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Need some ideas for my son

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by JC9995, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Hello gents,
    I have a little scenario here, not a pleasant one for me for sure.

    I get a phone call from my wife today, that my 6 year old son in kindergarden is being sent home from school. Apparently he and another little boy got into a tussle on the playground. Yelling ensued, and my son threatened the other little boy that he was going to get a gun and shoot him.:huh:

    Let me back up a bit. We are, obviously, a gun family. My wife and I take my boy shooting regularly. I have allowed him access to guns while cleaning, and have told him that any time he would like to see them, I would oblige. He would ask several times a day at first, and hasnt asked for months now. The mystique is gone. Mission accomplished right?
    We always recite the "rules" each and every time we open the gun safe. "Whats the number one rule about guns?". He always says "keep your finger off the trigger until you point it in a safe direction and ready to shoot."
    We always teach gun safety. He has a couple toy guns, and even those are absolutely not allowed to be pointed at people or animals. He knows not to "Sweep" unsafe objects, and generally does a great job for a 6 year old.

    All of that not withstanding. He is only six. Boys will be boys on the playground. Especially when they are fighting.
    My wife and I have temporarily taken all toy weapons away. He will not be allowed to play games that have weapons or fighting. (lego star wars, and lego batman).

    Need a little help here. Not sure were doing the right thing. Any suggestions from those that have experience in this?

    [EDIT] his "toy guns" are a "star wars commander blaster", and a couple foam "squeeze guns". NOTHING that resembles a real one.
     
  2. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    The age of reason begins between 7 and 8 years old. I would begin with not allowing toy guns to resemble any real firearm in color or shape.
     
  3. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I never allowed my kids to have anything that looked like a gun. Pointing a gun (play or not) at a person should feel VERY strange. There should be nothing familiar about that feeling. Also, IMO, giving a kid toy guns is a good way to develop bad habbits. Yes, you can train those out, but I don't feel my kids have missed out on anything spectactular because they didn't have real looking toy guns. (I guess they have lego guns, but somehow that feels different because of thier size.)

    I taught my kids these 3 rules if they found a gun.
    1. don't touch it.
    2. leave the area.
    3. tell an adult.

    Occasionally, I would leave out a realistic toy gun in plain sight where the kids would find it. They always came and reported it to me.

    When my daughter turned 7 I took her shooting and taught her the safety rules for handling and firing guns.

    If I found out that she had threatened another child with a gun, I would make it very clear to her that it doesn't matter if you are really serious or not, saying those sorts of things is never ok.

    I would suggest getting rid of all of the kid hand sized guns. Call it a consequence of a mistake. Life has consequences, right? Let him know where the line is very clearly and how to deal with "fightin' words". Let him know what the consequences will be for further problems like this. (And stick to it!)

    In place of this tell your son that you will be teaching him the proper way to handle and respect a gun. I started with a single shot 22 rifle and aquila primer only rounds. (It turns the gun into a high powered pellet rifle.) Get him to learn, remember, and repeat back to you the rules of gun safety. Teach him how sights work, how to squeeze a trigger, and how to hold themselves steady.

    This could be a great opportunity to teach your son and do something positive together.

    Just my .02
     
  4. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    While it's a little too early to show them the ER photos of gun shot wounds (got that when I was in middle school) I would definetly take away all toys/ games that have guns for weapons in them. And make sure you have that talk daily! about the rules of firearms, and most importantly the lessons on why you don't talk about the use of firearms and hurting people. This would also go with teaching kids about helping others, and respecting other kids/adults.
    But why did they get into an argument?

    Also maybe try having your son do some community service. Mowing the neighbors lawn, extra choirs, etc. Make sure they learn at a young age there are consequences to their actions, and harsh ones. And I would not take them shooting/gun activities until he learns his lesson.
     
  5. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I would find out whay they fought about? Were they friends before? Are they over it?
    If so then get them together/ take him to the kids house and make him apologize to the kid and his parents. Make sure they know you have taught your child the rules of guns and that your guns are secured in your home.
    See if they can hangout outside of school.

    OR!
    If they don't like each other period. Talk to the other kids parents and make them do punishment together, then after they have completed the punishment together, reward them together, pizza/bowling/arcade/etc. That way hopefully they spend time together and see they probably really could be friends.
     
