Teaching Children to Shoot at a Young Age

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on August 16, 2008 at 12:03 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Pro Gun Rights Articles > Teaching Children to Shoot at a Young Age

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.

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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.

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  • Danny

    I was at the gun range today with my family. After using up all my bullets, my 21 month old son broke free from his mom, came up to my bay and picked up my empty gun (a CZ-75 rental). Before I could take the gun away from him, he held the gun "icoceles stance" and pointed at my target. The R.O./instructor next to me chortled and quipped that my son was doing it better than me! I was more surprised that he could even hold the gun like he did, it was about 30 or so ounces.

    He's still too young to understand the 3 rules of gun safety for children, so I patted him on the head and explained through sign language that the gun is not a toy. But I do intend to teach him to use guns when he grows up. He's showing promise. :)

    • unknown

      only in the USA are people that retarded

      Letting children shoot guns

      • Herrbaggs

        Speaking of retarded, how are you doing unknown? Most of Pol Pot's army consisted of children under 14 years. They did a bang up job of killing millions to bad you weren't their you could have gotten them on the right track.

      • that guy

        only in the USA are people that retarded, NOT letting children shoot guns.

  • Jeff

    Good for you and you son man. I have a 2 1/2 year old and am looking forward to the day I can sit down with him and teach him gun safety.

    I don't know what "unknown" is thinking (obviously isn't) but the best quote I can provide for him/her is: "If guns kill people… then spoons make people Fat!"

  • rifleman

    i agree with jeff….if you hunt,fish,go to the range…your saftey is in ur hands…..i teach my 7yr. old about gun saftey all the time so when he does shoot the cricket i got him it will be 2nd nature….at 8 yrs. old…..so to u mr.unknown….ur a retard

  • John J

    My kids have shot as young as 3 or 4. I have 8 kids and some of them love it some can leave it. I have never had an issue where they were overly curious about the guns in the house.

  • Theresa

    Not sure who Mr. unknown thinks he is but that is the dumbest thing that i have ever heard. My dad taught me and my male cousins to respect weapons and then to shoot firearms and bows. As for "letting children shoot "guns"" you don't have to let them do anything first off, secondly a firearm is not a gun a gun is what is between your legs if you knew anything about weapons or military you would have more respect. In fact go back to school and learn your history! As for the bias that you guys are all assuming that you can only teach your boys to shoot you should spend that kind of time with your girls too. I may not have that good of an aim but i am working on it. on top of that I learned weapons safety at my dad's side from the time i was an 8 year old little girl; and even though i have to resist the temptation to shoot some people because of their stupid tendencies I HAVE NEVER BEEN VIOLENT ENOUGH TO HURT SOMEONE WITH A FIREARM OR ANY OTHER KIND OF WEAPON. That is what learning to respect weapons and human life did not keeping them locked away.