Psychiatrists at the New York Center for Child Psychiatry have been hard at work studying the meaning of correlations between gun safety and children.

The below chart shows that deaths of children and teens in the US are exponentially larger than that of children in other nations.

Graph of children and teen shooting-related deaths
Graph of children and teen shooting-related deaths

 

Our children and teens are dying at record numbers due to gun violence, and the New York Center for Child Psychiatry has finally taken steps in the correct direction to address it.  Utilizing a large group of children between the ages of 24 months and 7 years old, they have successfully developed a training and observation regime that is showing some very promising results in its first and second trial.

Children are trained in one-on-one and group setting with handheld and semi-automatic weaponry.  The training is conducted in very tightly monitored, soundproof chambers and covers everything from gun handling, to respecting your peers.

Many ask, but why so young?  The answer? The average child from birth to age 7 will form anywhere from 30-75% of the knowledge they will carry through to their death beds.  The data depends highly on socio-economic status and race, but rarely falls outside of the percentage marks.  According to Dr. Monty Keisler and his team of researchers, this creates the inherent need to teach children to protect themselves at an even earlier age than previously imagined.

The average child from birth to age 7 will form anywhere from 30-75% of the knowledge they will carry through to their death beds

This begs the question: How old does the good guy with a gun have to be, to be a good guy with a gun?

We asked Dr. Monty Keisler this question, “does right out of the womb count?”

He joked, “children are one of the most resilient demographics in our nation.  They are just little sponges, ready to soak up the whole world around them like little creatures just writhing about in sticky pools of knowledge and experience.”

Little girl practicing to save her family
Little girl practicing to save her family

“Our children are poised to be the protectors of their peers,” Dr. Keisler explained, “on the school ground, running around all willy-nilly, what are they to do when a black man jumps out ready to pounce and shoot them all over the place?”

It is his thought that with proper training, these good kids could be good kids with guns.  He has also volunteered with local gun enthusiasts to run a summer day camp where children can shoot targets and learn how to handle their weaponry.  Children as young as 3 are invited for a nominal fee to begin learning how to safely shoot a firearm.

“what are they to do when a black man jumps out ready to pounce and shoot them all over the place?”

The overall psyche of a child is shaped around environmental factors.  A child never exposed to any kind of weaponry may act out or start waving it around at people, generally creating a natural reaction to defend oneself.  Before the sound proof chambers were properly constructed, a 5 year old girl sustained non-life threatening wounds after an instructor was forced to fire his weapon as she charged with hers.

However, research shows that when given the proper outlet and respect for a weapon, children understand the difference between deadly and a toy.

“I let my 4 year old point his 9mm at me on occasion,” Dr. Keisler mentioned after the interview, “he knows not to pull the trigger, I’m not scared.  We actually let him carry it everywhere.  I know that someday (hopefully soon) that he’ll be a hero by shooting a bad guy.  I try to tell him that every night before bed, and he tells me he won’t let me down.”

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