by Marcie Young
(Jul. 7, 2021) — The issue of “guns” is controversial in the U.S., especially regarding kids. These fresh revelations should show why firearms may not be bad for kids.
As we may have noticed, the discussion on kids and guns nationwide is tilting more and more towards total restrictions on kids wielding guns. In simple language, it means that our kids shouldn’t be allowed guns. Some states even have laws that penalize parents if a kid gets a hold of their guns.
One of the major reasons for this attitude is supposedly children’s safety. However, this is a subject with a lot of angles to it, and new revelations have made this less than a black-and-white issue. I will explain two of them below:
- Children Feel Unsafe
A lot of experts – psychologists, criminologists, and others, have argued that one of the most common reasons kids carry guns is that they fear for their own safety.
A 2019 study by Health Day found that about 1 in 18 high school students carries a gun to school, and according to that study, a major reason for this is fear. A quote from that study by the lead researcher, Teresa Bell says:
“After accounting for student demographics and state laws and characteristics, we found that high school students who reported feeling threatened were over four times more likely to carry a gun than students who did not report being threatened.”
And, as we parents know, we also have this fear that our kids are unsafe in school, too. In fact, a Gallup Poll from 2018 said that 35% of parents feared for their child’s safety at school.
Things like bullying may bring this fear about, along with school shootings and physical and/or sexual harassment.
The children just want to be safe, the way we do. Surely this should be considered in the gun discourse too.
2. Hunting Is Beneficial To Kids
There is a stereotype that seems to exist with hunters, and it is that they’re hillbillies or somehow uncivilized. Further, an argument for why kids shouldn’t hunt is that it teaches violence and perpetuates cruelty.
But this is not really true. In fact, hunting helps kids in many ways. For instance, it helps them know different parts of the anatomy of animals. They learn valuable skills that can be carried through life. They learn the values of providing food for themselves, where food comes from, and they learn about nature and the circle of life.
RELATED RESOURCE: HOW TO INTRODUCE KIDS TO HUNTING AND MISTAKES TO AVOID
Now, this doesn’t mean I am advocating for gifting unlocked, loaded assault rifles to every kid on their 5th birthday. Nor do I know what firearms are ideal for kids or what age kids should be introduced to using guns and hunting.
But what I can say is that our kids don’t have to be like aliens to firearms as the mainstream liberal media wants them to be. But exercising extreme caution is key.
Gun Safety For Children
No matter how good we say hunting or carrying guns is good for children, the fact is that children need to be taught about gun safety.
Anti-gun activists may argue that the best way to keep children safe from guns is to not have guns in your home at all. But, a child can get a gun in other ways, especially if they feel threatened. And surely, we won’t ban roads just because of all the road accidents? We would instead work on improving road safety.
Thus, rather than totally shunning guns, a better option would be to teach your children about gun safety. Talk to your children about guns. Imprint upon them that guns are very dangerous. It is nothing like the movies (which represent guns in such a way that kids might think it’s cool or easy to use).
Teach your child or teen to assume a gun is loaded and never to point a gun at someone, and that it is never okay to use a gun without a responsible adult there. Also, it is advised to teach your children that they should never touch a gun that is left unattended.
As a parent, you should also be proactive in gun safety. Never leave a gun unattended. Always make sure all the guns are unloaded and the bullets are locked up and stored separately. Lock up and store guns and make sure the keys to the locks are hidden.
Children are curious, and they will handle a gun if they see one, not understanding how deadly it is, even when you’ve told them multiple times. Teens going through depression or mental health issues may see guns as an easy way out, so it is important to keep guns locked away.
We have seen that the subject of kids carrying guns is not one that can be reduced to an “Oh, that’s bad; let’s ban all guns” or a “Guns are great and we should let kids take guns everywhere” issue.
What we should consider is how to teach kids more gun safety and how to reduce their fears in school. I feel that tackling bullying, harassment, and school shootings will help more than just taking guns out of kids’ hands. Drugs are heavily regulated, yet we still have a lot of kids using drugs.
This is the same with hunting. We could teach kids to be safer with these firearms, help them to learn valuable skills and practical knowledge, and let them have a good time while doing it.
 Anzillotti, A., 2021. Gun Safety (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. [online] Kidshealth.org. Available at: <https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/gun-safety.html> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 Holly Yan, C., 2021. In some states, you can be charged if your child gets hold of your gun. [online] CNN. Available at: <https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/11/05/us/guns-child-access-prevention-laws/index.html> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 Reinberg, S., 2021. 1 in 18 U.S. Teens Carries a Gun to School: Study. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20191202/1-in-18-us-teens-carries-a-gun-to-school-study> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 Gallup, I., 2021. More Parents, Children Fearful for Safety at School. [online] Gallup.com. Available at: <https://news.gallup.com/poll/241625/parents-children-fearful-safety-school.aspx> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 Simon, K., 2021. Hunting perpetuates cruelty, teaches violence. [online] The Daily Nebraska. Available at: <http://www.dailynebraskan.com/opinion/simon-hunting-perpetuates-cruelty-teaches-violence/article_ba32788c-5583-11e3-8816-001a4bcf6878.html> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 Wild, J., 2021. Should Young Children Learn to Hunt?. [online] HuffPost Canada. Available at: <https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/amp/entry/hunting-morality_b_7943628/> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
 The Recovery Village Drug and Alcohol Rehab. 2021. High School Drug Use Facts & Statistics | The Recovery Village. [online] Available at: <https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/teen-addiction/drug/high-school-drug-use/> [Accessed 17 June 2021].
Mom, wife, and pro-guns writer. I live in Tolleson, AZ where the crime rate has been higher than almost 99% of American cities. A horrible personal experience made me realize the importance of gun ownership and self-defense.