Dilemma... gun safety for the kid...


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RoostRider
October 20, 2008, 04:10 AM
So, I have a son with a former GF of mine who is a bit of a GreenPeacer (she actually worked for them.. lol), and a vegetarian (when it suits her mood... lol)... as you might assume, she isn't a big fan of guns.... luckily, her new boyfriend likes guns, and that has tempered her somewhat....

my son is 13 years old (today)... he never showed a lot of interest in shooting until recently, and being a non pushy type of parent (and knowing no boy could resist guns forever), I just let him do his own thing... anyways, that's why he hasn't taken a Gun/Hunter Safety Course yet....

He is a pretty mature and responsible kid. So, my plan was to give him a Ruger 10/22 .22 semi-auto rifle for his 13th birthday and sign him up for a Safety Course.... naturally, I thought I'd run this past his mom (she would find out either way)...

He has gone shooting with me several times now and it's a blast. He also loves to play airsoft and that has helped him to grow to like guns.... I have taught him all of the rules of safe gun handling, and also all of the rules of safe airsoft handling.... which is similar, but not the same as gun handling rules...

When I mentioned this B-day present idea to his mom she said "obviously you didn't hear about 'The Incident'".... *don don dooooon*.... "what incident?".... and she goes on to explain to me that she had just taken away his airsoft guns because she came to his bedroom door and knocked, and he said "come in"... and when she came in the door, he stuck his airsoft shotgun in her face and pulled the trigger.... luckily for her, he was right and there was no ammo in the gun... but it still blows out a burst of air and it scared the heck out of her.... she hit the roof (rightly so) and took away all of his airsoft guns (rightly so)... and then told him that he could not have the airsoft guns back until he took a Gun Safety Course.... which is good because he needs to take the course, and I need her to help out since the courses are multi-day and she will have him some of the time that he needs to be in a class....

But here's the part I have issue with.... she is associating these toys with real guns.... she says that he acted irresponsibly with his airsoft (and I agree), and that this demonstrates that he is not mature enough to handle real weapons (I disagree).... I have seen him handle real guns, and he is very respectful of them (even others comment on the care he takes).... the rules for airsoft around here that he broke are "Never shoot at someone who doesn't agree to be shot at", "Never shoot at someone who isn't wearing proper eye/face protection", "Never shoot at the head" and the basic "wow that's freaking RUDE.... and WHAT THE HECK WERE YOU THINKING???... and your mom of all people!!!..."...

I differ with her that this should be treated like he violated a firearm safety rule... first, the thing is not a firearm, it is a toy and he was taught that it was a toy, and that, under certain conditions, it was OK to shoot this toy at people... he did violate airsoft rules ("it's unloaded" doesn't hold any more water with airsoft than with a real gun..... he could be wrong and cause someone real harm!).... but she thinks this shows that he isn't able to handle a real gun (which he has)....

I explained to her that although I would be giving him this gun, it would be no different than if I owned the gun and took him shooting with it.... it would stay in my safe, he would not have access to it without me, and I would be supervising him whenever he would use it.... it was more symbolic than anything, but a symbolism that I hoped would keep him interested in this thing we like to do together... and someday I would let him take the gun with him...

She still insisted that this was a bad idea and that he should not "Be rewarded for misusing one gun by being given an even bigger gun".... which I have issue with because this thing is really just a toy that looks like a gun, and if he had misused some other item in a dangerous way, she would not associate it with guns (I used throwing a rock as an example... assuming he was trying to narrowly miss her or something equally stupid and irresponsible).... she admitted that she wouldn't associate it with guns, and then goes back to how the airsoft is a gun, so it does relate...

I explained to her that, had we taught him to treat that airsoft gun with the same respect as a real gun, it would be very telling of whether he was mature enough to handle a real gun... but because we didn't use that same rule structure, or strict rule structure, it really wasn't the same... what he did was act stupid with a toy.... I even told her that we could implement a "same as a gun" rule with his airsoft, if she thought that was best.... but that punishing him as though it were a gun violation, when it was really a toy, doesn't seem right to me....

She says she is still OK with me taking him shooting.... which is the same net result as if I give him the .22... *sigh*

We have always maintained separate houses with separate rules and separate punishments for whatever he does.... but she thinks this should be different.... *sigh*

So, do I panic and go out and find him a different present for his birthday, and sort of fold to his moms issue about this being a "gun safety" issue... or do I just go ahead with what I think is right, and possibly stir the pot?

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NavyLCDR
October 20, 2008, 04:19 AM
Sorry, RoostRider, I agree with mom on this one. Those habits he has with the "toy" airsoft gun will carry over. My humble opinion is that he doesn't respect the "toy" gun enough, he won't respect the real gun enough.

What I would do: pay for the gun safety course for his birthday. Let him shoot the 10/22 with you for a year and, if all goes well, either give him the gun for his next birthday, or give him the gun + nice scope on it next year.

