My Grandfathers Gun Education
Written by Andi Dupper; Content Writer, Social Media Marketing Manager
My grandfather served in World War II and Korean war. He was the great grandson of proud Irish Immigrants and raised on the family's farm. When I was born, he was the Chief of a local fire department. This was a man that you just didn't mess with.
My grandfather raised four daughters. All of them tomboys and all of them strong, opinionated, hard working women. While my Aunts and mother were growing up, one of them, maybe the two of them, used to sneak smoking cigarettes in the detached garage in the back of my grandparents yard. Somehow, the garage caught fire ( remember when I told you my grandpa was the fire chief) the cause of fire was determined to be a cigarette. Because non of them would rat on the other, and no one would confess, my Aunts and mother ended up rebuilding that cinder block garage with my grandfather's supervision!
Like most Gen X kids, I was part of the "latchkey generation". As such I spent most of my time with my grandparents. My grandparents house was pretty humble. Cute front yard, with a kumquat tree in the front, that my cousins and I spent hours throwing the rotting fruit at each other any chance we got. Which was quite a lot, because we were forced outside like "lord of the flies" savages.
We learned to fend for ourselves and to defend each other when enemy neighborhood brats came near our fortress. My cousins and I basically grew up in this house together. There was just 6 years between my oldest cousin and myself and in-between us, her little brother, who was 5 years my senior. We got along, mostly.
So back to my grandparents home, and the reason for this story. In my grandparents' bedroom, on racks just to the side of their bad, were 6 rifles perfectly racked on the wall. In both night stands next to their bed, was a pistol, in my grandfather's sock drawer was a revolver. In his closet in the back corner was a shotgun, leaned up against the corner. In that rebuilt garage was a wall of firearms, and knives.
Nothing was locked up. There was no gun safe. And those guns in the home, I am 98% sure all of them were loaded. See, my grandfather told us... "These guns are not toys" " You play with these guns and you'll die." Or something as intimidating as that!
So guess what, we never touched them. We never held those guns, unless my grandfather had them down and was with us, and they were empty and he allowed us handle them. He taught us the mechanics of each firearm, what they could do to a person. How they could take a persons life!
We were never left unsupervised with his guns. We knew my grandparents room was off limits. (One time we tested that boundary, I don't think I sat on my bottom for days!)
I am a new shooter. Just took my CCW class and waiting for my license to come in. I have shot a firearm roughly 6 times in my life, not counting the testing for CCW. I have a healthy fear/respect for firearms and training and I am developing a true taste for defensive training and completive shooting.
I took the long way around to get to the topic of Keeping Guns out of kids' hands. Which I don't think is correct. I think the correct statement should be KEEPING OUR KIDS EDUCATED ON GUNS AND GUN SAFETY.
Understand first and foremost, I am of belief that all firearms should be locked safely away. I KNOW, ,shocking... even given the way I was raised, I believe parents have a responsibility to keep their kids, neighbor kids, all kids safe. BUT- I also believe in educating kids; the mechanics, the consequences!
Across the US there are over 44% of adults that have reported living with a gun in the home's (according to a 2020 Gallop Poll) For parents, no matter where you live, awareness of gun safety should sit next to learning addition , subtraction, how to spell, ride a bike and learning basic Minecraft coding.
Nearly 5 million children in the U.S. live in homes with improperly stored guns, and with the recent spike in gun sales, that risk is only growing. Parents can save lives by storing guns securely — that means locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition — and making sure that other parents do the same.”
I grabbed the above quote from an article about raising kids with guns. Here's the issue I take with this. From a sheer safety standpoint, absolutely keep your guns locked up. Keep the guns that you take to the range, that you use for hunting, competition, whatever other shooting activity you participate in, keep those unloaded, and locked in a safe.
Now, the gun(s) that you keep to protect your home, keep that in a place where it can be used in home defense. Keep it on the ready to defend your home, your family. Educate your kids, when they're old enough, which is a very personal decision. Provide them with the knowledge and teach them the responsibility that comes with a firearm.
Do I think that simply educating children about guns and gun safety will stop accidents from happening or stop kids from being kids. Not entirely. But what I know to be true, in my circle of friends and family that have guns in their homes, the children that live in those homes, they know not to mess with the firearms in the home. They also know where and how to defend their home, if the situation ever arose. They know the consequences of a finger on the trigger.
My generation was raised different. We didn't grow up engulfed in so much violence, be it movies, TV, songs, video games etc. We were allowed to be kids. We played outside. Sure we still did dumb shit, but we mostly ended up with broken bones, stitches and lots of stories to tell our grandkids.
Today, the future generation is being raised so desensitized to everything, making it a gun owning parent's responsibility to educate and train kids in gun safety. Especially as the number of first time gun owner homes are increasing.
Make my Grandfather proud!