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I played with guns as a kid. I was about 10 years old at the time and there were no adults around. It was just me and a school friend – cocking shotguns and finger spinning revolvers in a dimly lit basement.

To this day, my folks have no idea this happened. That was 28 years ago.

I knew that playing with guns was dangerously stupid, which is why I can remember my heart pounding all those years ago. But when you’re told that guns are bad most of your life, curiosity gets the better of you, and when you finally get the chance to hold one, risk aversion goes out the window.

You may be wondering how on earth a 10 year old got his hands on a firearm, but believe it or not, these opportunities have a way of presenting themselves. You see, my folks were very much anti-gun, but the same couldn’t be said about my mate’s parents.

I don’t know how, or why, he knew where his father “secretly” kept the key to the safe, but he did, and on several occasions he would open up and play around.

Thinking back, the thought now horrifies me, and as a father to two young boys it makes me weak at the knees to think of my kids handling a firearm (unsupervised) as if it were a toy.

But here’s the thing, you can’t control every situation your kids will be in.

This leaves you with two options:

1) Drum it into your child that guns are bad, and hope that nothing happens to him / her in an unsupervised situation. Or…

2) Accept the fact that things will happen beyond your control (or knowledge), and equip him / her to handle those situations.

But how do you do that? Well, lecturing them almost never works, so why don’t you take them shooting?

At the heart of every firearm training academy there exists one fundamental lesson: safety.

Like it or not, your kids may one day find themselves in a situation where a friend of theirs is handling a gun unsupervised. Unfortunately, you can’t be sure how your child will react, but one thing is for sure: Curiosity is NEVER a good thing.

With the appropriate training, your child will learn how to respect guns, but even more so, his/her actions won’t be motivated by curiosity.

As parents, we like to believe that our kids know right from wrong, and perhaps yours do, but hoping they’ll do the right thing is a feeble solution to a dangerously loaded problem – charged with peer pressure, adrenalin and a curious mind.

• Remove the curiosity factor surrounding firearms.
• Teach them how to respect guns, so that they have the sense to walk away from a dangerous situation.
• Lecturing your child about the dangers of firearms is not as effective (or authoritative) as hearing it from a 3rd party professional.
• Being in an environment where everyone is safety conscious reaffirms the behaviour and imparts gun etiquette.
• Firearm training will teach your child that safety is not merely a factor of firearm use, it’s an inherent part if it.

For more information on firearm training, call (021) 782 0107, or email False Bay Firearm Training Academy on