RoostRider
October 20, 2008, 04:32 AM
Don't be sorry, I am looking for opinions here.... you have one... :)

I plan to pay for the gun safety course either way... and I'm not so sure this would make a good present (not to mention the dilema of trying to coordinate this all with his mom and get him signed up and whatnot before days end)...

I might assume, from your answer, that you would not let the kid play with toy guns like this in the first place. And while that might be a very valid argument, and one I toiled over myself for a while, that is not the course of action that his mom or I took.... that is our fault, and may stand for correction...

That being considered (the fact that he was allowed much more liberal rules with this 'toy') would you still say that his actions indicate how he would treat a gun, which he has been taught to treat with the utmost respect? That is not my experience in watching him handle both...

I see the correlation between the two (and I told her so)... but when his parents essentially said "that correleation doesn't exist here... there are different rules for this 'gun like thing' ".... well, that sort of absolves him of being guilty of misusing something as dangerous as a gun.... doesn't it....

I do agree that it displayed an immature, rude, careless action... something we shouldn't associate with guns... and that this might indicate that he might be less careful with other things that should be given more respect (such as guns, cars, knives, whatever)...

Would you not give your kid a gun for his birthday if he was careless with a rock, but didn't cause any damage, a few days prior to his birthday? (a rock being a good comparison, because it can cause a lot of harm, but isn't likely to, and is very unlikely to kill someone... and we never gave him 'gun like' rules for rocks, but common sense should have guided him in this one)

NavyLCDR
October 20, 2008, 04:42 AM
IMHO, there are too many similarities between the rules of the airsoft gun and the rules for a real gun. To me, there is only one difference. With the airsoft gun, it is OK to shoot people for sport under the appropriate conditions: all parties are wearing the protective equipment and all parties are agreeing to the sporting event. Other than that, I think the exact same rules should apply to the airsoft gun as apply to the real gun. It's too easy to transfer the negligent behavior from the airsoft to the real gun because the items are so similar.

Rock throwing, no, to me that would not negate the birthday present. Or let's say he had a rule to wear a helmet when on the bicycle. I wouldn't think that could be applied to gun safety. But the act of pulling the trigger on the airsoft is just too close to pulling the trigger on a .22, in my opinion.

Why not keep the .22 for a Christmas present?

Aaron12
October 20, 2008, 05:04 AM
An air soft gun isn't a "toy" all guns should be treated with the same respect.

HK G3
October 20, 2008, 05:31 AM
This is probably partially my medical training kicking in, but this just has DISASTER written all-over.

Immature kids (and this is no insult towards your child, it is simply the case that most children are immature for a variety of factors - I am pretty sure we all did immature things at a young age) can have all the gun-safety you want drilled into them, and they will still behave in an immature fashion, with potentially lethal consequences. I can't count the number of times we would try to impress upon teens on various things in clinic, only to see them back for failing to comply to something, and them being in much worse shape than before.

Even when I had a paintball gun at a young age, I never even pointed it at a single member of my family - that was just unfathomable. Him putting an airsoft gun to his mother's head, and pulling the trigger is just a huge red flag against giving him a gun. If you want, stick him in the safety course. But don't give him a gun. Not until he's a lot older and fully comprehends what he did, and the implications behind it.

I don't want to sound like an anti or anything, but seriously, some children are just not mature enough to comprehend the massive responsibility that comes with firearm ownership.

I really say wait until he starts driving. If he handles a car maturely, then maybe it will be time to reconsider the gift, since driving a car is the first time where someone is given a responsibility that can have horrific outcomes if that responsibility is not taken seriously. But until then, I truly feel as if it would be an unreasonably large risk to give him a gun.

Golden Hound
October 20, 2008, 05:56 AM
An Airsoft Shotgun? I've never even heard of that. What does that do? Does it literally shoot shells filled with little Airsoft balls? How can that possibly work?

Hoplophile
October 20, 2008, 07:05 AM
I don't mean to be rude, but I'm with your ex on this one. He pointed what is more or less the closest likeness of a firearm at someone and pulled the trigger. It looks like a gun, it moves small objects at a high rate of speed, and antis hate them. Sounds like it's at least 90% gun to me.

He'll come around.

cambeul41
October 20, 2008, 08:24 AM
I never thought I would be on the side of an anti-gunner, but I find myself there at this time.

[Multiple paragraphs deleted. I don't want to be too rough.]

HKUSP45C
October 20, 2008, 09:38 AM
Apparently I'm in the minority here but I agree with your assesment of the situation.

An air soft gun isn't a "toy" all guns should be treated with the same respect.

Simply saying something doesn't make it so. Airsoft is exactly a toy, designed to be fired at other living things, for fun.

In fact I would say that shooting someone who didn't want to be shot (which is immature and stupid for a variety of reasons) is about as inherently dangerous as throwing a snowball at them. Which, I think, a great many of us have done.

