What is important about our relationship with the APD is it gives us the opportunity to reach kids that we normally wouldn’t be able to. Even though it is only once per quarter, the community always shows up. The room is always electric. Some of my most fond memories have happened there. The parents of the Albany area understand what we are are doing and what we are trying to accomplish. They see the value in gun safety training for their children. We appreciate that fact. It makes for a very comfortable and inviting environment. This helps us with the kids. Sometimes the topic of guns can be a scary thing for young kids. We are trying to change this. When they feel comfortable, it is easier for them to understand the principles of what we are teaching. These skills are important to learn from a very young age and it is our hope that it will help them live long, happy, successful lives. That all starts with that first conversation inside of the police department. It is our hope that families have an enjoyable experience and learn very important tips to help keep their children safe. We try to take the novelty away from the firearm and to teach the kids that our firearms are tools, not toys.
In our classes we also teach the importance of age specific video games and how video games are introduced to children. Especially violent video games, at a young age. It can be harmful to young minds. There have been many scientific studies that have been done that violent video games make children more aggressive and they desensitize the kids to violence. We as a society are always quick to blame the “tool” instead of focusing on what lead a person to that tragedy. Until we are honest with ourselves about how violent video games and other forms of media ie social media are effecting our kids. We will never have an honest discussion about viable solutions for our society. We would rather point fingers and kick the can down the road than have these important conversations. The problem with this is there are too many lives at stake to continue to be silent. It is our hope that the discussions that we have in our classes will help influence parents to understand the value of what we are covering. If we can make a small change for the good, this can help impact the lives of the kids in a positive way. This will potentially save more lives than the alternative, nothing!
Another important part of our program is the Anti-bullying component. This is where we hope to teach the kids about empathy. We teach kids that everyone is unique and that is what makes us special. There is not a single person that is the same and this should be celebrated. The goal is to make them feel good and to let them know that it is ok to be an individual. We also want them to know what to do if they are ever bullied and how to handle that situation. It is really important for us to raise strong children, they are the future of this country. It is also important for them to be able to think for themselves and to use critical thinking skills. We also should be teaching our youth to “WIN!” There are no participation trophies in real life. You want your kid to be the best in the room. Not necessarily from a competition standpoint but, from a mindset point of view. We hope to teach them to be leaders and to help those that are in need. We are all humans and as parents we can set good examples or fail. The choice is yours. Our children look to us for leadership inside of the home. It is very common for children to learn behaviors from the parents both good or bad. A little self awareness and being able to reflect on your own habits will go a long way to lead your family effectively. Believe it or not being a parent is probably the most important job you can do to help save our Republic. Understanding that fact and figuring out how you can help is the first step.
In our classes there are many learning lessons for all that join us. While our priority is the kids our focus is bringing the community together. Even if it is only for oner hour, for that hour there is peace and unity. People from all walks of life coming together with a common goal, the safety of their kids. We are grateful for the support from the Albany Police Department and from the community of Albany. We can’t wait to see your families again. Until next time. Be Safe!