School shootings

HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA

Written for The Firearm Firm by Ace Luciano

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you might fall, I think we are all in agreement that school shootings are a terrible thing that we should all be concerned about. Where the difference lies is in how we address this issue. In the immediate aftermath of these tragic events, there is a visceral reaction that manifests as a call to “do something.”

Instead of “Something,” what we MUST do are the RIGHT THINGS that might actually help stop school shootings

One of those things is to PREVENT these incidents from ever happening, and one of the most effective ways to do that is through early education of your children on firearms, firearms safety, and violence prevention. We all want to keep our children safe. To do so, we teach them from an early age that they should always be careful. Knives are sharp. The stove and the iron are hot. Look both ways before you cross the street. Drugs are illegal, dangerous and can kill you- even using them just ONE TIME. We use our baseball bat to hit the ball- not little Johnny’s head if he says something we don’t like…but, for some reason, we don’t ensure they know anything about what may be the single most dangerous thing they can come into contact with- a GUN.

Instead, most children are introduced to firearms by video games (many of which glorify the shooting of other people), television, and the movies. In these situations, there are no “visible” consequences to firearms use. If you are killed in a video game, you “get another “life” and continue. We see the same actors in movie after movie after they’ve been killed off in a previous one. That makes an impact on a young mind- and it’s not a good one when it comes to safety.

What can you do to help stop school shootings?

Teach your children that:
1. Guns are not toys, and one small mistake can have fatal consequences.

2. Guns are tools that have purpose and use- and we only use them for those things.

3. Don’t be a bully, and do not tolerate bullying in others. (I will explain more about this later)

Early Lessons

If a child is old enough to learn the dangers of knives, stoves, and streets, they are old enough to learn, on at least a basic level, about guns.

Teach children these 4 steps of what to do if they find or come across a gun or another child with a gun.

1. STOP 

2. Don’t TOUCH. 

3. Get AWAY from the gun/person 

4. Tell a GROWNUP.

By making this part of the regular safety teachings to your kids, they will not hesitate and have a greatly reduced risk of an accident. If you want to supercharge this lesson, take an unloaded firearm and leave it somewhere they can see. Praise and reward them when they follow the proper steps. If they do not, it’s time for more teaching. 

Advanced Lessons

Once your child is old enough- this is a call that you will have to make based on observation, but sooner is always better than later – introduce them to guns, shooting, and the five cardinal rules of firearm safety:

1. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.

2. Always treat every gun as if it were loaded.

3. Never point a gun at anything you don’t want to destroy.

4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

5. Be sure of your target and what is beyond.

If you are a safe and legal gun owner, you should take your children to the range and let them experience what it’s like to handle and fire a gun. Demonstrating the power of even a small firearm like a .22 by shooting a jug of water demonstrates the destructive capacity of a gun. It gets their attention. A further discussion regarding that the human body is made up mostly of water and that is what a bullet does to it teaches them healthy respect just like with a sharp knife, a hot stove, or a car speeding down the street.

If you are not a gun owner, find a friend, acquaintance, or firearms instructor that can teach your kids about guns (and, if you aren’t comfortable or have limited knowledge, teach YOU too), how to be safe with guns, how to check and see if a gun is loaded, and how to properly shoot. 

Kids are curious. It is in their nature and is essential to their overall development. By properly introducing them to firearms, you can eliminate the “curiosity“ factor as well as prevent them from reaching for a gun the same way they don’t reach for a baseball bat when they are upset.

Teach your kids what to do if there is an active shooter threat.

Make sure your children know that if they are under ANY active threat, the steps that they should follow are ALWAYS:

1. Run

2. Hide 

3. Fight 

We have an entire free webinar on Surviving an Active Shooter threat on our website, watch it with your kids.

Some of the biggest mistakes that have been made during school shootings are retreating into a classroom rather than immediately exiting through a door, window, etc. A broken window is a small price to pay compared to 20 kids being trapped in a classroom with an active shooter.