Just because someone displays behavior that is undesireable doesn't mean that their enire maturity level and sense of responsibility in general should be judged by the one incident. Hell, I read on this very site fairly often of someone having a negligent discharge, should all of those people be banned from firearms ownership as "immature and irresponsible?" I mean they had to break at least one of the "four rules" to pull it off.

So, yeah, your kid did a boneheaded thing and should be taught a lesson. I think it's important that you actually focus more on the teaching of the lesson than punishment though.

13 is an awkward time for a boy. In many respects it's a very transitional period with a great deal of impact on one's personality in general. At least, it was for me.

You know him better than I do so I would say you're more qualified to judge his overall maturity level. I would say you're correct in your logic that his idiocy with his mom's mug and his airsoft shottie are not an indicator that he's also an idiot with real, actual, non-toy guns. I think the comparison is apples to buicks.

Vermont
October 20, 2008, 10:38 AM
I think you should give him the gun. You said it would be kept in your safe and he would only use it when supervised.

I would have a serious talk with him about the airsoft incident immediately if you haven't already done so. Then I would give him the gun for his birthday along with the safety course.

benEzra
October 20, 2008, 11:12 AM
Simply saying something doesn't make it so. Airsoft is exactly a toy, designed to be fired at other living things, for fun.

In fact I would say that shooting someone who didn't want to be shot (which is immature and stupid for a variety of reasons) is about as inherently dangerous as throwing a snowball at them. Which, I think, a great many of us have done.
It is NOT designed for shooting people in the face at close range without them wearing eye protection who did NOT consent to being "shot".

Training/playing with Airsofts is fine when (1) the participants have all chosen to do so (i.e., consent) and (2) the participants are all wearing eye protection.

I agree with the mom. Safety course is a good idea, but hold off on the real guns until he's mature enough to handle the Airsofts responsibly, IMO.

Officers'Wife
October 20, 2008, 11:15 AM
Since I don't have children that age I must rely on the wisdom of my ancestors.

I'm told that back in a gentler time my Dad and uncle had air rifles and invented a game called a 'BB gun fight." Now even though these toys barely had the power to propel it's projectile the length of the tool shed Gramps treated the incident as if it had been 'real' weapons and administered very strict punishment.

The theory is simple, the toys are training in use of firearms and need to follow the same rules as firearms. Old fashioned overreaction? Perhaps, but one of the family traditions is that there has not been a firearms related accident on the farm since 1897. Since that tradition stands today, I see no reason to argue with success.

Selena

The Bushmaster
October 20, 2008, 11:27 AM
Unless it was a cap gun and he and his mother were playing cops and robber or cowboys and indians. He was in the wrong. Ya mean ya didn't take him to the woodshed and blister his butt? .22 rifle for his birthday? Absolutely not...Mature? Not on your life..

Just my opinion after raising 5 children (4 boys and 1 girl) and working on 6 grandchildren (4 girls and 2 boys).

TexasRifleman
October 20, 2008, 12:25 PM
If you do allow your kid to play with toy guns, which is a different debate, the toys must go once you start with real guns. Can't have both.

Throw every toy gun in the house in the trash if you plan on continuing him in shooting.

Claude Clay
October 20, 2008, 12:32 PM
in her face.....
burst of air.....

he HAD airsoft equipment/ he HAD a computer and tv in his room/he HAD a cell phone. he HAD to sit on a inflatable doughnut for 6 weeks after his behind was tanned.

and you want to give him a real gun.
unbelievable---you HAD to have made this up

solareclipse
October 20, 2008, 12:33 PM
hang on now.. im way over 13 and i still play with toy guns. nothing wrong with that.

what i would be more concerned with is that he is pointing them at people and developed a "sudden" interest. at 13 it is a pretty wacky age so it could be nothing more than a trend or he can just get the whole idea wrong at this age.

a lot of supervision is needed. you will soon know if he is showing any strange beheavior.

that said, when i was kid i aimed and shot an air rifle (no pellets) at people too... it is curiousity in part, because you just know you cant really hurt them with that gun. yes i know people will jump and say "its a gun period" and that is correct, however, EVERYBODY has done it. do not even dare tell me you havent pulled a toy gun on another person and "fired".

just make sure such explorations do not turn into habits

TexasRifleman
October 20, 2008, 12:35 PM
hang on now.. im way over 13 and i still play with toy guns. nothing wrong with that.

Once you are 18 you can make that decision as an adult, til then a parent should force that, that's their job.

solareclipse
October 20, 2008, 12:38 PM
Oh absolutely. But that's not what it was related to.

Somebody said you can't have both, and thats rubbish, to put it this way. Personal responsibility and accountability are not dictated by whether you are wielding a knife, a mossberg or an airsoft. You can have all and be a model owner, or the complete opposite.

