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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Exposing Children to Firearms

I was channel surfing this morning while getting ready to head to the convention center and landed on CNN just in time to catch a story on whether it is a good idea to expose children to firearms at an age when they "haven't learned to tie their shoes."  They haven't uploaded video of the segment to their web site yet but the story featured a conversation with a 17 year-old competitive shotgun shooter and his mother in Florida.  The mom mentioned that firearms was always a part of their lives for generations and that they never allowed their son to have access to firearms without supervision.  The basis for the story was the negligent shooting of a two year-old by the five year-old brother in Kentucky recently and the fact that the five year-old had been given a .22 rifle.

I've been a proponent of exposing children to firearms as early as possible (ages may vary based on the maturity of the child) so that the curiosity is taken away, and that they will be taught how to safely handle firearms when ready.  I have done this with my children and it is probably safe to say VSSA members have done the same thing.

While visiting the Savage Arms booth yesterday I happened upon a .22 called the Rascal that is perfect for the young shooter because of it's size.

It's perfect for children whose reach is still too short for the standard youth firearm.  What drew my attention to it was an exhibitor had stopped with her young child who was fascinated by the colors and wanted to try it.  The mom safely took it down and as she helped her son mount the firearm on his shoulder, reminded him not to point it at someone.

People who have been around firearms all their lives know the importance of teaching their children firearm safety.  Part of that is exposing them to firearms and shooting when they are ready.  People in the media, and those who don't come from the firearm community don't understand this and it is likely they fear if we expose our children to firearms and the shooting sports, they will like it.  And that is probably the point of the type of stories like CNN ran - the more people that own and enjoy firearms, the less people will be interested in losing their rights.

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