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Safety On: An Introduction to the World of Firearms for Children Paperback – January 9, 2017
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"In today's America there are many voices that garner aplatform to speak up against our constitutional rights. Quite a few of thosevoices speak up against our second amendment right to keep and bear arms, andthat right is to not be infringed. The opponents and detractors of ourconstituional second amendment right oft time seek to use fear mongeringtactics with our children in order to advance their ideological agenda. That iswhy as a Dad, a career Army officer, and a Board Member of the National RifleAssociation I applaud Yehuda Remer's book, "Safety On". Yehuda takes theapproach of a responsible adult and legal gun owner to teach our children aboutfirearm safety in a manner easily understood. His literary work does notattempt to implement any ideological agenda other than enabling an honestdiscussion in order to de-mystify law abiding gun ownership. It is vital thatthe future generations of Americans realize that our second amendment rightsafeguards our first amendment rights. This is a great book for Dads to shareand read with their children, highly recommended."
Member 112th US Congress
National Rifle Association of America Board of Directors, Lifetime,and Endowment Member
"SafetyOn is a great book for families with children and guns in the home. It wouldalso make a great gift for those who are concerned about their kids growing upwithout any basic education about gun safety. Far too often, those who are not"gun people" ignore their responsibility to educate their childrenbecause they don't have the knowledge themselves... Safety On is a greatresource for all responsible parents."
Executive Director of Personal Defense Network
"Never in the history of country has the2nd Amendment been more needed than today. Yehuda Remer's children's bookSafety On is the book that now plays a major role in teaching ourchildren about gun safety and the 2nd Amendment. Written in an easy toread and easy to understand manner, his book is a must have for any family thatowns firearms or anyone who is interested in teaching their kids about gunsafety. Taking out any political agenda, this book can reach the entireAmerica no matter your politics. The Second Amendment Foundation highlyrecommends Safety On."
Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation
"Safety On" is a novel and positiveapproach to sharing the gun culture's safety values with the public."
Massad AyoobMassad Ayoob Group
"Don't let anything keep youaway from this little gem. I warmly recommend it!
The level of writing is perfectfor children who are old enough to begin learning about firearms but not oldenough to use them independently. The illustrations are uncluttered and nicelyreinforce the points being made, page by page. The principal characters are abit vague ethnically, which is nice. We'll look forward to the next volumeportraying a daughter learning about firearms from her mother.
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership
From the Author
I grew up in an environment where guns were only seen in movies and TV, and the only people allowed to actually use a gun were police officers. The thought of an individual citizen actually owning a firearm for protection never occurred to me until I got married. People would constantly ask me after I purchased my first gun, "How can you buy a gun? You have two children in the house! Aren't you afraid of accidents?" Those questions were answered with two simple question of my own. "Where do you suggest I teach my children about gun culture in America? Should I leave that to the media and Hollywood?" There was no response. This book is meant not as an in-depth breakdown of guns or living with guns, but as an introduction to the world of firearms for children. Its goal is to plant the seeds of safe gun ownership into the minds of young patriots who will one day be responsible gun owners like the parents who teach them. It is up to the moms and dads of this country who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights to instill a deep respect for firearms. This book serves as the tool to open a dialogue between you and your child about keeping their "Safety On."
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Good and usual recommendations include seeking out programs like Eddie Eagle from the National Rifle Association or Project ChildSafe from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. All good, but what if these aren’t available when it matters for your family?
True gun safety advocates don’t primarily delegate firearm instruction anyway. Raising kids to understand the value of firearms and how they should behave with them comes from the example of parents and other adults. Good citizenship, caring for the well-being of our fellows, is modeled by demonstrating responsible use of adult rights and privileges.
Examples like religious instruction, driver education and learning about appropriate sexual behavior come to mind. One can find numerous guides to talking and teaching about each of those subjects.
But where are the guides to talking to kids about guns?
Yehuda Remer found himself asking just that question, after becoming a gun owner in order to be better able to protect his family. He realized he couldn’t leave his family’s firearm education in the hands of Hollywood and other media and that, like in any family, the best education begins at home.
In the author’s words, Safety On “is meant . . . as an introduction to the world of firearms for children. Its goal is to plant the seeds of safe gun ownership into the minds of young patriots who will one day be responsible gun owners like the parents who teach them. It is up to the moms and dads of this country who exercise their 2nd Amendment rights to instill a deep respect for firearms. This book serves as a tool to open a dialogue between you and your child about keeping their ‘Safety On’.” Hear, hear!
The book is not written as a dialogue between parent and child. Rather, it portrays the thoughts of a boy Kyle, who wants to emulate his father and has been learning from him about gun ownership and use. The important rules of gun safety are conveyed conversationally with pictorial examples from Kyle’s life, as well as at the end with a list of the four familiar classic rules of gun safety.
Along the way, Kyle describes some of the habits his parents are inculcating. There is room for disagreement on this, but I especially like the expectation that he handle and care for his toy guns like his father does the real ones, never pointing them at people and putting them where smaller children cannot get at them. Developing these habits when mistakes can’t harm anyone makes them more reliable when they can mean life or death later.
Of course, the rules that all children need to know are here: “STOP! Don’t touch. Tell other kids not to touch. Walk away. Tell an adult right away.”
One page briefly shares some of the reasons that guns are important in society, largely for protection by and for good people but mentioning that they can be used in bad ways, too. That’s enough for most kids to know without getting into the gory details of criminal acts. It would also have been good to mention the fun shooting can be, including the rewards of competition like other individual and team sports children participate in.
The words “safe”, “safety” and “safely” are repeated throughout, a healthy redundancy. Another quibble relates to this, on the page describing how his father cleans, checks and stores his guns properly to avoid accidents. “Before my dad puts his guns away in his safe, he always double-checks that the safety is on. The safety makes sure the gun can’t fire or go off by accident.”
Of course, many firearms have no safety so this could cause confusion for those following too literally the book’s lessons. And it is ultimately the user following the Rules that ensures the gun won’t fire, purposely or accidentally, until the right moment—not a little lever. Introducing the concept of mechanical safeties leads down a road wisely not taken by the author toward explaining the many working parts of firearms. Those are subjects for an entirely different, larger and more advanced book.
But don’t let anything keep you away from this little gem. I warmly recommend it!
The level of writing is perfect for children who are old enough to begin learning about firearms but not old enough to use them independently. The illustrations are uncluttered and nicely reinforce the points being made, page by page. The principal characters are a bit vague ethnically, which is nice. We’ll look forward to the next volume portraying a daughter learning about firearms from her mother.
Remer recently published a coloring book that essentially replicates Safety On, but with line drawings instead of the color pictures that illustrate the main title. Kids may enjoy filling in the scenes themselves while getting an additional dose of the life lessons they contain.
To paraphrase founding father William Henry Lee, whose nobler quote resides prominently at the beginning of Remer’s book: “It is essential that Americans be taught how to use firearms when young.” Safety On, hopefully the first of a new category of firearm literature, can help you do that with your children. They will benefit, and you’ll be glad.
-- Rober B Young, MD (originally published at Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, 4/25/17)
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