Some people have the assumption that toy antics translate into real steel antics and thats just, well rubbish. I feel like saying rubbish today for some reason

45Badger
October 20, 2008, 01:31 PM
I'm with Mom on this. When my eldest moved from toys to real guns, the toys disappeared. I consider airsoft to be toys and not training aids for anyone but mall ninjas. .22s make good training aids. If you want less than lethal training aids, use simunitions. A gun is a gun and I want no confusion as to what is safe/responsible and what is not. In my home, guns are for two things- target practice (putting holes in paper/busting clays/clanging steel) and killing things (food and bad guys). Not for sticking in someone's face.

As a young man (no longer a little boy) he is faced with lots of choices, and lots of consequences. At some point, we need to leave behind the toys of our childgoods and enjoy the tools (OK, big boy toys) of our adulthood. Same lesson applies to cars vs. go-carts/atvs, street bikes vs. dirt bikes. each comes with more risk, liability, and responsiblity.

The Bushmaster
October 20, 2008, 02:13 PM
Texasrifleman. If I had kept my Hopalong Cassidy two gun (cap guns) rig that I had when I was a kid (my mother convienantly lost it) I would have somthing. I would store his "toys" out of reach, but he may want them when he has kids of his own to hand them down to.

45badger...Good post

Quoheleth
October 20, 2008, 02:27 PM
RoostRider,

As a father of three (11, 7, 4) I would suggest the greatest gift you can give your son right now is some SERIOUS (as in "deadly serious") time. He needs to know (not just "know" but realize) the serious responsibility of firearms. They are tools, but any tool used incorrectly can & will do bodily harm - even if a "joke."

You mentioned getting him in firearms safety classes...this is good, right and salutary. But kick it up a notch and make it a weekend event for the two of you. Enroll yourself with him and the two of you, F&S, do it together. Be serious about it, too - set the example. Don't sit there and act bored because "I know it all."

The next day, instead of buying him a gun for his b'day, go to a range where they rent stuff. Let him pick a couple of suitable rentals out of your pre-planned options and then spend the day shooting with him. Spend that $200 you would have spent on one rifle on a day's worth of shooting. Got an old family firearm? Break it out. This is a special day. (If such a rental place isn't an option, buy the rifle but don't tell him it's going to be his. Next year it can be "Remember your birthday last year and how much you enjoyed shooting? Here's the gun we used.") Observe his habits. Is he putting into use what he just learned? Four rules? Good weapons management? More than that, YOU exercise excellent firearms behavior so he sees it and knows what is correct. Talk with him and listen to him. I guarantee he'll remember a weekend like that - time with dad - for a long time.

You need to do some hands-on work with your son, here. This isn't about pro-gun or anti-gun. It's more basic than that: its gun SAFETY.

Let him see the progression: Gun SAFETY leads to gun MANAGEMENT which leads to gun USE which leads to gun OWNERSHIP (or whatever terms you choose...but show the progression is my point).

My 2 cents...
Q

rfurtkamp
October 20, 2008, 02:31 PM
I'd be appalled if a child of that age pointed something that actually fired in mom's face like that.

He's not six. Even at six it'd be stern talking to with punishment he'd not forget.

The 4H kids I've trained in handgun use know better, and they start at eight.

Get him safety classes, but I wouldn't be rewarding him with his own gun at this point.

I'd probably even tell him that incident cost him his gun and he'd have to earn it back.

JImbothefiveth
October 20, 2008, 02:44 PM
that shooting someone who didn't want to be shot (which is immature and stupid for a variety of reasons) is about as inherently dangerous as throwing a snowball at them :rolleyes:
Um, no, it's shooting them, not throwing a snowball at them.

it would stay in my safe, he would not have access to it without me, and I would be supervising him whenever he would use it
If that's the case, and he never has access to it OR any ammunition, I guess that could be okay. From what I gathered, he wouldn't have any more access to it than if you didn't give it to him, but it would make for a nice birthday.

CNYCacher
October 20, 2008, 02:50 PM
He isn't humble enough to accept the possibility that a gun he knows is empty might actually be loaded.

He is also naive enough to believe that the puff of air directed right at her face couldn't harm her by itself.

He is also immature enough to think that his prank was funny.

Sorry, I have to go with mom on this one.

HKUSP45C
October 20, 2008, 02:57 PM
Um, no, it's shooting them, not throwing a snowball at them.

a·nal·o·gy /əˈnælədʒi/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[uh-nal-uh-jee] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -gies. 1. a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump.
2. similarity or comparability: I see no analogy between your problem and mine.
3. Biology. an analogous relationship.
4. Linguistics. a. the process by which words or phrases are created or re-formed according to existing patterns in the language, as when shoon was re-formed as shoes, when -ize is added to nouns like winter to form verbs, or when a child says foots for feet.
b. a form resulting from such a process.