  6. duginsky

    duginsky Tualatin Active Member

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    It may be worth considering you, your son, and your wife getting together with the boy he threatened and his family so your son might get a better idea of how what he said affected the other boy. Everyone gets an idea of how serious this needs to be taken, and your son may begin to get an idea of how respect is really earned.
     
  7. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    Yes, definitely too young for ER photos, but we did stress that by saying "im going to shoot you" he was actually saying I want you too die. He was sobbing after we explained that his dad would never see his little boy again.

    They do normally get along, but they were fighting over a girl while playing tag. They seemed fine with each other even afterwards. This seems just a heat of the moment sort of thing, yet obviously extremely inappropriate.

    Couldn't agree more. We have already spoken with the parents, and my son will be apologizing to the boy tomorrow. We will also work with the school on a joint discipline that they work together on. Hopefully the school is able to give them some tools to use for the next time they get so angry.

    Well, thats where im a little confused. Ive been doing all of that, and yet still, his gut reaction is to say things like this. I have gotten lazy about limiting his play on video games. Lego batman and Lego Starwars, especially through the holidays. It felt OK since they are just "LEGO dude". No blood or gore. But it still teaches violence and shooting to get what you want.... shame on me. I cant believe I got lax.

    Thanks for the input guys. I really appreciate it.
     
  8. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 SW Washington Member

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    Funny.... I made the most realistic wooden firearms reproductions that I could for my son when he was about six...I stained the wood to look like metal and wood or painted to look all stainless steel....He insisted that I make some for his friends and his big sissy...

    They all ran around, chasin' each other sayin'..... k-pew..k-pew...bang bang bang....boom..boom...rat-a tat-a-tat..etc. etc.. followed immediately by " I shot you"... "no you didn't, I ducked"...etc..etc.

    Later, I remember my son having a panic attack at school because he forgot and took a little plastic revolver on a key chain...in violation of the zero tolerance policy...

    I can just imagine how this "tussle" came about....anything about "I'll get my big brother to beat you up" comin' from the other side?....

    These days my son is finishing high school up at the local community college..He's a competition shooter and hopes to earn a scholarship with his shooting...

    Every now and then, when his buddies are over, I hear from the side yard .." I got you".."no you didn't"......I can only guess what they're doin'

    W44
     
  9. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    At the age of six I had very real looking guns and all my friends did too. We shot ateach other and had a great time. Later in life we had BB gun wars (pre air soft/paintball) in the surrounding woods. Even later in life we now have real guns and carry them the majority of the time.

    If we get angry with one another we tend not to shoot each other too much cause that would be politically incorrect nowadays......:p

    We all grew up around guns and I'm sure their was a threat or two but no one actually went home and got Dads gun and killed little Billy. I think the whole school thing is a little blown out of proportion nowadays and a knee jerk reaction to a over publisized shooting here and there. Does anyone thing the over hype of a school shooting isnt the reason we have copy cat ones around the nation.

    I myself would just advise the son not to mention guns at school and take away any violent type gun games and movies until an older age if your worried about upsetting the school district.
     
  10. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    I;m curious about your son''s exposure to media (film, video, TV shows, video games) where anger, payback, that sort of thing, is portrayed in a favourable light at all. I'm sure given all you've said, that it was just an unthinking kneejerk reaction to the moment's heat... which (thankfully( passed quickly. Seems you've already taken good care to instruct him in the proper use of weapons, and their danger. It is good he was sobbing when you explained that, if he did shoot Jimmy, his Daddy could never see him again... seems like he "got it".

    It does seem likely, with all the hoopla over a kids's passing hollerin match, making too much of it could put things in a bad perspective. Making sure the guys are reconciled is excellent..... the quicker the sooner.

    I wonder how it is the school authorities learned of the "threat" spoken? Some other kid reported it, the other kid, a teacher or playground monitor? Seems that if the kids were out playing tag and mixing it up, it wasn't too far out of context..... rather like getting big brother to come and beat you up.

    The whole "zero tolerance" nonsense is a part of the over-feminisation of schools and education..... buys are no longer allowed to engage in real "boy" type activities. the rough and tumble of growing up is really healthy. Conflict resolution is now relegated to "time out" and "feeling" what the other kid must have felt...... and boys and girls are expected to behave in much the same way, both in the learning process and at play. Thus, boys these days rarely learn how to direct their natural leadership and "make it happen" instincts. They are there.... but need direction for kids to be healthy.

