I’ve recently gotten engaged to a wonderful man who hunts. He has introduced me to hunting and has been an extremely patient teacher, so I don’t have any questions about hunting just yet. However, I am wondering about guns. I have a 5-year-old child from my previous marriage and he has a daughter. She is used to being around guns, but neither my son nor I have ever had a gun in our house. What do I teach him? What if we have guests over? How should we store the firearms?
Intimidated in Idaho
Much like you, purchasing my first gun intimidated me. Handling it scared me, an affliction due to the fact I had not been raised around guns. It took a few years, but now, I feel more comfortable with my Benelli Vinci than I do a tube of lipstick or kitchen knife, which brings me to my first and most important bit of advice: allow yourself and your son time to acclimate to having firearms in your new home.
In addition to time, be sure to arm yourself, as well as your offspring, with as much knowledge as possible. One of my best huntress friends, Dani, has a 3-year old son named Lane, who is known to stalk bears around hay bales in their North Dakota yard. However, he’s best known for his trusty 2-pound, wooden toy gun he totes pretty much everywhere. I noticed he has never pointed it at anyone and said BANG! He settles it safely on the ground whenever he needs to collect a fresh imaginary kill and he flat out refuses to pick up or even touch his father’s gun. I asked Dani how she taught him to be so comfortable around guns. She, a woman raised her entire life around firearms, said raising kids from a young age to respect, understand and be comfortable around firearms is the best way to begin a lifetime of firearm safety...
For the rest of my response, check out this week's Ask Writing Huntress column on the Women's Outdoor News website!