I think the current overprotection of children is harmful. I know I’m not the first to point this out, but I don’t think it can be said enough– until it stops.
No one can learn responsibility without being given the opportunity to be irresponsible. And unless they’ve been given this opportunity in small doses all along, just suddenly handing them a lighter, a knife, or a loaded gun might bring disaster. This is the fault of those who have restricted their access as much as it is theirs.
Because yes, kids should have easy access to lighters, knives, and loaded guns. And they need to learn that actions have consequences.
It helps if responsible adults, who have good familiarity with guns, knives, fire, and all sorts of dangerous things, are there to provide guidance at first. But keeping kids away from guns, knives, fire, etc., means there will not be any adults qualified to fill this role before too long. This won’t end well.
Yes, there is the risk of kids maiming or killing someone if they have access to dangerous things. The problem is, keeping them away from dangerous things doesn’t make anyone any safer, it just changes the nature of the risk that you are practically guaranteeing.
The current way has been an utter disaster. Keeping guns “away” from kids leads to mass shootings. for one thing. This world is full of dangers. You aren’t doing anyone a favor by raising a generation of ignorant people who are unequipped to deal with reality.