5. Logic. a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects.

analogy. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved October 20, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/analogy
:rolleyes:

But, then, you probably knew that and were just being intentionally obtuse.

mljdeckard
October 20, 2008, 03:10 PM
This is why my kids don't have any toy guns. They all know, guns aren't toys. The only toy guns my kids have are water or nerf guns that do not resemble a real gun in any way.

Even if you are right, and he doesn't think airsoft and real guns are the same thing, and he handles them correctly, I would still say another layer of emphasis certainly couldn't hurt anything. I would treat it as a threshold for graduating from airsoft to real guns; "You have to grow up now."

yeti
October 20, 2008, 03:20 PM
<<<<<< Was a kid, got away with a lot of stupid stuff, still side with mom on this.

LJH
October 20, 2008, 03:39 PM
RoostRider, I am having a similar issue with my oldest son. So I understand your concerns. For you to post on this forum, you must be having at least some doubts as to if this is a good idea.

You made a comment that if you son had thrown a rock instead of pointing an airsoft gun this would not affect your decision. I beg to differ, Actions, regardless of the tool used indicate a level of responsibility. Mature does not always equal responsible.
You have a tough decision in front of you, and I really don’t know what would be best for either you or your son.

Yea I know, I am of little help :)

LJH

Aran
October 20, 2008, 03:43 PM
Airsoft != real gun.

JImbothefiveth
October 20, 2008, 04:35 PM
In fact I would say that shooting someone who didn't want to be shot (which is immature and stupid for a variety of reasons) is about as inherently dangerous as throwing a snowball at them. Which, I think, a great many of us have done.
I'll post the entire quote this time, and tell you why your analogy is wrong.
Shooting someone is lethal force, shooting someone with an airsoft(very similiar to shooting someone with a real gun) could cause a welt, throwing a snowball at someone might make them cold(and it is not at all similiar to shooting someone with a real gun).

ridata
October 20, 2008, 04:47 PM
You made a comment that if you son had thrown a rock instead of pointing an airsoft gun this would not affect your decision. I beg to differ, Actions, regardless of the tool used indicate a level of responsibility. Mature does not always equal responsible.

I see your point. If he has a problem venting anger, it is one thing. Rocks are rather serious things, able to do a lot of damage. So I would definitely classify a rock being thrown as a reason for not giving him a gun.
If, for example, he traded punches with his older brother or slapped a sybling, I wouldn't see that as so much of an anger problem. I would of course still punish it, but I see them as different.

I fought with my little brother over a BB gun one time (he never gave it to me after he had his 5 shots with it or whatever). Dad didn't let either of us touch a gun for 3 months. That was worth the lesson and it never happened again.

I wouldn't give your son a gun, mostly because he did it to his mom, and the rest because of the rules he broke. After you talk to him, I might consider giving to to him for Christmas.

Zeede
October 20, 2008, 05:00 PM
I'm also going with mom. It's all too possible that if he doesn't learn his lesson now, he might pull the same thing w/ a real gun later on. Telling the cops "I thought it was unloaded" is not going to keep him out of the slammer.

Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I know that in the big picture of things, delaying his getting his first real gun a few years is not going to have any lasting impact. Giving him his first real gun too early might have disastrous consequences.

Cameron

ColinthePilot
October 20, 2008, 05:17 PM
I agree that the gun may be an inappropriate lesson in this case. But there is hope. You can still put him in the safety class (in fact, I would recommend it) and you can still take him shooting with that 10/22, but retain "ownership" of it. Later on down the line, perhaps Christmas or his next birthday, you can give it to him, and it might even be more meaningful. Instead of dad buying him a new rifle, dad gave him a rifle from his own collection.

skidooman
October 20, 2008, 06:25 PM
I remember I was about 5, my cousin had a blue machine gun, the ones that when you pulled the trigger it sounded like a burst of about 10 rounds. I pulled that on my parents once and let about 30 rounds fly, oh man did my butt hurt. But I got to keep all my tow guns, and a year or two after I got a 22 bolt action for Christmas. You can have both toy guns and real guns in the house. I did, I didnt have airsoft, but I had fake ones that my friends and I played with. Granted I was much younger than 13. In this case I think if you want to buy the gun, buy it. Take the safety classes with him. If when he turns 14 or even further down the road is mature enough to handle a real gun. Let him know it's his. I would rather have a gun my dad owned and handed down to me than a gun he just bought me anyway.

Golden Hound
October 20, 2008, 07:22 PM
If I were you, first of all, I'd talk to the kid about what he did. Ask him something along the lines of, I don't know, "why in the hell did you do that?" Have HIM explain why on earth he would think that would ever be an appropriate thing to do. Try to get him to talk about it as much as possible. Try to get a look inside his head. As you talk to him, match your tone and volume of voice and your body posture to his (this is effective, as a psychological technique, to get someone to listen to you very carefully.) When he has said everything he has to say, then you give him a very serious lecture about how what he did was wrong and how important it is to always be as safe as you possibly can when it comes to guns. Don't be too condescending or mean about it, but be very serious. Tell him that since he did what he did, he will have to wait another year or whatever before he gets the 10/22 that he wants. (Also, if it were me, I'd get him a different gun with a bolt action, but that's just me.)

