Nov 2016 – Ryan is now 9 years old. He’s been showing a lot of interest in weapons and guns via his nerf battles and such. He’s been very curious about the gun we keep locked away and has asked about it from time to time. I’m worried the curiosity may get him hurt, and I’m worried he might find himself in a situation where a friend shows him a gun. So I made the decision this month to show ours to him.
Before showing it I explained some rules about gun safety. Always point it away. Always act as if it’s loaded, even when it’s not. Always make sure it’s in safety mode. Never point it in the direction of someone. Never rest your hand on the trigger. Etc. And he seemed to understand and accept everything quite well.
I opened the safe and first showed him the gun clip with the bullets, explaining how they work. I then took out the gun and showed it to him. After walking through some basics of holding it properly, I allowed him to hold it in this hands. I was very nervous, and still don’t know for sure if it was the right thing to do. But he’s getting to that age where friends are really going to spark his interest in certain areas. So if I can help keep him safe, smart, and help him learn in a controlled environment, then that’s what I’ll do.
I attribute it to drinking. As he gets older I’ll probably allow him to take sips of alcohol or beer before he is of legal age. But again, that’s only because I don’t want him to do what I did by binging on 10 beers the first night I was allowed to go away for a weekend with a friend and then getting stupidly sick and vomiting all over everyone there.I want him to know what certain things feel like and how they affect him before friends have that influence. I probably won’t always be successful in everything, but I’m going to the best I can to raise a smart and safe young man.
I’ll occasionally allow him to hold the gun again as I see his curiosity continue. Probably in the next few years I’ll find a place where he can practice shooting. I hope I’m making the right decision for him. Love you Ryan