when it is not is something that requires a lot of preparation. A good gun owner values life. So how do you go from teaching children how to care for guns to how to defend a home against intruders?
The first step is to make them proficient with shooting and handling a gun. A person who can handle a gun is much safer to deal with in all types of situations. One of the first things that must be taught is that if necessary, it is okay to shoot an attacker. Children, especially, may hesitate if they feel they may get into trouble. By sitting down and talking about when deadly force may be needed helps eliminate hesitation. Another good tip is to discuss how to warn another person that you may shoot them. This helps prevent shooting siblings or other family members who are breaking into their own home.
Target practice is also recommended. Being able to hit a target from close range is important because in a home the field– or aim – is diminished. The more a person is familiar with shooting, the better. In closing, remember that fundamental skills save lives, even if you have to shoot an intruder. Knowing how to care for and respect a gun is a valuable lesson. It is part of our heritage too.