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Got kids? Please read.

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by rufus, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. rufus

    rufus State of Jefferson Well-Known Member

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    Obviously, this is a copy/paste of a post from another gun forum. It illustrates just how fast and easy things can change in our life's. This dad was lucky. Do what you can now to prevent this (or worse) in your household. Merry Christmas!


    My sons Negligent discharge

    This as I’m sure you can imagine is difficult to write, but I put this out so that other people can learn from this. I understand that there were mistakes made all the way around and I know I’ll get flamed, but there is nothing anyone can say that will make me feel worse then I do already. On Tuesday around 8 am I took my daughter to the dentist to get a filling replaced. It was in another town about 20 miles away from the town I live in. I left my 15 year old son asleep. About 11:15am I was driving home and finally heard my phone vibrate. It was my work (I work for a police department). One of the record clerks asks me if I had been monitoring any emergency traffic. I told her no. She then said the words that scared the crap out of me. She said I needed to call the sheriff of the county I live in as my son had shot himself. She then said he was OK and gave me the number. In a nutshell he had got into my gun cabinet in my bedroom and shot himself in the leg. It is one of those cheap type things you get at Wal-Mart that have the glass doors. My ex Father-in-law had put a key lock in it as the one that was there didn’t work (we got it at a garage sale). My son had found the spare keys that were “hidden” on the shelf of my closet. He was looking at my Walther PPK .380. He had been shooting with me a lot in the past and knew how to clear the chamber. With the PPK if you don’t rack the slide hard the round can fall back into the chamber, which is what happened. He went to clear it again and touched off the trigger. The bullet went in his right thigh on the inside of the leg, exited the back of the leg, and reentered the back of his right calf and stopped on the inside of his right calf about 4” above the ankle. He is only about 5’3” and 105lb. The bullet missed the artery, all the bones in his leg and the knee. He then walked around my bed to get the phone, then walked into the kitchen to get my cell number, but couldn’t find it. He then called 911 and told them what happened. He then walked to the front door to unlock it for the EMT’s, and decided to go outside and wait on the porch. This was the same day that the snow storm had come to the state and it was about 20 degrees and a strong wind. I live in a small town of about 800 people, but 1 block from the hospital. The roads had been cleared and so the EMT’s were there quick. He was treated at the hospital and then life watched to Wichita. One of the medics on the life flight was one of my department’s entry team medics and I go to church with both doctors and a couple of the nurses. That helped to make me feel better. When he got to Wichita, the trauma doc gave him a local and cut the bullet out. He was released from the hospital to come home the next afternoon. That night I spent three hours on my hands and knees cleaning my son’s blood up. That’s a smell and feeling I will never get rid of.

    My son is a good kid and smart, but that is no guarantee that bad thing won’t happen. I found out later that he had been doing things like this for the last couple of months. I have taken him shooting many times and gave him a rifle and pistol (Nagants for both) for the last two Birthdays. He knew that he shouldn’t be doing what he was, but till this point I had no clue that I couldn’t trust him. I thought that the spare keys were hidden, but that was a mistake on my part, that thank God didn’t have more serious consequences then it did. I had been thinking about a good gun safe before this and was thinking of getting one with my tax rebate this year anyway. Now it will be a must get before they guns come back to my house. I had my duty gun (Glock 22) in the same cabinet, but inside a TSA lockbox that was also locked, but the keys were also in the room as well as a S&W 28 (unloaded). If it had been one of those two things would have been different.

    I hope that this will help someone else from having to go though this. I attached picture of the round. It was a .380 Golden Saber 102 gr. I think the flat spot was from when the doc took it out of his leg. As you can see it didn't even start to open up. I think you could reload it and use it again.

    As I told a friend this wasn't luck this was proof of God, other wise instead of planning Christmas, I'd be planning a funeral.

    Here is a great replay:

    Glad he's OK, but a few lessons learned here (as if I needed to tell you).