Teach your kids how to hide, where to hide, and things that will help them remain hidden such as calming their breathing, remaining quiet, and not responding to verbal requests or commands from anyone but a school leader or police officer.

The most highly trained fighters and martial artists in the world are still no match for even the smallest guns. Fighting is an absolute last resort, and they should do everything they can to avoid it. If they cannot, they need to fight with ferocity and intensity and not stop until the threat has been eliminated. Obviously, this works much better with older children than younger ones.

Stop Bullying – Stop School Shootings

Something we know for certain that is related to the majority of mass shooters is that they have all had some sort of mental issue that at least assisted in pushing them over the edge. Bullying is consistently one cause that ranks near the top. Most mass shooters were teased and/or bullied.

Just as you teach your children not to hit their friend with their baseball bat, cut them with the steak knives in the drawer, or push them into oncoming traffic, you need to teach your kids that bullying is something that should never, ever be tolerated or participated in.

Bullying can have a cumulative effect on a child’s psyche and can push a person to do or participate in things that they normally never would. Shooting someone is one of the most severe reactions, but it is one of many seen in response to bullying. Teach your child that if they observe bullying and aren’t comfortable confronting the bully, they should immediately get help and tell a grown-up.

Restrict access- Store your guns safely 

Many of those responsible for the more recent school shootings have acquired their firearms through unauthorized access – usually taking a gun from a parent or other relative that had been stored in such a way as to allow easy access to it. When not in use, your gun should be stored unloaded and, in the most ideal situation, locked in a safe or cabinet to which only you have the combination or key. If you are concerned about fast access to a loaded firearm in a home defense situation, there are many storage options out there that allow for access as quickly as one second but will not allow someone that is unauthorized to access that firearm. 

Be Involved

Join the PTA. Set meetings with your children’s teachers and school leaders. Ask questions about what the school is doing to keep kids SAFE while they are there. Ask about their “Active Shooter” plan. If they don’t have one, volunteer to gather a committee to help them get one- and any tools that might be necessary to help them implement it. Drop in at your children’s school during the day. See if you can walk in unchallenged. Let them know if you were able to.

At the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to keep our kids safe. Below are some helpful resources that you can access that can make it easier.

Read our other Gun Safety Blog Post – Click Here!

Eddie Eagle Program:  https://eddieeagle.nra.org/

School Safety 101: https://eschoolsafety.org/101

Fighting Chance Solutions: https://fightingchancesolutions.com/pages/what-teachers-should-know-about-classroom-lockdowns

Firearms Training: https://firearmtraining.nra.org/

Books:

“Guns The Right Way” www.GunsTheRightWay.com

“Safety On: An Introduction to the World of Firearms for Children” https://www.amazon.com/Safety-Introduction-World-Firearms-Children/

“My Daddy Has a Gun: … and My Mom Does Too!”  https://www.amazon.com/My-Daddy-Has-Gun-Does/dp/161808190X/ref=sr_1_1

This Post Was Authored by Ace Luciano.

Who is Ace Luciano? 

That depends on whom you ask. 

Ask anyone in the outdoor or gun world, and they’ll tell you that Ace is a 2A proponent, a big game hunter, author, adventurer and super-duper friendly guy that has a great deal of sales knowledge that seems to be everywhere and knows everyone. 

Ask someone in the “corporate world” and they might tell you that Ace is the guy that smashes and sets sales records that may have stood for decades-regardless of the industry…but there is so much more. 

Hunter. Fisherman. Outdoorsman. Black Belt. “Gun Guy,” Youth Mentor. Writer. Best-selling author. Entrepreneur. Sales Executive. Marketing Expert. Seminar speaker. Fundraising Professional. These phrases and more have all been used to describe this dynamic outdoor and gun world personality and all around “good-guy.” A self-described “jack of many trades” and a Master of several, Ace is often described as “that guy…”

As in, “You know… THAT GUY….” 

Finally, as a 30 plus year student of martial arts, personal defense and firearms and firearms defensive use, Ace’s knowledge spans a broad area- including guns, self defense and the law. 

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