Hey Folks...it's me again. I was going to make this another of my gear reviews, this one featuring my Springfield Armory XD(m) 40. Looking at the above pic though, I decided to write about something different, I hope you don't mind. I promise that I will do a good and detailed review of the XDm another time. I am sure the folks at Springfield (fabulous folks there by the way) will probably not even notice my little review either way. Now without further ado...
Some of you might have looked at my pic and thought what a horrible parent. How could this man expose his daughter in such a reckless manner to those horrible and disgusting things. Doesn't he know he could have killed her?
Actually, I just have to laugh at you folks and I hope I don't offend you with that as I shake my head at you. The truth is I would never endanger my beautiful daughter or my son with any reckless actions. Before I ever bought my first real firearm, I had a plastic pistol that fired orange foam darts which have a suction cup on the end. Yup, that's right, my daughter was started on safety with Nerf pistol. I taught her that you don't point the nerf at someone's face. She doesn't play with the nerf unless she asks first so that the adults know what she is doing. Later I bought a airsoft pistol, spring operated, that shoots plastic bb's. With this purchase we started to teach more safety lessons. I taught her that she never touches the pistol unless Daddy is supervising. I taught her more basic firearm safety lessons like never point a firearm at something or someone that you don't want to hurt (destroy or kill were the terms used later). She was told that if she ever found the gun laying around to not touch it and tell Mommy or Daddy about it first.
Finally I bought my first real firearm, a shotgun. As with the other pistols, I taught about her how to be safe around this firearm. I let her come and see the shotgun (unloaded, checked 2 times) on my bed and ask questions. She actually approached it like a display at a museum. She leaned over and looked at it and then stepped back and asked if it was real. I said yes it was very real and then reminded her of all the safety things we had discussed so far. I asked her if she wanted to pick it up and she said no...it was too big for her and that she would wait until we got a "girl" size one for her to use.
We went through this same stuff when I bought my first pistol but we did add one additional step at this point. I field stripped the pistol and then made my daughter hold the stripped frame. I wanted to teach her how to touch and carry the pistol safely. The reason for this is that her little brother was going to need some extra eyes looking after him. I gave her permission to touch the gun only in a situation where she needed to move it to someplace safe and then go tell Mommy or Daddy right away that it wasn't put away. She understands that my guns are not toys, that they can and will cause serious hurt and could kill. We took our pumpkins out and shot them up after Halloween one year and she saw what happened to them. She even took a turn on her Grandpa's .22 rifle one year at the family reunion. She wanted to shoot it but was really nervous. She fired one shot and then was completely satisfied. She was proud of how brave she had been to fire the gun but didn't want to shoot anymore than once. I was proud of her for being brave.
Have I endangered my daughter? I don't think so. I have equipped her with tools that will allow her to respect the capabilities of firearms. She will treat them with respect and caution. She knows how to not endanger others if she needs to handle them. Did I remove the danger that a gun can represent? I think so because a gun is just a simple machine. It is not sentient. It is not a condensed lump of evil that radiates an uncontrollable desire for death and mayhem. It is just a tool and like any tool can be dangerous if you don't know how to use it and how to do so in a safe manner. I have taught my daughter how to handle a firearm in a safe manner and what it can do. She is going to face many dangers in her life; high school, driving, boys (ugh!!) but one thing that she now has the knowledge to deal with safely is firearms.
...now if I can just figure out how to teach her about dealing safely with boys I should be a shoe in for parent of the century.