    1. Never leave any loaded firearm in a gun cabinet or safe. The home defense weapon should only be accessible to you, and disabled when you leave the house. Honestly, I cringe every time I hear of guys who leave a loaded gun in every corner of the house.

    2. Never underestimate the resourcefulness of children, especially teenagers. If they're curious about your firearms they'll find a way to get to them if you don't think ahead. Never assume just because "he/she's a good kid" that they won't try it someday.

    3. Not related to your situation, but also be aware that your children have big mouths and can notify every kid in town that you keep guns in your house. When I was a kid I learned that inside every group of kids was a troublemaker, but fortunately I knew to keep my lips zipped shut about my dad's guns.

    4. Always keep first aid kits, emergency phone numbers, and phones handy at all times no matter what. You never know when you or somebody may need it!


    ^ Something to think about this holiday season.
  2. borrowedsig

    borrowedsig Lincoln, Nebraska Active Member

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    Thanks for that post, I tell all my friends, if you have more than two or three guns invest in a safe. Its only the price of another gun and will keep them safe in case of break in or fire or kids. Most dont listen to me and a number of them have had their guns stolen. On the child part, i have a 7 month old daughter and im already teaching her about guns to a degree and i feel that raising them with a healthy knowledge of firearms and saftey procedures and if you are open with them about guns they will come to you first and talk to you if they want to handle them or shoot them.
    Restricting them is definatly not the answer and the more they use the weapon the more proficant they will become and the safer they will become and who knows that could save another childs life if they are at a friends or just plain come across a gun. Also raising them to know that its not ok to touch them unless your around is paramount.

  3. cotillion

    cotillion medford Active Member

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    If you only have 1 gun you should still invest in a safe
  4. rynpol

    rynpol Oregon Member

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    Thanks for finding/sharing with the rest of us. It is a good reminder to keep firearms locked up at all times. Our kids can't be replaced by anything and a the price of a safe is nothing when compared to their precious lives.

    Stay safe!
    borrowedsig and (deleted member) like this.
  5. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    my 12 yr old daughter was curious about my guns and trying to crack the code on my gun safe.it worries me a lot so i always enter the code twice so she thinks its a 10 didget code and i twist the handle to the left so it wont open even if she got the code(little play in the handle)and dont use a common code like 12345 or birthday or such.
    but i knew i needed to get the curiousity out of her so i bought her an ar15 and took my ar10 out with some handguns and we shot some targets and a teddy bear we found lying there at the shooting site.
    she was afraid at first but shot her ar15 and said"this is nothing,it dont even kick!"im glad she loves her new rifle and is so proud of it but i want her to still fear some guns like my handguns so i loaded some +p hornady tap rounds in my kimber and let her have a feel of the handgun and she shot the first round and said "ouch! this hurts my hand and since i left her earplugs a little loose the bang scared her so much she decided that the handgun was too much for her.later i will tell her what i did because i want her to know how to use a handgun when she matures a bit but for now she got her curiousity fulfilled and has no interest in my handguns anymore.
    as for my ar10 the sound was enough to make her sit in my truck while i shot it.
    i think the teddy bear was a big help too since she could see the stuffing explode out of it when we shot it(this was her idea by the way)
    bottom line is i want my girls to be gun lovers and know how to use them but i also wanted her to know that if she sees a handgun that it is more than she can handle right now so dont touch it.
    she did learn proper safety though so i am confident she will remember the 50 times of me saying"keep your booger hook off the bang switch until your ready too shoot and keep the safety on until youre pointed at the target and before you pull the gun away from the target.
  6. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This why by age five my son was as safety aware as any adult.

    This why by age four the difference between a toy gun, a BB gun, and a real gun had been not only demonstrated but demonstrated in a way there was no question as to the deadly nature of a real firearm.

    This is why by age 5 my son was shootcenter firefire pistols and his own rifle.

    This is why by age 5 my son was hunting with me and had killed rabbits and was taught how to prep them for the cooler and later how to cook them.

