I remember when I was about 10 years old, and began bugging my parents to let me have a BB Gun. When I first asked them for one they were kind of astonished. Well they looked at each other, then looked back at me, then looked at each other again.
Then my Dad said “why do you want a BB gun?” I responded “Oh I don’t know, to go target shooting, a lot of my friends have one why can’t I?” Dad came back with “I’ll think about it and let you know!” I must of got the ok, cause the following Christmas I got my first Crossman CO2 cartridge BB Rifle. Remember those?
Upon removing that rifle from its box and examining it along with my excitement, Dad said “listen to me very carefully, I don’t ever want to know or hear of you pointing that gun at anyone ever, do you understand me?” I said “yes I understand Dad!”
So I began to learn all I could about the rifle and taking it apart and putting it back together again and all about how it worked. You see back in 1969 they didn’t have the internet. Or anything other than a library to go and find anything about firearm safety or target shooting for children. It wasn’t even taught in school.
Its better today than it was
Today we have the greatest library in the world right at our fingertips. Children today have a far greater advantage then I did at 10 years old.
I want to give you in this article some tips to firearm safety and target shooting safety specifically aimed at children.
Train up a child in the way he should go
How old should your child be before you begin training them and teaching them proper firearm techniques? That depends on your wants, your individual understanding, and your desire to allow your child to have a firearm of some type.
At about 10 years old or so children have enough reasoning ability to understand basic safety precautions of firearms. Encourage your children to learn these safety rules, and to follow them. One method that helps is to take them to the shooting range (once they are old enough to handle a firearm) and let them shoot.
Another method is to use airguns in early training and safety education. This will not only further strengthen the other lessons, but will also serve to remove the mystique that has been put up around firearms. It is this mystique that leads to most firearms accidents today.
Always think safety
If your children know that you have gun, don’t try to hide the gun in the house, thinking that the child will never find it. They will. Children have the ability to find anything adults can hide. And, the better something is hidden, the harder the child will look for it, and the more importance it will have to the child once it is found. The solution? Get a Gun Safe!!
If your children have had toy guns they need to know the difference. A firearm is not a toy. Do not treat it like one. Let them know that firearms are capable of bodily injury, destruction and possibly death if misused. Do not “soft-soap” the truth.
Start your children off right by showing them the ropes about guns. This includes showing them the proper procedures for unloading, verifying and handling a firearm. Where available, a certified instructor should be used to teach proper shooting and safety techniques.
Teach them how
Make sure to show your children how to clean and care for a firearm. A dirty, or abused gun is more dangerous than any other. Teach them that firearms jam sometimes and therefore become dangerous. Show them the difference between automatics, semi-automatics, and revolvers. Rifles, shotguns, etc…
Remember, nothing is as good as education, and open, honest discussion. Be sure to follow all of the rules you set for your children. If you violate any of them, the child will feel uncomfortable in following your example.
If you take them to a shooting range you can find instructors there to help in training them also. Show them the proper safety rules at a shooting range. Let them know that when the range instructor says “Cease fire” that means to lay the firearm down and step back away from it.
Teach them to listen
Only when the instructor says “commence firing” do you step back up to the firearm and pick it up. At the range you show them all the proper etiquette of the shooting range. If you don’t know these things then you and your child will have a good time learning them together.
At the target shooting range it makes for great bonding time between parent and child. Not to mention very fun and exciting. Let your child see all the different types of targets to shoot at that are available at the range also. You can even get printable targets right here on the internet to use.
Another good place to get a good understanding of firearm safety and target shooting is to get your children involved in Cub Scouts, or Boy Scouts…even Girl Scouts. In these great organizations they can learn about other types of target shooting such as Skeet Shooting, Trap Shooting, etc.. As well as hunting. Churchill shooting