When and How We Should Teach
Our Children About Armed Defense

By Rob Morse. Jan 31, 2023

I write about armed defense every week. We've covered many stories where young men and women defended themselves or their family. We've talked around the issue of teenagers and guns, but let's look at it directly. When should we teach our children about firearms? The obvious answer is to teach your children when it is the safest thing to do. There are risks on both sides. Fortunately, we make similar decisions about our children's education all the time. This article isn't the last work on any of the issues, but I hope it is a good starting place.

As a responsible parent, we have to teach our children what to do if they see an unsecured firearm. We have to choose when and how to tell our children that we have firearms in our home. We have to establish the rules about when our children are allowed to touch our guns. As they grow older, we have to teach our children to be responsible around firearms. Later, we have to teach them when and how to use a firearm as part of our family's safety plan. Those are a few of the milestones, but there are lessons in between. Other parents have been there before.

What is new is that many families who have a gun today did not grow up with guns and are entering the firearms culture for the first time. We've lived with guns for several centuries so there are many well worn paths. To take some of the emotional heat out of the issue, this isn't an all or nothing proposition. The alternatives are not ignorance about firearms or having our 15-year olds carrying concealed in public. Teaching and learning about firearms comes in a number of small steps on the way to self-defense. You've done things like this with your children already.

We walk in a world with cars so we teach our children to look both ways before they cross a residential street near our home. We tell them to use crosswalks and street lights to cross larger roads. Most importantly, we model that good behavior, sometimes for years, before our children are expected to demonstrate good practice on their own. With firearms, invite your children to follow the safe habits you model every day [...]

... Armed defense is a small part of what our children learn from us. Yes, there is always more to learn, but it has all been done before. .....


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