Say something that will appeal to his newfound sense of "manliness" which he will surely be riding high on at 13 years old. Tell him that a real man is always cool and calm with a gun, never wild and reckless, and that now that he's a "young man," it's time for him to stop acting like a little child. If there's one thing that no teenage boy wants to be thought of, it's immature. Take advantage of that psychological vulnerability to instill some discipline in him.

qwert65
October 20, 2008, 07:25 PM
I would agree with the mother on this as well.

On the subject of toy guns, it is perfectly possible to have both(as long as you don't play with the real ones) That same logic would be not riding a carousel bc you have a real horse or can't play with a fake ax cause you use a real one for kindling

It is this simple if someone cannot tell the difference btw a toy and the genuine article then they shouldn't have eithier

#shooter
October 20, 2008, 07:38 PM
Regretfully, another vote for mom. I understand that some parents make a distinction between toy and real guns and that is their prerogative. I have never been a fan of toy guns or paintball for that matter for children. Shooting people is not a sport to take lightly and makes the transition to real guns very difficult.
Go with the prevailing wisdom that the safety course is the bday present and give the gun as a present some other time (if his behavior warrants it of course).

halfbreed808
October 20, 2008, 11:54 PM
"I agree that the gun may be an inappropriate lesson in this case. But there is hope. You can still put him in the safety class (in fact, I would recommend it) and you can still take him shooting with that 10/22, but retain "ownership" of it. Later on down the line, perhaps Christmas or his next birthday, you can give it to him, and it might even be more meaningful. Instead of dad buying him a new rifle, dad gave him a rifle from his own collection." ColinthePilot


+1 on this.:D

distra
October 21, 2008, 12:11 AM
I agree (for the most part) with mom on this one. My son is 3 and he gets time-out for pointing the vaccum hose at the dog. You can not slip on the kid training, not once. What he did was wrong in so many ways and he would be lucky to ever touch a firearm again in my house. I'm not a big fan of airsoft or paintball for that matter because they don't re-enforce "real" gun safety. Until the kid is an adult (which varies with individual) they have a hard time distingushing play (airsoft) from the real thing. Take him to a safety course and drill it in his head not to ever do something like that again unless of course he is protecting his life from an intruder.

RoostRider
October 21, 2008, 03:20 AM
Well, I went with the "panic and find him another present" option.... he got a watch (that he loves) and a wallet (to demonstrate some responsibility with his money) and some money (to keep and use responsibly)....

It was a moral dilemma, and there was an obvious way to avoid the problem.... err on the side of caution... this was also a good way to show mom that I am going to err on the side of caution with him when regarding guns (since she associates them closely).... so it helped there too.... she is an 'ex' after all, and everything helps...

I explained to him why he was not getting the rifle I had planed to give him (it was part of my personal gun collection... and will be later, so no big rush).... I also explained to him that, in my opinion, he did not break the rules of gun safety, simply by virtue of the fact that this is not a gun.... we did not enforce the same rules as real guns about it to begin with, and I want him to treat real guns with more respect than he would treat any toy, and that we should never blur the line between toys and real guns..... but that he demonstrated the type of shortsightedness that can't be tolerated around guns, and that he would have to demonstrate the proper maturity level before he would be given a gun... (also the whole bit about respect for your mother!)... I also pointed out that I was siding with mom on this one, despite my differences about the logic behind it, because it was a serious offense for a whole host of reasons... and pointed out that mom insisting on him taking Gun Safety classes was a good thing, for him, and because it meant she was probably lightening up on the whole gun/hunting issue she has....

He took it all really well and said that he understood the whole thing and why I made the decision I did. He told me that he knew right away that he had made a big mistake with the airsoft and just flat out admitted that he "wasn't thinking"... he knows that there can't be any "wasn't thinking" times when he has a gun, and it seemed to all make good sense to him.... he said thanks for the watch, and that he loves the wallet, so it's fine...

To be perfectly clear hear.... I really don't agree with most of your takes that this thing should be treated like a gun.... I remember having toy guns as a kid, and I remember using real guns as a kid... I never confused the two.... (I was also never quite stupid enough to 'play shoot' my mom, much less with something that could actually hurt her if something were in the barrel...)... there was never a point where someone caught me, or I caught myself, treating a real gun like a toy....

I think he shares that understanding. He is a pretty bright kid (A's and B's), he's pretty responsible (mows lawns for money and does his chores and homework), and I have drilled the responsibility with guns thing into his head, and been shooting with him several times.... as noted, even other parents were commenting on how careful he was with the guns...

