I am a fairly young father (25)and I have been taking my 6 yr old daughter since she was 4. I started her on a Ruger MKIII 22LR and now she is shooting her GLock 19 very proficiently. Everytime I go to the range her in Kalifornia she tends to draw many spectators.(specially when she if shooting my Wilson CQB with .45ACP +P rounds...can you tell i'm proud!
). She really enjoys training in firearms and martial arts.
Recently I had a woman in her 40's come up to me and ask me why I "let my daughter play with firearms" and how "irresponsible" this was. I then informed her that in my humble opinion it was better to teach my daughter how to safely and respectfully treat and handle firearms, then to hide them from her, and have her mishandle them, causing potential injury to herself or others.
We continued our conversation and I told her about an incident that occured during my childhood.
When I was growing up in Ecuador(where i am originally from), my family had always believed that we should always be ready to defend our selves, family, and home. All of my family members for the last 3 or 4 generations have trained in martial arts and weapons since the age of 4. When I was 8 we were all my grandfathers home(he was a retired colonel who owned a beautiful 3 story home) hanging out and doing the "family thing". My Dad had just placed my 5yr old sister to bed and told me to go brush my teeth. Just then we heard a bunch of loud noices and my mom and grandma scream. 5 or six masked men with guns had just kicked the door down and were performeing a home invasion roberry on us. My father grabs his 1911 and tells me to grab the .38 revolver and watch my sister. Then he takes off downstairs. I tell me sister to hide and wanting to see what was going on a run down stairs. As I get downstairs I see my grandpa, uncle, and Dad in an all out gun fight with these guys. They had already killed 2 of the robbers. My grandpa was covering the door with his shotgun. All of the sudden I get kicked from behind really hard. As I looked back to see a robber behind me I see hear a loud noise and see his face disapear. I had left the .38 in the room, and my little sister had picked it up and fired 2 shots into the robbers body and one into the back of his head. She was only 5 and she saved my butt.(something she still wont let me forget!). At then end of it all my family was mostly okay(my uncle got shot in the shouder, nothing serious though), and 4 robbers layed dead and 2 severely wounded(not really sure what happened to them after the medic took them).
Moral of the story is, training the kids, not only taught us to be responsible gun owners, but also saved the lives of our family members(me).