What to Tell the Kids About Guns

When I was about eight or nine, I found Clyde M. Narramore’s book How to Tell Your Children About Sex hidden in my dad’s closet. Presumably he had been preparing himself to “have the talk,” but I got to his crib sheet first. I poured over the chapters on “Family Dressing and Undressing,” “Learning from Nature,” and “Experimentation.” All presumably juicy, but Clyde’s style was dry as burnt toast. I found the necessary information other ways. On the same shelf as Clyde’s answer to nature’s call, however, was What Every Parent Should Know . . . When a Boy or Girl Wants a Gun. Presumably, my dad wanted to cover all eventualities: Sex and Guns.

Curiously, in light of all the gun control protest today (and I’m a firm supporter) this booklet from 1957 was more egalitarian than most — “when a boy or GIRL wants a gun.” It took a hundred years for women to get the vote in the U.S., but guns. . . “anything you want, little lady.” And the reasons are simple . . .

“Come the day when the settlers on your block have routed the last redskin,” reads the first sentence of the booklet, “when your Backyard Cowboy and his trusty cap pistol have freed the neighborhood of the last rustler [or intruder], your boy — or girl — will want a gun, a real gun, one that shoots. Cropping up usually before or in the early teens, that craving is as normal, as healthy, as a yen for ice cream.” Tell that to the victims and survivors of Colorado’s movie theater massacre and melee.

Guns are part of American life and narrative. So imbuing the young with dreams of becoming Davy Crockett or Baby Face Nelson, is just part of growing up. “Chronological age is no yardstick,” says the booklet’s sponsor, Remington Arms Co. and Peters Cartridge Division. “Some youngsters start at eight, some at fourteen. The real measure is that of responsibility. Will you leave your youngster in the house alone for two or three hours? .  .  . If the answer is “Yes,” he is ready for a gun, under proper supervision.”

There are many choice tidbits of wisdom and lore (click on image to make larger).

Since my dad kept the booklet for a reason, I figured he was willing to buy me a gun when I was ready. So he shocked me when I asked to exercise my right of passage and Constitutional right to bear arms: “Are you out of your mind! Not in this lifetime, mine or yours.” I never got that gun, ever.

12 thoughts on “What to Tell the Kids About Guns

  1. Common Sense

    When the time comes when a boy or girl wants a gun, the parents buy them a .22 and teach them how to use it safely and use it responsibly. If someone has guns in the house and there are children around the parents must tell them about it. Getting them a .22 takes the curiosity out of the childs mind. A child that knows theres a gun in the house but hasn’t been taught that they could kill or injure someone will seek out the gun. Teaching them firearm safety at an early age will make them responsible and safe children in the future. 

  2. Army Of California

    Titbit, your fawning over your government’s theft of private property is sadly lacking in reality. Since the gun confiscation in 1997, gun crime, gun murder, and overall murder rates have seen NO appreciable decline in Australia. In fact, crime over all began a sharp spike that peaked in 2002, and has gradually dropped but not reached the pre-1997 levels.
    Upwards of over $400 million Aussie dollars has been wasted on a program that did nothing more than make citizens more vulnerable to criminals, and legally steal and destroy family heirlooms and personal property.
    Rise up indeed, and see the world as it always has been; dangerous. God gave us the ability to defend ourselves from danger, and man devised the tools that made him the equal of a larger predator….four and two legged. Ask the 170,000,000 or so people that have died because of gun control. No doubt they would disagree with you.Firearms are safe for all logical ages to use. Yes, misuse of a gun is a foolish and dangerous event, and those that cannot control their urges should be punished for their actions…do not punish me.

  3. Titbit

    I’m all the way away in Australia and wholeheartedly agree with gun control and the debate. Worked well here and smoothly. Leads to a safer community and environment. The aggressive comments expressed here show the need for such obviously. If people cannot comment in a truly calm debative style, then they must feel really threatened, which is a real shame. People that aggressive, in my opinion, show truly the need for a wonderful new era of public strength, thru discussion and implementation, over dangerous weapon control. The real ole good ole boy “guns don’t kill people people do” argument is very outdated! C’mon people. Rise up! 🙂

  4. otalps

    Tell that to the victims and survivors of Colorado’s movie theater massacre and melee. So nice of you to litter my inbox with your moronic drivel, asshat.

  5. vanderleun

    EEC, please don’t unsubscribe. Heller’s got a fully colonized mind. He can’t help himself. The mind parasites make him strut around and preen.

  6. vanderleun

    “that craving is as normal, as healthy, as a yen for ice cream.” Tell that to the victims and survivors of Colorado’s movie theater massacre and melee.
    Heller stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said “What a good boy am I!”
    Such a good and MORAL man!

  7. EEC

    Seriously, enough of your political opinions. It’s tough to tolerate. Stick to showing us great and interesting art. Will be unsubscribing soon, but I am guessing that is your goal right? Weed out those that are not on the left.