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    Posted June 11, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Guns and children

    Communication is key for firearms

    I am a father of two boys and own a variety of firearms; a pistol, two shotguns and what is commonly referred to as an "assault rifle" or "scary gun". All of the firearms are locked in different safes however I do keep my pistol loaded as well as one of my shotguns for home defense purposes.
    For many who are ignorant of firearms, this sounds as though I've created a dangerous situation and that I'm putting my children in harm's way. However, both of my boys are very aware of the firearms and understand the dangers associated with them. More importantly. they understand the need to respect firearms and constantly exercise all of the safety procedures I have trained them on.
    The single largest factor is that I do not keep the firearms a secret; I constantly communicate with my boys. Children are inherently curious and nothing you can do will prevent that. I let my boys know that if they are interested in seeing any of the firearms at any time, they just need to ask me. I take the firearm out of the safe and we practice the safety procedures before I let them handle them. We repeat the safety precautions over and over to ensure a complete understanding of what they are holding and the respect that must be afforded.
    I do not worry about them hauling off to school with any of my firearms and doing harm to others because I keep them in different safes with a variety of mechanisms to open each. From keys to combinations, all are kept locked up.
    My children respect the firearms because nothing is a mystery to them. I have spent time with them teaching and discussing safety. I have instructed them on the proper handling and USE of firearms. In addition to being Veteran of the United States Army, I grew up with firearms and respected them as my father taught me.
    It is up to parents who own firearms to invest the time training and educating their children on safety and use. My firearms are for sport shooting and keeping my family safe from those that might try to do us harm. YOU are your own First Responder and you have a responsibility to safeguard your family. You cannot predict the actions of a criminal and owning a firearm ensures you have the proper tool to safeguard your family against them no matter their intentions.
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