    This is why as soon as my son could prove to a Hunter Safety Instructor (at age 9) he could read well enough to complete the class with 11 and 12 year olds.

    This is why training is the best defense against accidents.

    That said yes firearms should always be locked up and away from untrained people be they children or adults.
  7. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    15 year old? Good Lord, he is an adult for all intents and purposes. Gun safes are useless, safety training, starting when they are VERY young is the only thing that really works.
  8. borrowedsig

    borrowedsig Lincoln, Nebraska Active Member

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    Explain to me (for curiosities sake) how a gun safe is useless? I dont mean the wooden glass ones with no locks or the ones you need a key for that are like 50 bucks or the digital ones that you enter a code in but a real dial combo safe.

    No, i really want to know how my gun safe is useless.

  9. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    That is a ignorant, narrow minded statement. Safes are very useful. It really helps me keep my guns in an organized neat order.
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Gun safes are useless to the point of keeping them out of teenage hands.If they have the time they can come up with the combination.
    So training them when they are very young and letting them shoot is what will calm the curiosity ,hence more respect and less accidents.

    My kid was shooting at about 3 and very proficient at 7.He had some problems when a teenager,but never brought guns into it.He had been taught the importance of guns and respect from a young age and never forgot.

    If you get them to like guns and shooting,then teach them that if they touch any gun without your permission,they won't touch them.And teach them not to talk to anyone about the guns.
  11. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    A really high end gun safe MAY keep your weapons from being distroyed in a fire, but you are putting your faith in the wrong thing if you think any safe will keep a determined child, or burgler out.

    Having a good gun safe also lures you into complacency when it comes to firearm saftey training for your family, and it keeps the home defence weapons somewhat less available when they may be needed. What are the use of home defence weapons if they are locked up? Much better to introduce and train your kids very young in the safe handling and use of a firearm, and when they can be used.

    We had 5 kids, we now have 13+ grandkid...never had a safe, never had any kid (including visitors) doing anything with a firearm they had not asked first to do. And we shoot/shot off our back porch. Start them (really) young and they will learn properly. Never deny them just because you want to watch a TV show, or are tired.

    Have a safe if you wish, if it is a really good one, you might be able to count on it in a fire. This goes for touch pad safes too. If a kid is really determined to get in, they will. If a burgler sees a safe he automatically thinks treasure. He may not get it this time, but he may be back ready to take safe and all. I know when I was 14 I was really determined to take my dad's car for a drive...I did.
  12. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    I kinda agree with Herman about the age of the son. While I have a safe when I was twelve I had access to guns and regularly took off in the woods to shoot. I think the most important thing is teaching your children gun safety is the most important thing.

    The OP notes that his cabinet was locked and the keys were hidden. Sounds like the kid knew what he was doing was wrong.
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  13. sadiesassy

    sadiesassy Prescott Active Member

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    Sorry to here about the situation

    We were taught at a young age about gun handling. More importantly - he had no locks on the guns - ammo was in the shed. But I can tell you - he could tell if any gun or ammo had been moved. And I moved them once or twice and was punished for it. ( I do not know if it was dust or what that he could tell.

    Education is important. Locks may discourage some - but curiousity can over come locks.

    If our grandkid visits ( Never been trained or around guns) - every gun and ammo is locked up in a place he cannot get into.
  14. tlakidd

    tlakidd Eugene Member

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    Thank you for sharing, i just read this story to my 6 year old daughter. We talk about gun safety as I carry often and she knows we have guns in the house.

    This story helped me make a decision that I would like others to consider. When buying a safe, keep in mind that children can pick up your digital combinations very easy. My 6 year old asked me how I came up with my ATM pin number and then repeated it to me. Consider the dial type safe combinations as they are much harder to operate and much easier to conceal from wondering eyes with curiosity. The best children still make decisions that we adults don't understand. I recommend large safes for all guns not used regularly or in between uses, closet safes for the ammo, and a gun vault (pistol) for everyday carry and home protection. I understand a short shot gun is great for home defense but it just isn't practical for my family. You would be surprised how much ammo you can put in a $200 safe from walmart. No access to the ammo, makes accidents harder.

