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Why you need to learn to shoot with a kid in your arms

Rebecca Bahret is a freelance writer and proud Facebook junkie. After eleven years in law enforcement doing everything from evidence collection to undercover narcotics, she is content in her latest (and favorite) assignment: Mommy. She i...

A step-by-step guide to shooting a gun while holding a child

When cops learn to use their guns, they're told "train how you fight." However you will face your enemy is how you should learn to shoot. Now a firearms instructor and dad is taking this cop motto to the homefront with a step-by-step guide for parents on how to shoot more safely with a child in your arms.

As a firearms trainer, Mark from Growing Up Guns wants people to think about safe gun handling and responsible gun ownership. As a dad, he wants parents to think about how to raise a child around guns in the safest way possible. If you have young children, then part of that safety is knowing how to effectively use your gun while you're holding your child.

Sound crazy? It isn't. When it comes to kids, firearms safety classes stick to the basics: Keep your gun secure, and if you have to use it, then tell your child to run and hide. But what if your kid is a baby and can't run or is still too young to understand and follow directions? Or what if they just won't? If you're in a situation so critical that you're pointing a gun at someone, the very last thing you want to think about is whether your bullet may hit your child. If your babe is in your arms, then the likelihood of that happening is much, much lower.

The procedures in Mark's "Baby Totin' Busy Hand Drills" are designed to teach parents how to draw and accurately fire one-handed, all while keeping your child as safe as possible. He talks about practicing at a range while holding a bag of cat litter to mimic the weight of your babe. Mark suggests moving and hiding while holding your kid, with emphasis on providing as much protection to them as possible. He even shows how to position your body in a way that turns you into a human shield for your child, or as he calls it, a "meat wall."

A step-by-step guide to shooting a gun while holding a child
Photo credit: Growing Up Guns

As a gun owner, you need to be ready — physically and emotionally — to point it at a human and pull the trigger, possibly ending their life. Otherwise you run the risk of handing your assailant a weapon to kill you with, and if your child's in the room, then it's a weapon to kill them with too. That's why it's so important to be ready to use your gun in whatever situation may arise. If all you ever do is train at a range, facing your paper target square-on with two hands wrapped around your gun, then you probably aren't ready.

Mark's directions start off with a mission: "Protect my child at all costs, and escape with my own life if possible," clearly defining his No. 1 priority. He ends with, "Get some practice, and then give your family a hug. It's for them, after all." I love that someone has put the emphasis on being able to safely and effectively use your gun to protect your family. Because protection is what gun ownership is about, really. And if you're a parent, then it's about protecting your kids.

More on parenting and guns

Here's why I let my child play with guns
This simple question could save your child's life
Teaching kids about guns

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