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Old February 15, 2006, 09:18 PM   #1
The Immortal
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All of my life I grew up around both hand guns and long rifles. My father carried a hand gun (legally) for in excess of 35 years. Every morning before he would go to he would go to the pantry and load. When he returned from home he would un-load before doing anything else. While we did not hunt, early on he taught both my brother and myself the safe use of guns. Starting out with an old Rossi slide action .22 rifle moving up to an M-1 carbine. Often he would allow us to shoot his .38 or 9mm. It seemed strange to some people, but one Christmas my mother and father gave us both a Remmington 22. I now have a daughter and she has expressed interest. Up to this point she has never seen a gun but for television. She has no idea what daddy has.

At what age do people of TFL feel is an appropriate and safe age to teach your children about guns? Besides the drill of don't touch.
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Old February 15, 2006, 09:30 PM   #2
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My standard answer any time this question is posed is; whenever the child exhibits a curiosity about the firearm/s or whenever they are old enough to gain access to the firearms, whichever comes first. I would be leary about putting an exact age on this as obviously every child is different.

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Old February 15, 2006, 09:33 PM   #3
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I think the answers you are going to get will run along the lines of: you as the father (and the only one of us who knows the kid) are the only one able to decide when they are responsible enough.

Some kids are good to go with firearms at the age of four. Others will never grow up enough.
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Old February 16, 2006, 05:36 PM   #4
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Old February 16, 2006, 06:00 PM   #5
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As soon as they express the knowledge of safety. If they can do this the day after they learn to walk, then so be it. No real age limit, just a maturity with respect to guns.
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Old February 17, 2006, 10:32 AM   #6
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A lot of "experts" will tell you that children shouldn't be taught how to shoot firearms. They'll say that they're not mature enough, and that their interest levels are very short.

Well, having said that, I'm not an "expert", but I have known many people who got started in firearms as young as 4 years old. I was 5 when my dad introduced me to my very first shooting, and I was a very proud owner of a brand-new .22 bolt action rifle when I was 6 years old.

Girls tend to mature a bit faster than boys during the first 10 years of life. Of course, some people NEVER mature!

You might want to introduce your daughter to the realm of firearms by purchasing an "Air Soft" shooter of some sort, or perhaps a single-shot BB or pellet gun (handgun or rifle). Treat it as if it's a REAL firearm, and instruct her in all of the basics of how to shoot, properly handle and maintain firearms. Teach her RESPECT, which seems to be a dying thing in our society!

After that intro to "non-lethal" forms of firearms, if her interest continues, you will probably KNOW when she's ready to graduate up to the next level. Just don't push her! She may end up losing all interest in firearms.
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Old February 17, 2006, 11:51 AM   #7
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Only you can make the judgement as to your kids ability to handle guns safely so I would never dare set out a timeline to for you to follow. I will say that with the right instructon and promotion of how fun it is to shoot your child will either love it for the rest of their life or be uninterested. But they will know safety and that is the most important.

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Old February 17, 2006, 01:33 PM   #8
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g.gordon liddy recommends taking a raw chicken and shooting it in front of the child to demonstrate what bullets do to flesh i.e. consequences. i always thought that was cool.
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Old February 17, 2006, 07:00 PM   #9
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cleaning my pistol the other day, and my 3yo girl walked up and pointed at it, not touching, and asked "what is that?" I answered, "that is my pistol, it is not a toy, you can touch it only if I'm around". She just looked at me and said, "ok, I understand", and turned around and left.

She is young, but I was taught that guns are not toys at a very young age, in a household where my father kept a loaded 357 mag in his night stand. He showed us, my sister and I, that it was there, and only he was to touch it. We respected this.

I'm not as trusting, but I still try to show them that guns don't kill people like TV likes to depict, and my daughter asks about that all the time.

She helps me reload, and is in the house when I shoot outside, and watches me all the time.

I think she acts way older than she is.
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Old February 17, 2006, 07:01 PM   #10
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double post.
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