B B guns and kids
I have a relative that is giving their 7 year old a B B gun for Christmas. I am having difficulty with this. Let's face it, how 'responsible' can a 7 year old be?
They have 2 other small children and lots of pets. The B B gun looks like a real 9 mm handgun. (at Walmart)
He is a good kid BUT one mistake could take out an eye very quickly. I feel this B B gun should be used with parental guidance ONLY. They think it it will make him more responsible and are convinced he should have it. It appears to me that they are treating a B B gun as a toy and they should realize that it's not.
As a side note...At 7 years old he is allowed to play very violent video games of shooting and killing. War and killing is fun for him.
Not sure what to do as the parents get defensive when I try to give them guidance. They think I'm a liberal for having this view. (Little do they know I have a loaded gun on my hip sitting next to them.)
Depends... do you want to keep them as friends?
Srsly, you expressed your concern. You're done.
I got my first .22 at 6. A 7 year old can be very responsible with parental supervision. No child should be left alone with a bb gun. It can teach gun safety, mechanics, and responsibility if it is supervised when the child has it. If it is not supervised that is on the parents. No child should be left alone with a firearm of any type whether it be powder or air propelled. You said your piece, it is up to the parents now, not you. Some people have to learn the hard way.
This is my son in laws brother. They are part of the family. I'd like to see the kids grow up together and play together and feel that my grand daughter is in a safe environment. I can't just move on.
Originally Posted by chivvalry
it is not your child, you can only control who and where your child hangs out. If he is unsupervised with a bb gun, you need to make decisions for YOUR child not someone elses regardless of relation.
Originally Posted by Sig35seven
All BB guns should be used with parental guidance. Duh. It says so on the packaging if I'm not mistaken. Are you sure they are not going to just give it to him as a gift, but keep it under lock and key and only give it to him while they can supervise? I know where you're coming from. However, there really is nothing you can do about it. If they are giving it to him along with the BB's and letting him have full possession of it, they are pretty stupid, and you know you can't fix stupid.
Tell them your concern, let them know you are not "anti" and that you very much support the 2nd Amendment, however children need to be taught properly how to safely handle firearms. Let them know the dangers of unsupervised use by a 7 year old. Then it's out of your hands.
Is the BB gun going to be stored in the child's room? Will the child have unsupervised access to the BB gun? Is it YOUR child? If no, I'd butt out...not your business. It's a good time for the child to learn first hand the rules of safe firearm handling...but the parents need to be involved.
Now, if you're questioning their parenting...well, no one really wins that discussion.
Quite frankly, I caught some grief from some friends and family when I got my (then) 9 yr old a .22 for Christmas....I told them in somewhat polite terms (some folks in not so polite terms)..."I'm the parent, you are not...I'm teaching him safe gun handling now so I don't have to correct bad behavior later....and if you don't like it, get bent...it's none of your business"
5 years later, hasn't been a problem. Why? My son didn't have free access to the gun, was supervised when handling, shooting, and cleaning and he practiced what he was taught.
You know what I'd do...
Send that kid a hand made 'Gift Certificate' for a Christmas gift.
On that certificate (a sheet of typed/printed paper) I would detail that it is good for TWO FREE!!! introduction to gun safety & handling seminars at a max of 2 hrs. each (max attention span for the age group).
I'd detail that the seminar will include; The basics of how to handle a firearm (see the NRA Gun Safety Rules!), what necessary and mandatory safety gear is required (EYE PROTECTION IS MANDATORY!!!!), as well I'd have a review of what are acceptable _objects_ to use as targets for practice and what ARE NOT acceptable including animals, pets, people (!) and private property.
As well I would provide the boy with BB & pellet gun foam shooting target block (I bought one for my daughter from Wal-Mart in Nov....It cost $5.99 by Crosmann and will last forever), two pair of youth sized shooting glasses ($3.99 and one for himself as well as a second for his best friend who WILL be with him!).
On the certificate I would indicate that the seminars are good for the boy plus his two best friends AND any parent who might like to attend (!!!).
Further I would put an expiration date on it of something like January 1st....Reason being you want this boy in YOUR hands ASAP so that you can get to him early and quick before he either develops poor/bad habits and/or winds up endangering himself or another.
This way you are not fighting a block head parent (they are block heads!) and rather supporting them but at the same time doing what is best for the child.