To ease some minds here.... I would never trust a kid with "his own gun" in the manner some of you seem to think is meant... although I thought I was plain about it.... he would 'own' the gun in concept only... it would still only get out of the gun locker when I, or some other well trusted responsible adult, were able to oversee his every action.... after Gun/Hunter Safety, he would be allowed to hunt with it outside of my direct supervision, but not without me present.... in summation, it would be no different than if I were to let him use one of my guns for shooting... which I think we can almost all agree, a kid of his age should be allowed to do under proper supervision....

I really appreciate all of your inputs.... most everyone had something to say that made a lot of sense, even if I disagreed with other parts of it.... and some of you had some really really good words of wisdom (even some I originally disagreed with)

Oh well, he will have to wait until another time to get a gun.... but I think he is learning a valuable lesson no matter what about consequences to careless actions.... and how to treat his mom.... *geez*... can you believe he actually did that?

To whoever noted that I might be better to consider a bolt action weapon for his first gun (when the time comes)..... you sound like my dad!!...... whom I respect very much and value his opinion.... I may just do that and keep that nice stainless 10/22.... :)

M203Sniper
October 21, 2008, 03:34 AM
I think you erred correctly on the side of caution;


In the future, because I guess he'll eventually get the 10/22 give mom the keys to the gun lock :evil: even if it's a few years from now - and remind him of the "Airsoft" incident of 2008 :neener:

Trustin
October 21, 2008, 05:05 AM
how many of you baby boomers out there shot your little brother with your pellet rifle you'd regularly knock off birds with? those things drew blood!

good call dad! i only ever got a whipping after pulling stunts like that, and it never taught me anything. sounds like he's taking away something better than a tan hide.

distra
October 21, 2008, 07:58 AM
"All's well that ends well" you made a good call. I know you think there should be different rules for toy guns vs. real, but there is one thing I've learned through dog training and kid raising (sometimes not a whole lot difference :D) is consistancy. You showed great solidarity with mom here that is very important for raising the kid right. Sign him up for the next hunter safety course and enjoy! He'll learn that all important lesson of respect and common sense. ;)

LKB3rd
October 21, 2008, 08:32 AM
The timing is bad to give him a real gun. He might get the impression that you are condoning him acting irresponsibly, even given the fact that it was with a fake gun.

RoostRider
October 21, 2008, 03:24 PM
how many of you baby boomers out there shot your little brother with your pellet rifle you'd regularly knock off birds with? those things drew blood!

This statement should go a long way towards showing how unbiased I am trying to be about this issue (everyone thinks their kid is good/mature/smart/reasonable right?)...

I hope my dad doesn't read this forum.... *sigh*.... I did....

In fact, I have to admit that this goes more to proving why it is that a toy gun should be treated as a real gun.... and sadly goes to disprove my theory that my friends and I never confused the distinction between the two...

I was taught that a BB gun was to be treated like a real gun.... with the exception that I was allowed to tote around my BB gun at will (we lived WAY out in the sticks)... so actually, I guess, what I was doing was not so much treating a toy gun with a lack of respect as I was treating a real gun with a lack of respect (even worse)... but the error in judgment was partly due to the 'confusion' between the two in 'everyones' opinion...

We actually had organized games of capture the flag in which we used BB guns (no pellet guns were allowed.... *and we thought that made it safe... *geesh*)... the rules were-

1- wear eye protection
2- no shooting at the face
3- no high power guns and no more than three pumps in any pump up gun (which works great until somebody decides that the shot is too long to make with only 3 pumps and goes four extra.... and then forgets that he has seven in there and pumps it up with his alloted 3 pumps again.... and then doesn't get the shot off so he holds his fire until you are in nice and close)
4- you were only "out" when you screamed "I GIVE UP" or something similar... hence, usually only after being covered with little welts...

It also goes to show that people can get seriously hurt with 'toy' guns (sort of)..... because I stopped playing when a kid had to have a BB surgically removed from his forehead (the doctor kept telling his mom it was not a ricochet, but she believed her son would never do that, or lie to her about it... *ding ding ding* in my head- now that I am dad*)... but the other kids didn't stop playing until..... you guessed it.... someone lost an eye (so much for always wearing safety glasses I guess)...

I still feel really bad about Mitchels eye (which his dad made him keep instead of getting a glass eye) even though I am not the one who shot him, and I had actually quit playing by then (my sad justification).... but I know that I promoted it, participated in it...


Perhaps I should make an apology to all the nice folks who were wise enough to disagree with me about it all.... but it's really hard to admit when you have been just plain ignorant about an issue, dismissing even your own personal experience from the equation....

There are some changes coming in this house regarding 'toy' guns.... unless I somehow convince myself that my son is somehow above all that again.... *sheeesh*.... and I thought I was being a "good dad".... *sigh*... sometimes things aren't so cut and dried...

Well, at least I'm glad I made the decision I did... even if I feel kind of like a heel for even having to ask people about it... lol...

