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Posted: 9/27/2009 9:26:24 PM EST
I am looking to get your opinions on kids and guns. Besides the very obvious safety issues, I was wondering what everyones thoughts were on this....what age did you allow your kids to start shooting...what gun did you start them out with...how do you react to their curiosity....what was the first gun you bought them....how do guns and shooting bring your family together....if you don't have kids, I welcome your thoughts also....

We have 4 kids ages 12, 11, 10 and 2. (boy, girl, boy, boy) Guns are very much apart of our daily lives. We start out teaching the very basics in safety....we do not allow our kids to even pick up a gun untill they can tell us the safety rules. Gun Safety is constant and ongoing. One thing my husband also does is teach the kids the basics about the model they want to shoot. Each gun is different and often has a very interesting history, so the kids end up learning something without realizing it!! I'm never surprised to see my husband and one or more of the kids lined up on the kitchen floor taking turns looking through the sniper scope on the "rifle of the day".... We go shooting as a family when we can....although it has become a bit tough since the birth of our youngest. From squirt guns and cap guns, to plastic toy guns that make sounds, to air soft and painball guns, to Daddy's gun cabinet, we cover the full range of guns in our house. For us it isn't just about the gun or shooting, it has become a family hobby, time together away from the TV, cell phones and game boys. Our hobby has sparked many family conversations that go much deeper than just guns. Lessons have been taught and learned on both sides (kids and parents) It is a common bond we share. One I hope will continue for many years to come.
Link Posted: 9/27/2009 10:54:07 PM EST
BB gun at 8, .22 as 10, assuming the kid can demonstate understanding and respect for the rules.
Link Posted: 9/28/2009 12:34:53 AM EST
Teach them as early as you think is reasonable. Take the mystery out of them - it pays off in the long run. My kids see me with a gun and don't think twice about it.

Some kids see ammo and freak.
Link Posted: 9/28/2009 12:41:24 AM EST
I started my kid @ 5 with an airsoft. then we went to a 22. He's 10 now and shoots his own AR all the time with me of course

Link Posted: 9/28/2009 5:16:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/28/2009 5:55:03 AM EST
My dad taught me to shoot with a Super Redhawk .44 when I was six. As far back as I can remember guns have been around. I had my own roll cap gun when I was 4 but I understood the difference between it and a real one. Even then I only ever used the cap gun on imaginary badguys and never pointed it at people.

I was taught that it was a tool that would destroy whatever you pointed it at, and not to point it at anything I wasn't willing to destroy.

His best friend, since he was a kid who passed on a few yeas back, once asked him. "What would you do if your son ever got a hold of your gun?" My dad, "What ever he says..."



As far as I know his guns were never "Locked up", Mom and Dads bedroom was no-mans land as far as I was concerned.

If I needed it or dad needed me to fetch it, I knew where it was.


IMHO some kids just need a slap on the rear, others are good after a time out. Same thing goes with firearms. Some kids will "get it" and be fine around them as soon as they are a teachable age. Others won't reach that age... Ever.
Link Posted: 9/30/2009 4:49:44 AM EST
If you make them a part of your kids everyday life... It completely removes the mystery from them.

My kids got their first .22's at age 7. It is a coming of age present from my father-in-law. He buys each grandkid the Cricket of their choice. Excellent training rifle.

A couple of years ago, I was coaching my daughter's softball team and was carrying a truckload of girls home from practice. I had my pistol wedged between the seats and concealed by a ball cap. The girls were in the truck and I was outside talking to some parents. One of the girls picked up the cap, I guess to try it on, and saw the pistol.

My daughter, 13 years old at the time, just looked at the girl and told her she needed to put the cap back down and forget she saw the pistol. That was the end of it. The girl replaced the cap and never mentioned it again. Had I made guns a mystery to my daughter, that whole senerio probably would have played out different.


Link Posted: 10/3/2009 6:15:12 PM EST
I started my youngest (oldest had no real interest) when she was about 10 yrs old. First it was paper at a conservation range. But she grew tired of paper. Someone suggested going to an unmanaged range and take clays and put them on the berm. She was having a blast breaking up the clays. The moment of real pride was when she turned her head back so she could tell me that she really liked breaking the clays. But the gun never wavered from pointing down range. Thats when I knew without doubt that the dry training in the front room paid off.
Link Posted: 10/4/2009 5:49:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By crazybird:
I am looking to get your opinions on kids and guns. Besides the very obvious safety issues, I was wondering what everyones thoughts were on this....what age did you allow your kids to start shooting...what gun did you start them out with...how do you react to their curiosity....what was the first gun you bought them....how do guns and shooting bring your family together....if you don't have kids, I welcome your thoughts also....

We have 4 kids ages 12, 11, 10 and 2. (boy, girl, boy, boy) Guns are very much apart of our daily lives. We start out teaching the very basics in safety....we do not allow our kids to even pick up a gun untill they can tell us the safety rules. Gun Safety is constant and ongoing. One thing my husband also does is teach the kids the basics about the model they want to shoot. Each gun is different and often has a very interesting history, so the kids end up learning something without realizing it!! I'm never surprised to see my husband and one or more of the kids lined up on the kitchen floor taking turns looking through the sniper scope on the "rifle of the day".... We go shooting as a family when we can....although it has become a bit tough since the birth of our youngest. From squirt guns and cap guns, to plastic toy guns that make sounds, to air soft and painball guns, to Daddy's gun cabinet, we cover the full range of guns in our house. For us it isn't just about the gun or shooting, it has become a family hobby, time together away from the TV, cell phones and game boys. Our hobby has sparked many family conversations that go much deeper than just guns. Lessons have been taught and learned on both sides (kids and parents) It is a common bond we share. One I hope will continue for many years to come.


