Should Kids Be Allowed to Shoot?

That seems to be the question plaguing the chattering classes in the UK:

“Guns are weapons, not toys, and we have to do everything we can as a society to ensure that children and young people are protected from the accidental injury and death that they cause.”

A force spokesperson said: “The possession of firearms, shotguns and ammunition by young people is covered under the Firearms Act. Young people are subject to strict supervision while using a firearm and appropriate provisions must be in place before a young person is granted a certificate.

So it would seem they need the certificate even for supervised shooting, and now that’s apparently becoming controversial. As one shooter notes, “When we go to championships abroad the majority of shooters are in their late teens or early 20s. The sport is dying in this country because we have no young people coming through.” That’s exactly the idea. They don’t care, because the law is working exactly the way it was intended to work.

15 thoughts on “Should Kids Be Allowed to Shoot?”

  1. Whereas I’m beginning to think kids should be taught to shoot real guns before being allowed toy ones; to make sure they “get” the 4 rules.

    (Never violated them with even toy guns – I mean to shoot every last person I spritzed with the super soaker :) )

  2. L. Neil Smith already answered this question:

    I agree with him: kids should be taught at an early age (about five or six) how to treat a gun safely, how to shoot it, and how to carry it. And they should be allowed to carry guns, too!

    I also agree with the Kathy at the Cornered Cat, who explains that kids should be allowed to handle guns, with adult supervision and the Four Rules in mind, from the moment they could say “Can I see that gun?”–and as often as they say it, too.

    Of course, we’re as likely to do this as we are to legalize machine guns…perhaps even less likely…

    In any case, I’ll be introducing guns to my children as soon as possible!

  3. Kathy’s method is the one I plan to use with my own sprogs, if and when.

    I got gun safety (not the 4 rules formalized as such) beat into my head @ 10-11 or so. Anything remotely gun-shaped gets finger off the go-stick until good and ready (power drill, windex bottle)

  4. It’s child abuse, in the same sense as any bad habit that a parent either intentionally or unintentionally passes on to their children.

  5. Guns ARE NOT toys! That’s why we serve as 4H Shooting Sports instructors and club advisors. By placing guns in the hands of 60-70 youth every year from the ages of 8 to 18, the youth learn gun safety, respect, and life-long skills and activities for recreation and self-defense. They also learn enough to see through the media bias and anti-gun lies all on their own – like when a recent article reported on police confiscating a “22 caliber Ruger 10/22 automatic assault rifle with folding stock”. Some of our kids just laughed.

  6. @MikeB – what’s child abuse? Teaching them gun safety, or not? Children play with “guns” – even if they’re funny-shaped sticks. *Not* teaching them firearms safety would be jsut as much child abuse as not teaching them that cleaning products are not for drinking and stoves are hot.

  7. I started shooting shotguns around 1st grade. I got my first shotgun around 5th grade (hammer cocked single shot .410) and my second shotgun around 7th grade (20 gauge semi auto.) Still have them to this day.

  8. I’m going to abuse my daughter next week. Its going to be horrible. I’m really looking forward to teaching her a lesson that she’ll never forget. She’s going going to cry like the 11 year old that she is ………….. “DADDY ….. LOAD FASTER…..FASTER!!! ….. DADDY …. CAN I SHOOT THE CROW NOW? ….. eew, a spider”

    I’ve got the clip loader ready for action and box of 500 22lr. Its child abuse I tell you. I can hear Prince Charlie crying in the closet about the abuse.

    Monday or Tuesday’s activities include ruger pistol, 10/22, and GLOCK 40S&W. She owns them all. She doesn’t like the GLOCK. Daddy’s thumbs can’t load the mags fast enough.

  9. It’s child abuse, in the same sense as any bad habit that a parent either intentionally or unintentionally passes on to their children.

    Funny, because that means “child abuse” is putting huge smiles of joy on the faces of millions of kids.

  10. It’s child abuse…

    You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. My wife works with victims of child abuse every day. Real child abuse. The kind that scars kids both physically and mentally. Comparing teaching kids a skill that could someday save their life to physically beating or molesting a child is just asinine. You’ve said some real stupid things in the past MikeB, but this one takes the cake.

  11. How about teaching a kid how to draw or play a musical instrument?
    Some life skill that will make them better people.

    Just because you shoot a gun does not mean your child should. I have kitchen knives and a working stove but I don’t take my young daughter in there and show her how to use it. Cause I will come home and the house will be burned down or her arm cut off. She will learn those things when the time is right. Not just because I want her too.

    I think we force our habits/hobbies/whatever on our kids and we justify whatever that is in our minds. It doesn’t mean it’s what a child needs or is even healthy. It just means we’ve read enough or convinced ourselves enough (or don’t even really care enough) to consider it no big deal and natural.

    A child should be learning art and bike riding. Not shooting a gun or in the yard using a chainsaw.

    But that’s the great thing about being a parent, we can put whatever morales/values on our children that we want. Whether it’s that foul language is ok or littering is no big deal.. it’s our prerogative. And screw anyone who thinks otherwise.

  12. Teaching a kid how to use a kitchen is not really any different than teaching a kid to shoot. You have to do it when the time is right, and if they show an interest. We’re not talking about shoving anything down a kid’s throat, but if a kid shows interest and wants to learn, who is the state to say “no?”

    We teach kids to swim, and pools kill more kids accidentally each year than guns do, so I don’t see it as different.

    And what’s wrong with using a chainsaw? I’m relatively glad I was brought up in a house where I was taught how to use tools. It’s certainly saved a lot of money in terms of fixing up things around the house.

  13. @Beau: When do you plan on teaching her to cook?

    I agree that there is such a thing as too young to learn to shoot – if nothing else there’s a physical lower limit on strength and size.

    Where do you draw the line, though? I learned to shoot around 11 or so, my brother would have been 8 and learned at the same time. I know of younger kids who know how to shoot and enjoy the heck out of it, as well as being safe.

    For the record, I was cooking on a gas stove at 10, boiling water and sauteeing ground beef. I had a pocketknife before that (I literally can’t recall a time when I didn’t have one as a kid). Got into a fight in a campground with a kid who stole my matchbox cars – didn’t even think about using it; because that Wasn’t Done.

    Lets see – power tools. Um, 8-10? At least for drills and circular saws.

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