"All's well that ends well" you made a good call. I know you think there should be different rules for toy guns vs. real, but there is one thing I've learned through dog training and kid raising (sometimes not a whole lot difference ) is consistancy. You showed great solidarity with mom here that is very important for raising the kid right. Sign him up for the next hunter safety course and enjoy! He'll learn that all important lesson of respect and common sense.

I hope his mom appreciates the action I took and the end result (sometimes it takes a minute, but I eventually catch on.. lol).... I could sure use the brownie points after trying to convince her that she was over-reacting... lol

MrCleanOK
October 21, 2008, 05:07 PM
[Deleted]

Didn't see you had made your decision. I agreed with mom, by they way ;)

RKBABob
October 21, 2008, 05:32 PM
Oops... just read your post. Good decision.

44Magnum
October 21, 2008, 06:05 PM
Good choice.

SonOfRoost
July 28, 2010, 12:28 AM
I would just like to set the record straight, I learned a lot from my stupid stunt and am now the proud owner of the aforementioned ruger 10/22, as well as hopefully being able to pay for a 1911 by the end of the summer... Let it never be said I don't learn from my mistakes! I've also gotten several new airsoft guns since, as well as my hunters safety permit.
Sincerely, SonOfRoost (get the name yet?)

Sgt_R
July 28, 2010, 01:01 AM
If I saw my kid doing something stupid on her bicycle, I wouldn't run out and buy her a motorcycle for her birthday.

R

ol' scratch
July 28, 2010, 01:14 AM
Deleted due to stupidity:)

NavyLCDR
July 28, 2010, 01:15 AM
If I saw my kid doing something stupid on her bicycle, I wouldn't run out and buy her a motorcycle for her birthday.

R

Not even 1 1/2 years later?!? What a hard a$$! Y'all do realize this thread is 1 1/2 years old, right?!?

Good on you Son of Roost! Look at the options for that 10/22. I started with a stock carbine model. Got a Kidd two-stage match trigger for it. Then replaced the barrel and stock with a match barrel and thumbhole stock. I just won 2nd place with it in a 100 yard competition and they were all shooting centerfire rifles with expensive scopes and spotting scopes and expensive bench rests. My 10/22 shot better than 10 of theirs! :-) and with only a BSA Sweet 22 scope on it!

alohachris
July 28, 2010, 01:29 AM
Thread from the Dead

.455_Hunter
July 28, 2010, 01:45 AM
Welcome to THR SonofRoost!

I apologize for the members who are having some difficulty actually READING this thread and think it is a typical "zombie thread", or who are still providing their opinion on your Dad's situation from two years ago... :rolleyes:

Thanks for becoming a responsible gun owner- enjoy your Ruger and upcoming 1911! :)

SonOfRoost
July 28, 2010, 04:29 PM
I will thank you very much, .455, good to be on the forum

cambeul41
July 28, 2010, 06:09 PM
Welcome to THR. Discussions like this benefit us all.

ForumSurfer
July 28, 2010, 06:25 PM
Edited because I read the first 2 pages too quickly without realizing the date...

:banghead:

Congrats on learning your lesson.

I too did several stupid things growing up, and now I have a son that continues the tradition from time to time.

danprkr
July 28, 2010, 07:08 PM
Disregard, I didn't look at dates either.


Welcome to the wonderful world of of gun ownership. Just continue to be aware that with that freedom comes responsibility and you'll do fine.

hammerklavier
July 29, 2010, 12:01 AM
Welcome to The High Road, SonOfRoost.... This is a great story, sounds like you have a good Dad.

SonOfRoost
July 29, 2010, 12:07 AM
I do have a great Dad, and have not had any kind of firearms safety issue since then. And thanks for the welcome everyone!

Sgt_R
July 29, 2010, 12:15 AM
Wow, my bad. I guess I should read the entire thread next time, not to mention check the dates...

Anyway, welcome to THR. I'm glad that you 'learned your lesson,' so to speak, and hope that you enjoy a lifetime of firearms ownership. Good luck getting that 1911, I've had my eye on one lately too.

R

sarduy
July 29, 2010, 12:36 AM
I explained to her that, had we taught him to treat that airsoft gun with the same respect as a real gun, it would be very telling of whether he was mature enough to handle a real gun... but because we didn't use that same rule structure, or strict rule structure, it really wasn't the same... what he did was act stupid with a toy.... I even told her that we could implement a "same as a gun" rule with his airsoft, if she thought that was best.... but that punishing him as though it were a gun violation, when it was really a toy, doesn't seem right to me....




I play Paintball (woodsball style) with a lot of friends (+30) at once, and that means shooting at the other team (with paintballs) and be very "VERY" trigger happy... but that doesn't mean i'll do the same with my "Real Guns" i dont even touch the trigger in my guns while i have the finger on the trigger with my paintballs-guns all the time... but hey... it's a game.


on a side note, i play realistic when we play "realistic game" or training scenario.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzXJBr35pbQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHO8lr_adBE&feature=related

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