    I wonder about the wisdom of taking away anything resembling a gun...... rather, help him to understand better their proper place in life. And how even the threat of using one on his friend is not acceptable. My guess is this has already become close enough to a world-shattering event for the little guy he won't soon forget and mess up like that again.
    Better hope the school adminstration don't get all crazy and report to CPS or something, making the case that, with guns in the home and a kid talking like that, you are raising a little skinhead and he needs to be removed from your home. Crazier things have happened.... on less "provocation". Libs these days. Makes me wonder what some of them eat for breakfast. Maybe its all the soy products...... or something in the water.

    Keep us posted on how things continue... and please know I, for one, appreciate your concern and desire to raise your son well, keep firearms in their proper context, and help him reconcile with his pals. That sort of value-directed thinking is far too rare these days. Hey, even the fact that a Dad is actively involved in his children's lives is a rarity these days. Don;'t lose heart.... keep it up,
     
  11. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    Well here is a different look at it. I don't have any kids but what worked for my parents for 3 boys.

    We were taught about gun safety at a very young age. We would go shoot with dad sometimes. At about age 6 and 7 dad got us bb guns. Taught the importance of safety. Which also led to hunting the birds in the lawn. We also figured out that with eye safety we could have bb gun wars or walk in the fields to go shoot bees. (we grew up on a lot of acreage in columbia county). At about ten we where given .177 pellet guns. We understood these were not a toy and not to point or shoot at people. We understood that and also how much more power full these were compared to bb guns . But we also shot many more birds in the yard with these at longer ranges. This lead to killing skunks and eventually waking up really early and going into the woods with my younger brothers and hunting squirrels, birds, and what not. During our younger days and even now a days we will go with dad when he teaches firearms/driving classes and get to participate.

    Might seem extreme now a days, but it worked with us. We all had toy guns at very young ages. Watched gory movies, started watching R movies when we were around 6 and 7. None of us 3 have ever been in jail, yes several fights but all with fists. Never threaten anyone. One kid will be getting a b-ball scholarship this year (3.8gpa), one is in the military, and one is falling his passion for his career.

    So after saying this. My parents didn't raise us wrong, they raised us right but in a different way then most. Just another way to look at it.
     
  12. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    My Dad grew up on a farm in rural Nevada. Rode his horse to school, .22 pump in a scabbard by his right front knee. Never could tell what you might find on the way to or from, right? Rattlers, rabbits, squirrels..... coyotes. Every fall he and his brothers, and my Granddad, would hitch up the wagon and they'd head off into the mountains northeast of where they lived. They'd camp for a week, maybe more, hunt deer and bear, gather pine nuts, maybe get a few pheasants or grouse. Meat for the springhouse.... nuts cause they tasted good...

    None of those boys ever got in trouble with the law, though most (all?) did stuff that would surely get them in jail in today's warped world (shooting carp at the dam, taking a gun to school.. yes, it was loaded, though these days a green plastic toy revolver will get a kid tossed out for good) At twelve, he got his driver's license from the County Clerk, and at fourteen he was the schoolbus driver..... still carrying that .22 pump for the ride. Other kids often brought their guns to school as well... no big deal. No one EVER got hurt with a gun. They all knew how to handle them. They were all pretty good shots, too.. and taught their own kids the same way. As far as I know, NONE of my cousins on that side ever got in trouble with the law, and nearly every one of them were around guns from being little squirts.
     
  13. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    tionico,
    Thank you, I appreciate it. As for your question on exposure to media. We do a pretty fair job of censoring his exposure to the things you listed. Time to time we have strayed. i.e a star wars movie or Indiana Jones. These are a good example of our limit to violence via media.

    My wife was speaking to a friend today, and said something that just about dropped me to my knees. Her friend asked if any adult had seen what happened, and wondered if my son was in a defensive, rather than offensive mode. Her friend reminded my wife that we teach our son that the pistols in the house are for DEFENSE, and I use them for protection. Floored me.