    Glad to hear you were granted a gift that you will never forget no matter the season and this story will impact others from having this same experience.
    rufus and (deleted member) like this.
  15. borrowedsig

    borrowedsig Lincoln, Nebraska Active Member

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    I have a DIAL SAFE, as i said in my post. If you are careful with when you open it and keep it from prying eyes then they wont be able to get in it, thats the way they are designed.

    I dont put my "faith" in it as you seem to claim that anyone that has a safe does, im already teaching my child about guns and she will be proficient with them and know about gun safety as well.
    he fact that you think hey ill just leave my guns out and laying around so that everyone know where they are and can grab them whenever they feel like it is a very bad idea for numerous reasons. Just because nothing has happened doesnt mean it wont. Also if someone where to break in they would be right there and accessible to them for little to no effort and im sure they could grab many and run off way before the police got there.

    On the issue of fire protection, actually the safes are rated from the wherever they are produced to withstand thousands of degrees of heat for numerous hours. It might get them hot or burn up paper inside if it gets really hot for extended hours or in a chemical fire but not for just a house fire.

    As for the comment about leaving all my weapons in the safe and them being useless that is a assumption that you made wrongly. My wife and i both CC and always have our weapons on us where my kid cant get them and if we dont have them on us they are safely away where she cant get them.

    Oh and the statement about how youve had so many kids and grand kids and never had a problem with them handling anything without asking... Are you 100% sure? because the OP was sure his son wasnt touching anything either until he shot himself. Food for thought.

    In closing i dont expect you to be swayed by anything i say you also may live in an area where you have nothing to worry about as far as neighbors or people. We dont all have that advantage, or the option to shoot all the time or "off our back porch". Thinking that just because nothing has happened so far doesnt mean it wont and just because you live in the sticks doesnt mean you wont get broken into. I am never complacent in safety training my family nor am i lazy about it.

    None of this is a personal attack so please do not take it as such, im just addressing your comments with my opinion.

  16. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    If you only get one thing out of a hunter's safty course and it's "always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction" you're OK.
  17. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    At 15, if a kid is bound and determined to do something you don't want him to, there is nothing on earth that will keep him from doing it. Obviously the rules weren't sufficiently made clear, or were passed on in a way that they were ignored on something that should have been extraordinarily serious. This is a failure in parenting, not in gun safety.

    1. Keys to the gun safe are on my person any time I'm not home. The spares are on my wife's person. Did you really think an enterprising teenager doesn't t know where you "hide" things?

    2. Obviously the kid didn't feel like he could ask to handle the guns. -Sounds like a mistake in parenting strategies to me.

    3. You raised a sneak. 15 isn't 8. He knew better, knew why, and did it anyway. -See point #2

    4. Training failure. What part of "always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction" did you fail to teach your nearly adult son?

    I have a child. She was raised around guns so I'm not talking about things I don't grasp. I'm glad the story was posted, but this stuff is obvious to me. Secured means SECURED. And training isn't just something you get just to fulfill the state's requirement for a hunting license.
    borrowedsig and (deleted member) like this.
  18. Straight9

    Straight9 Salem, Oregon, United States Member

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    The idea that having a safe will keep the firearms out of your kids hands is a falsehood. Why do most people put guns in safes? To keep other people, particularly their children away from them.

    My best friend in high school had one of those fancy 3000$+ Liberty Safes in his house. We wanted to take out his shotgun and Beretta 92 pistol and head to the woods and shoot. We had the purchase receipt, called the manufacturer, posed as his father on the phone and the nice customer service person helped us open the safe. We were 16 years old.

    That my friend is why a safe is not fail-safe.
  19. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    proof, yet again, you can't fix stupid. Another reason why all breeders should be licensed.
  20. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Purchase receipt should have been in the locked safe. Really not that hard to out think a kid if you put your mind to it.