Here is a recent discussion in our home...
I grew up in a rural part of the country and hunting and guns where just an everyday part of my life growing up.
All my friends had hunting rifles and shotguns as well as their dads and brothers. Early on in my life, I learned about gun safety and took a hunters safety course. My wife however, never had guns in the house and her dad was not a hunter.
So, since we have had children, we have not had guns in the house. This is about to change though. I recently wanted to start shooting again for practice and sport. This caused a major discussion between my wife and I over the safety of having guns in the house with children.
Guns are always stored in a locked case
The key to the case is in a separate location
The ammunition is then stored in a 3rd location
I also plan on teaching my children about the gun. Both my children have been exposed to BB Guns and have fired them at Boy Scouts or with me at one time or the other.
However, with a more powerful firearm, I plan on teaching them to never touch a gun unless a parent is supervising. I also plan on showing them the functions of the weapon, how to place it on safe and how to check if the gun is loaded, etc.
I will also explain the purpose of the gun: To practice shooting on a range at targets. Not to point at people or shoot bad guys or whatever ideas children may have.
This is my thought process on this, I grew up around guns and handled them often. Guns were not an excitement too me as a child or teen because they were always present and I was taught to respect what they can do and their purpose.
The studies I have read said that many children are often excited by guns because it is something foreign to them, therefore they "sneek" them when parents are not looking.
I plan on teaching respect and familiarization as well as when and where a gun is used. This is new terroritory for our family so it will be interesting to see the process.
If anyone out there has any experience either good or bad with weapons in the home, I would love to hear them.