My father never let me play with toy guns. That was tough, because in the 1960's in Texas all little boys had cap guns. His comment was guns are not toys. He started me off on safety, safety, safety. The first thing I ever fired just after turning five, was a crossman model 101 22 caliber single shot pellet rifle. Capable of killing a rabbit at over 50 yards. He had to pump it up for me and nothing was ever touched by me as far as any of our guns unless he was there. I moved up rapidly to 22 short, LNG, and long rifle single shots. He loaded light 30-30 rounds for his winchester 94 after first making a small butt stock to fit my five year old body. Then he loaded light .270 rounds for a Remington 760 pump, again after fitting it with a small stock. Just before I turned six I used the .270 to kill my first deer at 70 yards from a tree stand with Papa sitting right next to me. His style of teaching safety was so good that even as a teenager, I was never tempted to sneak a gun of of the glass front gun case and play with it. I guess that safe gun handling was engrained into my mind at such an early age that it stuck so well. I was about ten before I was allowed to handle and shoot his s&w .38 revolver. By that time I was an excellent shot with all our rifles and also a 20 gauge shotgun.
LEO, NRA member, Native Texan. Shooting and hunting for over 45 years!