INuhBadNayburhood’s Recommended Introduction of Firearms to Children:
There are seven (maybe more) important steps in regards to introducing your children into the fun sport of firearms marksmanship.
1. Age/Maturity. This is critical to the development of a responsible shooter. Wait until the children can discern the difference between right & wrong, and reality & fantasy. If your child is able to figure out the difference between movie violence/shooting, and the real consequences of such actions, then they may be of reasonable responsibility to learn to shoot. Obviously you, as parents, should make certain that your children know that it is not socially acceptable to shoot and/or kill another human being. My recommended age for teaching firearm safety/operation to children is between 4 and 6 years of age.
2. Proper Armament. Many people I have seen simply run out and buy a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic .22 with which their children are to learn safety. I do not agree with this decision for a child’s first firearm. I would recommend a single shot youth model .22 LR bolt-action rifle. Semi-auto rifles such as the Ruger 10/22 do not teach proper accuracy traits to children, rather it teaches children that they do not necessarily need a perfect first shot as they could quickly fire a second follow-up shot. This is not good practice, especially if they were to hunt later in life. Studies have shown that those who train with single-shot rifles become far superior marksmen than those with semi-automatic rifle based training. Also, only having a single shot rifle really decreases the statistical liability that the child will fire the rifle unsafely, this is due to the fact that there is only one round per loading to take responsibility for, rather than ten which can be fired in rapid succession.
3. After purchasing a rifle for you child(ren), take it to the range by yourself in order to properly break in the barrel/action and properly sight in the rifle. Make absolutely certain that the rifle is sighted perfectly, this is VERY important. If your child cannot hit anything due to a problem with the rifle’s sights, your child will be discouraged, and become bored quickly.
4. Before you even go to the range for shooting, make sure that you take one or two hours to teach your children about how their rifle works. The stock, sights, action, safety features, everything. Teach them proper safety and handling before you even leave the house. Let them practice safe handling & operation of the action with the unloaded rifle in the house, that way when you get to the range, range officers will not scold you for your child’s questionable behavior. Make sure that before you go shooting that you also have eye & ear protection for everyone attending their first shoot.
[Edited because I'm a dumb-sh!t]