I’ve seen that some people, most of whom have never fired a gun, are opposed to parents teaching their children to fire guns. I disagree, and feel that children who are interested in firearms should be taught to shoot under responsible adult supervision, once they are mature enough to do so safely.
Children who are taught to fire guns with a responsible adult are far less likely to commit crimes with guns, compared to other children.
Lawful gun ownership and use is good for children. Learning to shoot under responsible adult supervision, and having access to lawful guns as child does not increase that child’s likelihood of committing gun related crimes. Instead, the opposite is true, and gun ownership as a child results in a lower likelihood of criminality. The United States department of justice found that “boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns.” U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, “Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse,” August 1995. Making guns into mystique filled objects will only encourage children to abuse them, they way that some children abuse drugs and alcohol.
The proper age to teach a child to shoot depends upon that individual child’s maturity
I’ve heard some people argue that children should not touch guns, even when unloaded and under adult supervision, or that a particular child was too young to learn to shoot. I disagree with such statements. As discussed above, being exposed to firearms under responsible adult supervision is shown to have positive effects. Furthermore, many firearms such as the Ruger 10/22 are simple to operate and require little physical strength, making them well suited for children to use. Given those facts, the only consideration I can see for determining whether a particular child should be allowed to fire a gun under adult supervision is the ability of that child to do so safely and maturely. That means that the parents of the child should use their own judgment to determine when, under close adult supervision, their child learns to shoot.