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Old November 27, 2005, 09:17 AM   #26
Join Date: November 26, 2005
Location: Illinois
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What age to introduce kids to firearms?

When our children were young (ages 8 through 11), my wife and I both knew, and agreed, that we would have to remove the "mystery" from the firearms kept in our home. Subsequently, over the course of a few years, we routinely took our children to indoor ranges, where they had the opportunity to shoot everything from .22's to .38's. When they entered their teens, they had the opportunity to practice with larger calibers. To this day, not one has ever asked about the guns...they all know where the guns are kept...they know what the guns are for...they all know not to discuss same with their friends.
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Old November 27, 2005, 10:39 AM   #27
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I agree about toy guns. I think it all depends on the maturity of the child in question, but I started my son shooting at 10.
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Old November 27, 2005, 03:12 PM   #28
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it depends on the child. my oldest son started at 4. i wouldnt let me oldest daughter touch a weapon till she was 7. she just couldnt sit still before that. with my youngest two girls the 6 year old is about right but the youngest just turned 4 and is no where near readyu. all should learn to not tuch run away and tell an adult as soon as they can learn simple things. as for letting them carry a weapon hunting and such i use the guidline as soon as they care for their own pets or take care of their own property like toys and such. once they show that responsability you can start letting them out of your arms reach. untill then they shouldnt be handling a weapon unless you can immeadiately put your hands on them if they start doing something dangerous.
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Old November 27, 2005, 06:02 PM   #29
Join Date: November 27, 2005
Location: Western NY
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I started my kids when they hit 5. Of course, you will have to judge by the maturity level and other factors before doing so. You really don't want Jr. going to 1st grade and telling all the kids that his daddy shows him the guns all the time. Discretion is usually the best part.

Get the Eddie Eagle video from the NRA. It's great. Period. Works well, get the kids to think about the basics of safety.

Good luck
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Old November 27, 2005, 06:10 PM   #30
Lawyer Daggit
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I agree with folks about letting children see you cleaning guns. My 2 1/2 year old has just started watching Bugs Bunny and made a reference to 'Daddy' when he saw a shotgun on the show.

From this point on it is based on his interest and capacity to absorb information and handle guns- my shortest gun- a Marlin 39 TDS is as long as he is tall- so it will be a few years yet.

I don't think there are hard and fast rules.
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Old November 28, 2005, 11:58 AM   #31
Jack Malloy
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Join Date: February 3, 2005
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Kids are impressionable.
A lot of the answer depends upon the kid.
I would recommend the Eddie Eagle safety program myself.
One of my friends is a hardcore shooter and his son was introduced to firearms very early, about five or so, and has had no problems.

But Dad took him out and taught him the basics.

In my case, it was different. My well meaning grandfather set up a pumpkin and blew it to kingdom come with a 12 guage and yellled, "you mess with guns boy, that could be your head. Or mine!"
Needless to say, it scared me away from guns till I got mugged in college and developed a renewed interest in them.
Remember, on the frontier, five year olds were often turned loose with guns to go hunt game for the family table.
Times may change, but people don't.
There are some kids who can handle fairearms safely and responsibly and some adults who can't. It's always been that way.

Todays kids only exposure to firearms is in movies and videogames, neither of which could generally be termed healthy or realistic or safe, for that matter.
My own nephew exhibited a bit too much of this tendancy and when i took him shooting at six, I made sure the gun had oversize smooth wooden grips and a hot magnum load in it. After gettign hammer bite, he decided that guns were something to be respected, not awesome toys to play with.
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Old November 28, 2005, 12:14 PM   #32
Jack Malloy
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>>>Little Man going to daycare and telling everyone about daddy's guns is not a good thing.<<<

Not necissarily.
The following story is true. Many of you may have heard it before, (it was on national radio once) but now you will know who it involved.
When I was in college, I took a criminology course under a nationally known criminologist named Dr. Harlan Voss.
Dr. Voss was a fantastic teacher and a wealth of information.

He said that one time, when he lived in a different state, his little boy was at school and another little boy asked him if his dad had guns.
Well, Dr. Voss didn't. But his son lied and said, "Oh yes, Daddy has lots of guns."
Later every house on the block was robbed except for one -Dr. Voss' house.
Dr. Voss and the local police wondered about that, till the son came forward and told Dr. Voss he had told a lie.
He said he lied to another little boy who asked all the kids if their dads had guns. Because he did not want the little boy to think Dr. Voss was not manly (which is hillarious as Dr. Voss looked like Lawrence Tierney of "Pulp Fiction and he sounded just like Mickey Spillane).
Dr. Voss got suspicous about this and discussed it with the police. They asked around. People in the neighborhood who owned guns were not robbed.
They got to looking around and found that the father of the little boy asking everybody if their daddy had a gun was a repeat felony burglary offender.
A warrant was obtained and guess what? They caught the guy with the stolen goods in his house.
Turns out, his kid was finding out who had guns and who didn't for him so he could avoid breaking in where he might get shot.
Not all criminals are stupid, I guess.....
Now you know the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey said.

I remember that when comments about others knowing you are armed come up.....

20 years ago we used to hear about how NRA bumper stickers would target your vehicle for theives.
Theives are looking for an easy score, not a fight. Especially not a gunfight.
Last year three vehicles in the local parking garage got ripped off the week before Christmas.
The jeep next to me had the door ripped off.
My vehicle was not touched. Of course, its festooned with NRA bumper stickers. I asked the chief of police why they let me slide and ripped off the people parked on either side of me, and his comment was, "well, if they could read, they probably feared getting shot."
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Old November 28, 2005, 12:54 PM   #33
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Posts: 168
Two decades of firearms experience...

(I think, I can't really remember when Dad first let me shoot) and I'm only 22!

Whenever Dad would go target shooting, I'd usually tag along. If I did something even vaguely questionable, he'd stop and we wouldn't do anything else until I understood what I had done was not safe. Heck, I could give a lecture on firearms safety in my sleep

For some reason, he wouldn't let me have a BB gun, but if I wanted to go out to the back yard and shoot targets, all I had to do was ask.

Don't worry, we had some dirt left over from when they dug the basement so I've got a very nice backstop. Doesn't that just make y'all green with envy!!!!

- "What are you doing?"
- "Daddy is cleaning his guns. Do you know what this is?" (showing my 357 mag)
- "That's a GUN!"
- "Who's gun?"
- "Is it yours?"
- "Yes it is. Do we play with guns?"
- "NO!" (His emphasis)
That brings back quite a few memories.

In my case, it was different. My well meaning grandfather set up a pumpkin and blew it to kingdom come with a 12 guage and yellled, "you mess with guns boy, that could be your head. Or mine!"
Did something similar with a watermelon once... My little brother wanted to shoot my 9mm, used the melon for a target and explained that is what happens when a bullet hits somebody. Point was made, and brother thought it was cool to send chunks of melon all over the place.

That's my bit for this thread....

Kilroy, born with a gun in his hand, was here
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