Kids and Guns

Kids and Guns

This is a discussion on Kids and Guns within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have a question that I'm sure has surfaced many times before, but didn't see anything on it. So here it goes : Actually it's ...

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Thread: Kids and Guns

  1. #1
    Member Array Dnbailey's Avatar
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    Kids and Guns

    I have a question that I'm sure has surfaced many times before, but didn't see anything on it. So here it goes :

    Actually it's a 2 parter. Those of you who are parents, how old were your children when you introduced them to guns? And secondly, do you allow your children to play with toy guns?

    My children (both boys) are what I consider to be much too young: 2 and 4. My oldest has picked up on the fact that guns exist, but doesn't know about my gun collection or that I carry. I want my boys to go shooting with me when they are old enough, after they have learned about gun safety (which I'm teaching them now).

    My wife's family has bought them nerf launchers and keeps referring to them as "Nerf Guns". I don't allow them to play with toy guns because I want them to learn from an early age that guns are not toys. So I'm pretty adamant they be called Nerf launchers.

    Just curious what you guys feel about this... Am I crazy for being so hung up on the semantics of what my kids are paying with? What kind of strategies did /do you use to introduce your children to the sporting /self defense tools we all love?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    I have 2 kids. I started teaching my daughter at age 5 how to shoot, but started teaching her about guns at age 4.

    My son started learning about guns at age 5 and learned (still learning) how to shoot at age 6. He wasn't ready to follow instructions as young as my daughter. My daughter has no interest in playing with toy guns, and the toy guns we have for my son are used as learning tools, not toys. (Finger off the trigger, don't point it at anything you don't intend to shoot, etc).

    I started both kids with simple gun safety rules and handling. They had to repeat the guns rules, show safe handling and then we started off with a small BB gun shooting at balloons. My daughter now 9 years old, is shooting at 100 yards keeping about 50% of her shots in the black. My son (7 years old) is shooting a Cricket at 25 yards and is keeping most in the black with about 1 out of 15 in the X ring.

    I know many others here let their kids play with toy guns, and many here did play with them as kids. Most of us turned out just fine.
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

  3. #3
    Member Array sparkykb's Avatar
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    Can't tell you how to do it, but I can tell you how I was introduced to guns. Seemed to work out pretty well for me.

    I first started going "hunting" with my dad when I was pretty little...I carried a toy shotgun. A little bit later, probably 2nd grade or so I was given a lever action BB gun that I was only able to use under supervision. After using it for awhile and showing that I was responsible with it I got a single shot .22 and break action single shot 20 Gauge. I was allowed to take my BB gun to friends houses and use it without supervision at that point but had to be supervised with the real guns. By 6th or 7th grade I had a Winchester 1300 pump 20 gauge and a Ruger 77/22. I was a blackbird killing machine lol. I was allowed to take my guns to friends houses and shoot unsupervised by that time as I had shown that I was responsible and safe over the years.

    Oh, and I played with toy guns my entire childhood....I knew the difference between toys and real ones. I think the key is teaching the safety and respect for firearms at a young age. When a kid is comfortable with the safe use of a firearm they are probably less likely to do something stupid with them.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dnbailey View Post
    I have a question that I'm sure has surfaced many times before, but didn't see anything on it. So here it goes :

    Actually it's a 2 parter. Those of you who are parents, how old were your children when you introduced them to guns? And secondly, do you allow your children to play with toy guns?

    My children (both boys) are what I consider to be much too young: 2 and 4. My oldest has picked up on the fact that guns exist, but doesn't know about my gun collection or that I carry. I want my boys to go shooting with me when they are old enough, after they have learned about gun safety (which I'm teaching them now).

    My wife's family has bought them nerf launchers and keeps referring to them as "Nerf Guns". I don't allow them to play with toy guns because I want them to learn from an early age that guns are not toys. So I'm pretty adamant they be called Nerf launchers.

    Just curious what you guys feel about this... Am I crazy for being so hung up on the semantics of what my kids are paying with? What kind of strategies did /do you use to introduce your children to the sporting /self defense tools we all love?

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
    1. Both children were 5 when I introduced them to gun safety and guns.

    2. Yes WE play with nerf guns, bb guns, paintball guns, water guns.. IMO you can never start them off to soon with gun safety.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    Up until a few years ago, we didn't own any guns. We weren't anti-gun...just never grew up around them and didn't have any. It was one of those things we were going to get around to do, but it took awhile.

    My son, now 24, played with toy guns. Recently he got a CCP and has several of his own. He goes to the range quite often to practice. He's very responsible with guns.

    My daughter never played with guns when she was little but was in the ANG for 6 years and learned how to use and break down an M-16 (at least I think it was an M-16). She was depolyed to the UAE back in 2003 and carried one night and day for the time she was over there.

    I don't think playing with toy guns is any issue at all. I think it's ok to call them "guns". I also think it's very cute (and a good idea) that your son plays with his guns with his finger off the trigger. Teaching proper use is never wrong, even with toys.

    I wouldn't worry too much over it. Obviously you doing a good job with your son and whether he calls his Nerf gun a "gun" or "launcher" doesn't matter.
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    The fact that the OP is asking the question means he is on the right track, thinking it through and wanting gun safety to be the highest of importance. This is the MOST important part of teaching gunmanship to the children.
    Dnbailey likes this.
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

  7. #7
    Member Array Dnbailey's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody, that's all very helpful.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Array nontechguy's Avatar
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    When I was growing up, they had quick-draw contests on the kiddie shows. (Yeah, It was a long time ago.)
    My boys played with toy guns from the beginning. Never had a problem figuring out what was real. They learned gun safety almost that early. They started shooting at around 8. Up to and including 12 gauge shotguns. They are long since moved out and married.
    "The time is now near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves."
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    Gun free zones
    are safe havens-
    FOR CRIMINALS

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    Senior Member Array Lish's Avatar
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    I'm newer to the gun scene, just a couple years now, so my kids have started at different ages. But IMO, more important than age is maturity. My 2nd child was a heck of a lot more mature when he was 7 than my current 7 year old is. Ability to follow directions, ability to remember basic safety, etc is the most important part of it.

    As far as toys, that's up to each individual set of parents IMO. Personally, even when I didn't want real guns in my house, I allowed Nerf guns, marshmallow shooters, etc. As a matter of fact we had so many various "shooters" (we have 5 boys) that we hung them on a wall in the garage and referred to it as the kids' arsenal. And catch me in the right mood, I'd sneak in, grab one and ambush the kids!

    In my house, BB guns are not toys and the kids only have access to them with a parent, just the same as my "real" guns. That's where I draw the line personally. (hubby won't let any of us have paintball guns do to the potential mess - and that includes me)
    Dnbailey likes this.

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