I cannot stress the importance of firearms safety enough.
-Always treat a weapon as if it were loaded.
-Identify Down Range to know where to point the muzzle of the gun.
-Always know your target and what is behind it.
-Never put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to engage your target.
My nephews love target practice with Auntie whenever I go visit. But first, we review all
the safety rules and basic fundamentals of marksmanship at the house before we ever hit the range. I insist, even though it may have been discussed a million times already, that the boys honor MY first rule: Go ask your parents if it is ok to handle firearms.
How often do we remember this vital order of operations where kids are concerned? How much do we take for granted that our kids already know everything and we mistakenly view them merely as mini-adults, waiting to come of size? I caution all of us, who work with kids and firearms to very specifically, almost naggingly, condition the kids to Ask Your Parents, First. Instilling some regard and respect for our families, parents, elders is an inherent focal point of firearms we tend to easily gloss over. Making the kids go through these motions before they are allowed to even look at guns develops reverence and maturity regarding home and hearth, family and parents, protection and providing.
Keep in mind: we are only as safe as the procedures we set forth, practice and insist everyone in the household follow.