IMHO we all as adults have a moral responsibility to look out for children if and when we can. As shooting enthusiasts, who are not just game talkers and mall ninjas, this responsibility is doubled when it comes to children handling firearms, including BB/pellet guns and other projectile firing devices such as AirSoft and paintball markers (!).
Because the childs parent/guardian are not wise enough to see the danger potential is no excuse to shirk our own moral responsibility, to a child of our community...And who very possibly down the road may end up being a representative of our sport & tradition. Be he a future Todd Garrett or Jerry Miculek...Or Possibly the next Willie Horton(poster child) or Dylan Klebold
Every end has a a beginning.
Imagine if one among us had known or met Dylan Klebold years prior to he and his sidekick hooking in to become mental baskets.
This of the very real backlash against guns in general and our shooting community in specific that came from that incident, and to this day remain in the hearts & minds of real people who VOTE.
Situations such as exactly this with parents not thinking fully or most wisely can be spun into a positive IF an individual makes an effort to step up and forward to fill in where others might let a child down.
This is exactly what I'd do toward a child, never mind a family member by relation.
Additionally I'd research local offerings for children as related to firearms safety & training offered by either state wildlife agencys, the NRA, local law enforcement (!), Boy Scouts, Izaak Walton League, Appleseed, and/or the National Shooting Sports Foundation among others.
All the items you find that are free, print them off and include in this gift package. Any items that have a fee if you can afford it out of pocket then I'd offer to pay or provide transpo.
This will in a direct but soft way put the kids parents on front street showing how irresponsible they are as to not be thinking of these things...Which very often are low cost if not no cost.
Janq's approach eloquently and in detail describes what I had in mind. You have an opportunity here to be part of the solution, and to take positive steps to ensure safe use of the BB gun. Educating the parents is at least as important as educating the young shooter. The age of 7 to me is not a special concern... it depends on the kid. I've seen a 5 year-old safely and competently handle a Crickett .22, and I've seen adults whose muzzle and trigger discipline is positively frightening.
Also, I would encourage the gift-giver to consider a long gun such as a Red Ryder for a first gun, or an Airsoft if it "has" to be a handgun. The rifle requires more deliberate actions for its use and it's likely to be more rewarding for its accuracy. I'm not sure about the absolute power in airsoft guns, but certainly the projectile is less likely to be as destructive as a steel BB.
cut out articles of people being shot for holding hose nozzles, and other things that look like guns and leave them anonymously in their mailbox. I agree that 7 is too young for almost all kids to have a (bb) gun unsupervised. Janq's suggestions might get some traction...
One wonders what the "right" age is for a child to have a BB gun. At what point do you give them a single gun case to lock up their BB gun in their room? Do you let them keep the BB gun but not the BBs? That probably won't work as any kid worth his salt can pocket some BBs. This is an interesting thread because guess what my 9 yr old (10 in Feb) has under the tree this year? Yep, a BB gun (rifle though, not a pistol).
Oh, and his 8 year old sister (who is a HUGE Avatar fan) has a recurve bow under there as well... with steel tip target arrows. No, she won't be allowed to keep those in her room.
I believe you can introduce children to firearms and bb guns very early in life. The key is only letting them shoot it when under supervision until they prove they are responsible! I did some crazy stuff with my friends as kids and I don't know how none of us really hurt.
Did they give him the BB gun and allow un-supervised use, or supervised use only? There's the difference.
Is it a BB gun or an Airsoft gun. There is a huge difference.
Regardless it isn't a problem as long as proper education is introduced.
I got my first Daisy Red Ryder BB gun when I was nine. My dad was a good instructor. My next gun, a 20 ga. shotgun at 10. Christmas at twelve, a High Standard "Double Nine" .22 revolver. I was supervised with all. For 2 years, all I was allowed to shoot in the revolver was .22 shorts. At 14, I was allowed to shoot anything unsupervised because, as my dad said, I had proven myself to be responsible. Yes, things were different in rural Ohio in the 50's, but that is what a lot of kids lack today. It's not that they are irresponsible, it's that they never had the opportunity of learning the ins and outs of firearms, and the possible consequences of making an error in judgement.
At 66, I still own a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun (Wal Mart is selling the 70th Anniversary Red Ryder for $25, which I bought) and whenever a grandkid comes I teach them to shoot no matter what their age. The point is "supervised".