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Monday, June 12, 2017

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #147 - The Stupid Episode

Listener Violet (age 4) tells us not to use the word "stupid" because it's a bad word.
  • Special Guest Noelle, age 3 and a half, talks with her mom Beth about gun safety.
  • Barron is on assignment.
  • NC "teen" rapes and robs a couple in Charlotte. Sean takes a look at this "teen's" history while Erin explains that she's not an awful person. 
  • Miguel explains to listener Violet that there are stupid people who do stupid things in stupid places, and you should never be stupid enough to join in.
  • In the Main Topic, Sean and Erin discuss the Pat McNamara video on Comedy Central.
  • A young child can still help out during an emergency. Erin gives you suggestions on what they can do and how you can reassure them. 
  • Tiffany is on medical leave. Wouldn't you like to send her a message of support using the GBVC Radio contact page?
  • How long can it go on? Weer'd is now in his third week of the Demanding Mommies' protest at the NRAAM!
  • And our plug of the week is the Czech Etched Glass Nail File Set. Sean recommended cooking gear last week, so Erin decided that nail files were a perfectly acceptable recommendation.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript -
How Children Can Help in an Emergency
In response to Violet’s letter to the show, Sean asked us if we could aim our segments at children. Some of us, like Beth, were able to do that; and some, like Weerd, weren’t. I’m going to compromise here: I’m not going to aim my prepping segment AT children, but I will talk about how children can participate in prepping and how they can help in a disaster scenario.

Now first we need some definitions. When I say “child”, I mean “Any youngster who is in elementary school.” Any younger than that, and I categorize them alongside babies and toddlers in that they need constant adult supervision. Any older than that - definitely anyone of high school age, and possibly some mature middle schoolers - can be considered young adults, which means we can grant them a fair amount of independence and responsibility. In other words, if you trust them to be responsible and make sensible decisions while driving a car, you can trust them to be responsible and make sensible decisions to help the family out during an emergency.

So we’re specifically talking about young children who are able to do things, but perhaps not have the mental or emotional development to be considered responsible. They’re right at that sweet spot where they’re old enough to understand that something scary is going on, but not old enough to manage their feelings.

Disclaimer: I am not a parent. I do however have extensive experience being a child on a military base in Europe during the cold war, where we practiced evacuation drills, and so that forms the baseline for my segment.

The first thing to keep in mind is that children panic easily. However, they’re usually smart enough to know when things are going wrong, if for no other reason than the fact that the adults are acting strangely. Remember, children look to parents for guidance and reassurance, and have been doing that all of their lives, so they are essentially OPTIMIZED for detecting when Things Aren’t All Right With Mommy And Daddy.

So in my admittedly inexpert opinion, not telling them anything when the adults are worried is just going to make them panic more, because -- to their minds -- whatever is going on is SO AWFUL that their parents won’t tell them! Fear of the unknown is FAR more terrible than fear of the known. 

My advice, then, is to give them a very abbreviated version of what is going on, like “Some bad men hurt some innocent people nearby, and we don’t want them to hurt us, so we’re making ourselves safe.”
Immediately follow this with a reassurance that you, the adult, have this under control. “But don’t worry. Mommy and Daddy know what to do in situations like this, and we’re going to do them. It’s just like when you have a fire drill in school: it’s a bit scary at first, but when we all know what to do, we all end up fine.”

Kids will interpret this as “The grown-ups are doing grown-up stuff that I don’t understand because I’m not a grown-up.” This is fine, because - at least in my experience - that’s how kids process most grown-up activities. When you were a child, did you really understand what your father did for a living? Or did you just assume he left the house, did boring stuff, and then came back for dinner?

After you have addressed their curiosity and reassured them that the adults are On The Case, your next step is to give them a job. Children are restless and get bored easily, so you don’t want them wandering off in an emergency, but neither do you want them to get underfoot, so give them a task which is within their capability to perform but is rather minor or otherwise a pain for the adults to do.

If you have pets, this is very easy: put the kids in charge of the pets. Like kids, pets such as dogs tend to get underfoot when the adults are running around, and they can pick up on emotions of panic as well. Having your child pet or play with them keeps them calm, out of the way, and prevents them from running off. Cats are less likely to panic, but are far more likely to run off, so have them put into travel crates immediately. Smaller dogs can be crated, and larger dogs leashed.

Then, tell the child that what they are doing is important. Now maybe I was just a precocious kid, but even at age 6 or 7 I could tell when an adult’s “very important task” of sitting quietly was a bunch of B.S. So when you give this job, explain in simple terms WHY it’s important, such as “Mommy and Daddy need to pack, so your job is to keep Fluffy and Whiskers safe. We don’t want them getting stepped on, or being left behind! So you stay with them and keep them company so they aren’t scared or lonely.”

If you don’t have pets, other tasks can be filling water bottles, or getting everyone’s coats and putting them by the bags, or -- if they’re old enough, and you trust them -- having them load magazines.

Finally, keep checking in with your kids. Not only does this reassure them that they haven’t been forgotten -- which is a real worry for kids -- but it also allows you to make sure that things haven’t gone disastrously wrong, like your dog getting off the leash, or the water suddenly running brown, or your child loading your 9mm magazines with .40 cal instead.

And of course, if you are a prepper parent, make sure your child knows where his or her bug-out bag is, and have periodic drills for evacuating, or bunkering down, or whatever it is you do in an emergency. The more you practice, the less frightening it will be, and the smoother things will go for everyone involved.

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