Kids and guns

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Thread: Kids and guns

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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Kids and guns

    What do you think is a good age to introduce your children to guns? Our oldest is a 3 year old and right now she's at the age where all I can do is tell her these are no-no's and put the fear of god into her, and she wont go near them. As a matter of fact she'll go hide by my wife when I have them out or are cleaning them. Thats all that they can understand at that age. But at what point should I really sit down and explain what they are, and more importantly at what age should I allow them to go to the range with me and shoot a bit?

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    I started with my nieces and nephews when they were about 7 years old. At this point they have reached a mental level to comprehend and relate more of what you will tell them. There is some debate, but their skin should have developed to a point that they should not absorb lead through their skin. The debate is when that process occurs and I suppose it would have to do with the amount of exposure as well. Mental maturity will be up to you to judge of course. Kids definitely achieve mental maturity at different rates.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro2A View Post
    What do you think is a good age to introduce your children to guns? Our oldest is a 3 year old and right now she's at the age where all I can do is tell her these are no-no's and put the fear of god into her, and she wont go near them. As a matter of fact she'll go hide by my wife when I have them out or are cleaning them. Thats all that they can understand at that age. But at what point should I really sit down and explain what they are, and more importantly at what age should I allow them to go to the range with me and shoot a bit?
    You know your kids far better than any board users will. My parents let cub scouts introduce me to guns (grew up in a gun free household, not even squirt guns were OK). So I think I was introduced around 2nd or 3rd grade. .22 and airguns, then on to bigger things in boy scouts.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I dunno.....it does depend on the child AND the parent. BB/pellet guns, trips to the range or the woods to shoot/plink,..... just hanging out with dad, having good, clean, safe fun while learning all about hers and daddy's guns.

    That's how I grew up and how I'm trying to teach mine as well........although my daughters don't show too much intrest to often. Right now texting and IM'ing are priority. around 7 or 8 years is agreat time me thinks.
    Last edited by goldshellback; January 4th, 2008 at 10:43 PM. Reason: add a thought
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I figure age 5-6 for the introduction of the BB gun or pellet rifle to understand the principles a bit, and the safety routine. Make it exciting like shooting full soda cans that you shake up so they will explode when hit. You've got to maintain interest with most those ages. Actual firearms learning, experience, and shooting might come around the age of 8-10 and the introduction of responsibility along with safety. I've known youngsters around this age to enter in silhouette matches. Different kids take differently to certain things and sometimes age has not been a boundary, just generally speaking. While very young at the age of three, your little girl might take well to accept daddy's hand while he's cleaning the guns, or get to touch any piece laid out on the cleaning table to nurture the notion that daddy is not doing something bad, and there's no need to hide when he's cleaning the guns. It could very well be the sweet smell of cleaning solvents that's running her off? Keep doing your routine, and sooner or later curiosity will bring her to ask or at least get closer.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Check on the NRA's Eddie Eagle program. I got my girls lever action BB guns when they were five, .22 Chipmunks (single shot bolt action, built for a kid) when they were 8, .410 shotguns when 10, and .22 Ruger pistols about the same time. I supervised every time they shot, and took them shooting bunnies and squirrels. They're both adults now, with CCW permits and know how to shoot!

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    Check on the NRA's Eddie Eagle program.
    +1

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    I agree with the Eddie Eagle Program.
    My boys are both grown now, but they always knew about guns in the house. Nothing was hidden, but not out in the open either. I was very open about weapons, answered all their questions, let them hold them and took them shooting, first to watch (very young) and by 7 or 8, let them fire them.
    They were taught about the danger of firearms...and now in their 30's have confessed that they NEVER touched my weapons or even thought of it.

    Every family has to decide for itself when, where, and how to give firearm instruction...did the same with my other 'tools' also.

    Stay armed...stay safe!
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    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    TyC
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    Do you remeber how old you were when you learned about the family guns? I can't. My family didnt allow any kind of toy guns at all. Guns were tools for hunting and protection, not toys. I grew up knowing about all the guns in the house. We had pistols scattered all over the house and long arms and shotguns to. I dont remember ever being told guns were scary or bad, but I had a healthy fear/respect for them.
    You know your childs maturity and learning level and can better judge her potential for understanding. Maybe liken them to something she already understands like fire, or hot. Useful for cooking but dangerous and not to be played with or touched.
    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Good for you! I was raised in a farm family in Nebraska, where guns were a tool, and we didn't touch them unless Dad gave us permission. When I was in high-school, damn near every truck in the parking lot had a shotgun and an .30-30 in the back window, and none were locked. Times change, and I wonder how much worse they can get!

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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TyC View Post
    Do you remeber how old you were when you learned about the family guns?.
    Actually I do. My dad had some sort of .357 revolver in the house when we lived in AZ, he used to show it to me but never allowed to to handle it. Also my stepmoms brothers and dad were big hunters, they used to take me out in the desert outside of Tucson with the shotguns to go shoot clay pigeons or to hunt. I think I was around 9 or 10. All I remember is firing the 12 gauge for the first time, my uncle stood behind me so I didnt fall over from the kick.

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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    My son had a BB gun at 5 and I bought him his first 22 at 6. It was a Henry youth model, lever action that we still have today. I have tought both my kids, my daughter doesn't care much for guns but wants to get her CCW when old enough, my son has better safety and handling practices than most adults I have been around. There is no one age, it all depends on the maturity of the child. Some 6 year olds are ready while some 16 year olds aren't!! If able, teach them young and shoot often!!
    NCH
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