    Well, the school was very good about it all. Even admitted that they didn't feel or want to send him home, but were required to do so. I actually don't mind. I think it drove the point home a little better, I know I learned quite a few lesson growing up by getting the bajesus scared out of me by my dad. I really wish we still lived in a time that would allow boys to be boys. Sadly our current society doesnt allow it.

    Thanks again for the feedback. Its nice to be able to bounce ideas off like minded guys. :thumbup:
     
  14. JC9995

    JC9995 Greater "Clackamas" Active Member

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    WOW, driving the school bus at 14. Times sure have changed eh?
     
  15. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts exactly. The kid is too young to understand the what he said really meant. It sounds like you are doing the right thing but don't make it a bigger deal than it is.
     
  16. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Well since he's normally friends with the other kid, I think the regular punishment I think would be sufficient.
    But I wouldn't I wouldn't take away the experience of having guns, shooting them, and continuing the priciples of firearms safety. Make sure they know guns are dangerous, and they should never been even near them without adult supervision. If they see a gun report it, if their friend or a stranger has a gun report it.
    I would never let my kids play vioent video games or see violent games at a young age. It's a fine line between keeping them censored, and sheltering them.
    I'm glad he's friends with the other kid and all in all it's not too serious.

    Everybody makes mistakes, that's life, but responsible people learn from them. That all starts when your a child.

    Good job and thanks for posting that's a great story for the rest of us.
     
  17. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    I wouldn't go too heavy on him. Boys have played war since the beginning of time.
    If he said he'd get a gun and shoot him, that's very different from saying he'd get a gun and kill him.

    My son is 5. We haven't given him any toy guns yet. He asks us almost daily. He has normal exposure to guns in media from Disney/Pixar movies. He has toys with guns - Lego, pirate and army men.
    He will create guns out of anything we give him. A chip clip and a crayon, his hobby horse, a cardboard tube.

    He has seen my guns and I talk to him often about the safety rules. I'm not ready to take him shooting yet, until he shows that he truly comprehends the rules for safe handling of weapons.
    We have tested his curiosity by leaving an unloaded handgun on a counter all day and he completely ignored it. We've had the talks with the kindergarten teacher about pretending to shoot each other in school, and he has stopped that since we talked to him.
     
  18. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid cap guns were all the rage. I had a matched pair and a double holster to carry them in. The kids in the neighborhood and I "shot" each other all the time. We were all over the place with those toys.

    TV influence? If I got bored I could go inside and watch the Lone Ranger et al shoot people.

    But I sure as heck knew the difference between those toys and my Dad's real guns which were never locked up in those days. I wouldn't even touch one.

    If I got real mad at another kid would I mouth off and offer to get a gun? I don't know. I don't remember doing it, but it would have been just mouth.

    I think we've fallen clear off the edge with political correctness.

    In this age you do have to deal with the PC school which can really overreact at times. Maybe they didn't this time, but next time might be worse, so the boy has to learn not to do that. I wouldn't overreact - I'd just have a good talk with him.
     
  19. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Portland area Member

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    The problem is not guns, it is the fact your son had the idea it was OK to cause grievous harm to another person over a social matter.

    I grew up with toy guns, cap guns, playing cops and robbrs, cowboys and indians and "war" from as early as I can remember. During that time I never once had the idea, let alone inclination, to threaten another person with bodily harm over anything. When I was about 10 most of us boys had ready access to pellet guns and .22 rifles for our own use and access to our Dad's gun cabinets. Not once did any of us even concieve of shooting another person with our guns, or taking one of our Dads' guns to shoot someone.

    I would focus on your son's idea that it is OK to to even think about harming another person outside of self-defense. The firearm is just a tool. If you focus on the guns then he may get the idea it is not OK to shoot someone, but it is OK to to hit them in the head with a shovel, knife them or something else.

    ETA: What shocks me today is the things kids do that back in the 1950s and 1960s we kids wouldn't even dream of doing let alone act on it: like backtalking to any adult, cussing in public, and casual violence against others. Fist fights or wrestling was acceptable as long as it was the other guy starting it and it was kept within "no permanent injury". But fighting with weapons or instigating a fight was only what the "hoods" (social failures) did. We were much more concerned about standing up for weaker guys against bullies than looking to start a fight. That was just normal. Many kids today seem to lack the basic understanding of civility and have no bounds to what they consider is OK to do.