If you've been following the Jenn Jacques series this is final part where we talk family friendly firearms with our favorite unapologetic conservative extraordinaire Mom. Make sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them! 1. As a parent who has taught her Children about firearms and firearm safety – do you get parents that don’t like you and avoid you because of this or do you find more people are interested and come to you because of this?
Whether it’s my easy going demeanor or my matter-of-fact approach to the subject, I’ve never had anyone avoid me or deny their child a play date at my home because of my guns. I am very upfront and always tell parents, “Just so you’re aware, I do own guns. They are locked and stored separate from all ammunition. You’re more than welcome to come over and take a look where everything is if you’d like!” A lot of them have never heard of Project ChildSafe, so that’s another great way I can let people know more about gun safety, so I really push to have them come in and check it out. I also inform them that if I am taking their children anywhere, bowling, shopping, or just out for pizza, that I will be armed for the children’s protection. That speaks volumes. I don’t believe parents think about things like that, but gun owners certainly do.
2. What are some of your favorite memories of teaching your children to shoot? OR hunting with them…. Last year, I was volunteered at a trap shoot benefiting local veterans and my son wanted to come with me to help. As it turned out, they needed two more shooters on a team and we ended up completing the course together as a team! It was so much fun and he was amazing – as exhilarating as it is to hit a clay target yourself, I found it 100x’s more exciting to see my son do well at each station! It’s extremely rewarding to watch your kids get into such a great sport. He’s always been great in archery, and now to watch him excel and become more interested in shooting sports, I feel an enormous sense of pride and it’s great to have something we enjoy doing together.
3. Do you think that teaching your kids something as important as firearms safety is something that could bring a child and parents closer together? ABSOLUTELY!! It’s just like anything else; if you have a passion for it and truly enjoy doing it, your kids will feed off that and want to learn more about it. Whether they ultimately decide to continue the tradition is just a bonus! For example, I love hunting. Mostly because it allows me to harvest food to feed my family, but a big part of that is also cooking great meals. All three of our kids have grown up in the kitchen with me, everyone gets involved whether they’re setting the table at 2 years of age or working as my sous chef at 12. They went from plastic to Santoku knives all under my tutelage and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Whether it’s using a knife, driving a car, or shooting a gun: it’s a big step in a child’s life and that experience will bond you in new ways. The amount of respect I have for guns and gun safety, along with my passion for defending our Second Amendment rights, is passed down to my children every day, but it’s absolutely palpable on the range. It’s definitely something that has bonded our family closer to one another and I would encourage more parents and families to do the same!
4. What are your top 3 tips for someone who want to learn to shoot and then maybe purchase a gun?
The first thing I tell everyone asking for advice in buying a gun is that it’s imperative they shoot several different guns to find what works best for them before they buy anything!
I also let them know that signing up for lessons with a personal instructor is extremely important in learning gun safety, how to shoot properly, and the basics of gun care.
Finally, I encourage everyone to sign up for an introduction to handgun, concealed carry, or defensive gun course and definitely join a gun range. As you connect with more gun owners in your area and learn more about best practices, you’ll find yourself visiting the range more often, becoming more comfortable and hopefully encouraging more friends, family members, and acquaintances to join you.