I am all for this!
In the words of a not so famous but 3-1 Bengals team this year. WHO DEY!!!
Link Posted: 10/5/2009 4:32:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By phurba:
BB gun at 8, .22 as 10, assuming the kid can demonstate understanding and respect for the rules.
this.

Link Posted: 10/9/2009 3:24:33 AM EST
We started teaching our daughter gun safety when she was about 3yrs old & continued working w/her from there.We then allowed her to start shooting at age 8.We have always believed that the best thing to do was to take the curiosity out of the guns so that she would be safer around them & know that they aren't a toy & that has worked for us.She knows when she is & isn't allowed to touch the guns & how to handle them safely.We shoot together as a family & she is a really good shot.She has even come in 4th place 2 years in a row in the shooting contest they have at her summer camp.We started her out shooting a .22lr but she knows that she can shoot any of our guns as long as she ask.I am considering getting her a .22lr in the near future.
Link Posted: 10/9/2009 3:26:56 AM EST
We started teaching our daughter gun safety when she was about 3yrs old & continued working w/her from there.We then allowed her to start shooting at age 8.We have always believed that the best thing to do was to take the curiosity out of the guns so that she would be safer around them & know that they aren't a toy & that has worked for us.She knows when she is & isn't allowed to touch the guns & how to handle them safely.We shoot together as a family & she is a really good shot.She has even come in 4th place 2 years in a row in the shooting contest they have at her summer camp.We started her out shooting a .22lr but she knows that she can shoot any of our guns as long as she ask.I am considering getting her a .22lr in the near future.
Link Posted: 10/13/2009 2:23:03 PM EST
My nine year old shoots but with his father right there. My son knows and respectsgun safety better than most teenagers or the hicks are here
Link Posted: 10/13/2009 4:18:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By phurba:
BB gun at 8, .22 as 10, assuming the kid can demonstate understanding and respect for the rules.


My wife's cousin killed his first deer at age 7.

I think kids should be introducted to guns well before the age of 8. He's 18 now and the little bastard has still hunted more animals and probably shoots way better than I do.
Link Posted: 10/13/2009 4:41:13 PM EST
My six year old got a bb gun for his 6th birthday, but his access is restricted and monitored. My husband shot his first deer when he was 10 years old; I think that is reasonable. However, I think supervision is very important.
Link Posted: 10/14/2009 1:21:03 AM EST
I dont have any kids but i think they should be exposed to them as soon as the parents think they are responsible enough. (under close supervision of course.) I have pics around here somewhere of me in diapers holding my first .22. I was out squirrel hunting probably before i was even a teenager by myself with a .22. I was out deer hunting by myself before i could drive. The main thing is teach them safety, safety, safety. Just my .02.
Link Posted: 10/14/2009 2:30:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/14/2009 2:34:13 AM EST by CortGirl]
My daughter started learning about guns when she was 5-6. She understood it more and took it a lot more seriously at age 6. We bought her first gun last Christmas when she was 7. It's a Cricket .22 She's aware of the safety rules and is becoming an amazing shooter. She knows never to touch a gun without our supervision (in the house or anywhere) because there is a very good chance it could be loaded. Also, she knows that a gun should never be pointed at something she isn't willing to kill.

http://www.crickett.com/

Link Posted: 10/25/2009 7:52:32 PM EST
I started shooting at age 9 so I could go squirrel hunting with my uncle. I intend to start my oldest (daughter, currently 2 1/2) much earlier than I was. She is already familiar with several of my firearms and she sees me dress for work and take my long guns in and out of my patrol car almost daily. For that reason, she already knows "guns aren't toys" and they are off limits for her for the time being. She's just now getting old enough to understand "dangerous" and I've had several basic conversations with her explaining that guns can be dangerous, just like the coinversations about the stove or the oven. I still don't know exactly when she will start shooting, as it will depend heavily on her maturity at any given age, but I expect it to be somewhere between 5 and 7. My son hasn't been born yet (due in December) but I intend to handle things the same way with him.

Oh yeah, my daughter already has an AR and a Cricket. Obviously she will start with the Cricket but I wanted to make sure she had an AR when she gets old enough regardless of what rediculous laws the liberals manage to get passed by then. I will be doing the same for my boy as well.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:47:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 7:52:17 PM EST by theloosescrew]
My son and daughter both started learning gun safety about 5 or 6. Got them out in the stand with me hunting by the time they were 9 and 10. I also got them started at a local range junior program about then. They both got deer the year they turned twelve. We also started into more competition around then. Now my daughter has decided shooting isn't the thing for her, but she still knows and understands guns and safety. My son really got into the competiton stuff and I think he has about 9 different NRA Classifications. He is 6 points out of becoming distinguished, and has been to Camp Perry about 6 times now. He and my daughter are now enrolled in liberal colleges and laugh at most of the anti's on campus because they understand guns are only tools, unlike the kids that never had an education on guns and safety.

Just the way mine were raised.

P.S. I can't think of a better group for a young person to associate with than a junior shooting group; ie smallbore rifle, pistol, highpower, and air rifle. I don't have much experience around the shootgun sports.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 3:59:38 AM EST
As soon as they could physically handle them without any help, so pistols first then rifles. Both are good shots and have good attitudes towards guns and shooting.
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