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  1. #1
    Odd's Avatar
    Odd
    Odd is offline Cosmonaut Trainer
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    Age for kids to start with guns?

    Not looking for a discussion of gun laws, or British vs American treatment of firearms. Just happened to be folks across the pond talking about it that got me thinking.

    How old do you think kids should be before they're introduced to firearms? How old were you? I grew up in a house with guns, but wasn't allowed to touch until after Hunter's Safety. So 12 or so for me? I'd had the BB gun for years before though and didn't have much interest in shotguns/rifles. Too expensive to shoot, even as a kid I was cheap As for my age pick - it'd depend a lot on where you live and the kid, but 10 isn't a scary low number to me.

    What brings the question? Well, I was listening to the podcast of "Farming Today" (yes, really) and they were talking about kids and shotguns. Guess someone noticed a handful of kids under 10 got shotgun licenses in the UK and the BBC took it on itself to investigate this pressing topic, as it seems they do about every six months.

    Youngest they could apparently find was 7 and they interviewed the father, also some hippie chick who is against guns, then finally the Senior Firearms Officer at British Association for Shooting and Conservation. Last one was interesting so I clipped it and used YouTube to host the audio for convenience.


  2. #2
    Broke Hoss's Avatar
    Broke Hoss is offline Corporal
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    Kinda like most things, I think it best not to put an actual number on it, but gauge the maturity/responsibility of the kid.

    I was raised around guns. Dad, being an LEO, had 1 with him all the time (I was 8 before I realized not everybody's dad packed). By the time I was 10 or so, I hunted with a bolt action .410 shotgun and that's about the time my older brother graduated to his pump 16 gauge. Around that time I could go to the field with the bolt action single shot .22 and only have to tell Dad that's what I was doing. Christmas I turned 13 I got my .30 carbine. It was the first gun that was mine & not passed down to me.

    My boys were raised pretty much the same. When they were little the oldest didn't really have an interest & I didn't push it on him. The younger one was outside in the field every chance he got. When he went hunting with me at 6 or 7 he would bring his toy gun. We had a rule that when we went to the field it became "real". He had to carry it safely; finger off the trigger, not point at anything unless he was "shooting" it and such. That instilled safety at an early age. He got his his BB gun at around 10 and it went out with us if we were after birds or deer. At 12 or so, he was using a 410 and I trusted him with a .22 when he went on his forays to the pasture. I bought him his own 20 gauge at about 13. The older 1 saw the fun we had going hunting & wanted in so he got his the same year (he's 2 years older).

    Both went to the range with me from the time they were about 8 or so. And we'd shoot BB guns & .22's alot. I don't really remember how old they were the 1st time they shot my "real" guns. But I'd bet they weren't out of elementary before they'd fired a .38 a time or two at the range.

    Education is important. I used a block of ice & a .22 to make the point that even a little bullet can cause alot of damage. As hunters they practice good managment and the responsibility of being good stewards of God's creations. We aren't trophey hunters and eat what we harvest. The only exception being is 2 doe a year are donated through "Hunters for the Hungry"; 1 to a local mission and the other to a residential home for developmentally impaired. We even try to run off the vermin before resorting to killing, but a few coyotes have learned to leave our chickens alone the hard way. They both respect firearms & each has thier own.
    Blessed are the the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. MATT 5:10

  3. #3
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is offline Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    I agree with the above. Depends on the maturity of the kid. I was hunting birds with an air rifle by myself when I was 8 though. My younger brothers would go with me.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  4. #4
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    I shot my first pistol at the age of 5.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  5. #5
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    I was about 7. I shot a .22 rifle but I had a bb gun for a couple of years previous. Funny but Dad did not let me shoot a pistol until I was about 12.

    I think it's all about maturity and ability as far as age goes.
    *************************
    "It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...
    to another life somewhere in the sun."
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    "There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)


    Any statements or opinions given in my postings or profile do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employer or anyone else other than me. They are my personal opinions or statements only, thereby releasing my employer , any other entity, or any other person of any liability or involvement in anything posted under the username "Cidp24" on O/R.

  6. #6
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    I was seven when I first fired a Model 28.

    I did my revolver to auto transition course at 13.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  7. #7
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Started with a BB gun at 6. A Ruger 10-22 at 7, another 22 bolt gun at 8, and a Mossburg 20 gauge pump at 10. By 10 I was hunting by myself on our property with any gun I had. At 13 I got a .243 lever action rifle. Inherited my first pistol a Glock 21 at 18. Guns have never been anything special while I was growing up. It was the same with most of my friends growing up. They were/are respected, but they were just paper weights if they weren't being used when I was growing up. I attribute that to good instruction by family and the Boy Scouts. As Hoss said above there is no standard age. There is the maturity and understanding of the youngster that is being acclimated to firearms.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

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  8. #8
    irishmick's Avatar
    irishmick is offline Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.
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    My son will be 4 in May and he's already shot a BB gun. Of course, he was also making guns out of Play-Doh when he was about a year and a half. What is it with boys?? We never bought him toy guns, but boy he sure knows about shooting them. We decided to let him shoot a BB gun this young (with LOTS of supervision) to make sure he knows that they aren't just toys. Call me paranoid, and I'm sure it wouldn't happen this way but I'm a mom and paranoid about everything even if I don't know it...but I don't want him to shoot his sister in the face with whatever he's turned into a gun that day (it's against the rules and he loses his toy) and then decide that when he has a real gun it's OK to shoot his sister in the face. I know it's about parenting and knowledge, but he's too smart for his own good and may just not grasp the consequences since he's only 3.
    --"D.B.A.D." --Me

    --Life's tough...it's tougher if you're stupid.

    --"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." -Elbert Hubbard

  9. #9
    Cidp24's Avatar
    Cidp24 is offline Tempus Fugit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    ...Guns have never been anything special while I was growing up. It was the same with most of my friends growing up. They were/are respected, but they were just paper weights if they weren't being used when I was growing up.
    Same here. Guns were always around when I was a kid so they were not really much of a point of interest to me. I was taught gun safety very young.
    *************************
    "It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...
    to another life somewhere in the sun."
    *************************
    "There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)


    Any statements or opinions given in my postings or profile do not reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employer or anyone else other than me. They are my personal opinions or statements only, thereby releasing my employer , any other entity, or any other person of any liability or involvement in anything posted under the username "Cidp24" on O/R.

  10. #10
    luckyme's Avatar
    luckyme is offline The bastard you love, the hero you hate
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    Both my kids (5 and 6) asked to go with me next time I go to the range the other day. I was thinking about taking them and letting them shoot my airsoft "glock." I'm pretty sure my daughter won't like it as she HATES loud noises.

  11. #11
    Interceptor's Avatar
    Interceptor is offline Rifleman
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    Up until a recent Statute change, here in WI a parent could not take their child even target practicing until the age of 12. Now there is no minimum age for target practice with parent and a 10 year old may go deer hunting under the new mentoring program. The program restricts the possession of a single firearm between the mentor and child and the mentor must be within arms reach of the child.
    I believe that the maturity of the child should be the deciding factor. Education should start very young when firearms are in the home and long before the child actually fires them. My son was ready to shoot at age 6 and my daughter a tad older.

 

 

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