Can you influence your kids to like shooting?


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Lone_Sheep_Dog
June 10, 2010, 11:28 PM
My father owned several guns but he rarely shot them. He didn't make a hobby out of shooting. He did teach my brothers and I to shoot. I am the only one who likes guns in the family now. My brothers don't even want any of my dad's old guns.

Is it possible to influence your kids to get into shooting? Is it possible for you to try to influence them into shooting and they just don't get into it even if it is your main hobby? I just hope my kids will enjoy shooting like I do. It would be a shame for my guns to be sold off after I'm gone.

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Kentucky_Rifleman
June 10, 2010, 11:55 PM
That's a good question, and I can't offer a good answer.

I know that I loved guns as soon as I loved anything. I have pictures of myself from before I can remember well, and the happiest I look in any photo is when I'm playing with a toy gun.

My father hunted and shot, and that's something we did together. That surely had some influence on me, but my passion for guns and shooting far outstrips anything Dad ever felt about it.

Conversely, Dad was an avid RC airplane builder and flier. He was as passionate about the RC planes as I am about guns, but I never caught the bug. I was happy to go with him when he flew, happy to hang out with him while he worked on them, but I have no interest in them outside of his influence, and haven't been around any of that since he died a decade ago.

KR

Carter
June 11, 2010, 12:08 AM
Its like any other hobby, sport, etc. It has to be fun. Safety rules are important of course, but scarring them or being the range nazi would run them away more than if you were an anti probably.

Remember a younger kid may not find shooting at the same paper target exciting. Try using balloons as targets. Colorful and make a satisfactory noise and effect when shot. They are also easier to hit than a bullseye making them feel accomplished. I'm 21 and use this for shotguns and my gf when she shoots a .22 (not comparing my gf to a kid).

Also, you may feel comfortable about this or not its up to you. If they have a favorite cartoon or what not with a evil villain print out a picture of that character and make that a target. For example...if they watch spiderman use Venom or Carnage. Other monsters or characters work well also. I wouldn't use any real people characters though, gets odd looks, no matter how much of a creep that person or character is.

I'm trying to do the same thing you are but with my dad. He is a retired air force Major that saw some people blow their heads off playing around with revolvers back in the day. He's been fearful of guns ever since. Can't even stand a nerf gun pointed in his direction.

BLACKHAWKNJ
June 11, 2010, 12:16 AM
You can point them in the right direction, but if they don't take to it I don't think it's wise to force it. I have known a lot of people who were forced to take music lessons when they were kids and say that soured them on music.
You can ensure they understand firearms safety, range courtesy, etc.

degunner
June 11, 2010, 12:30 AM
My kids boy(13) and girl (12) started with basic gun safety and had a good day at the range, next thing you know they are asking when can we go again. My daughter could care less about the weather as long as we go to the range on the weekend, we have shot in the snow, snow showers, drizzle to just short of a monsoon level of rain, had the targets freeze to the backers, and boiled ourselves in the sun. I honestly think she may love the sport more than I do and I didn't think that was possible. The boy on the otherhand looks at it like a social event where he gets to hangout with the adults and be one of the guys. Both of em are getting ready for small bore comp. trap and skeet, but they both still like EBRs and handguns. I never pushed them but I did introduce them to shooting sports, I have shown them the various sports and asked if they want to try any, last year they were happy to plink and this summer they have asked to do competiitons seriously. If they ever say they donn't want to do it well then it will be over cuz kids activities are supposed to be fun for the kids. I do not need to relive some long lost glory or stardom through my kids I want them to have fun, be safe and supervised and learn what hard work and practice can get you, with shooting sports we have all of that and something else over baseball and dance--direct competition parents vs. kids. No I do not let them win, but they are getting pretty close. One day it will probbably happen and be special because of that and I will be proud of them for out shooting dad this weekend. I almost think the smile on the face would be worth losing once just to see it, but not this weekend :)

degunner
June 11, 2010, 12:34 AM
I agree with Carter that reactive targets are more stimulating for young shooters and they give instant feed back that keeps the excitement level up. Spinners- move and make a plink,ping sounds. Balloons pop, Clays shatter, cans make noise and fall over.
Depending on the target and ammo also closer targets (paper) allow better groups which help with confidences and self estee and this helps make that first trip in to a second trip.

chute2thrill
June 11, 2010, 12:49 AM
some people love to shoot and some dont.. dont force the ones that dont and definatly, dont force the ones that do...

possum
June 11, 2010, 03:33 AM
yep i agree you have to make it fun, and when they enjoy it and they do good at it, which builds thier confidence they are alot more likly to enjoy it.

Patriotme
June 11, 2010, 04:15 AM
I pay my kid for bullseyes. If I move her up to a larger caliber (.22lr to .38 Special for example) I give her a bonus. It works out ok. I work the other guns into the mix just so she doesn't forget how to operate them and I increase the amount when holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc roll around.

Agostini
June 11, 2010, 05:55 AM
You can expose your kids to firearms, teach whatever you know, go shooting, have fun, but in the end they'll decide whether guns will be part of their lives.

Sav .250
June 11, 2010, 06:33 AM
"You can lead a horse to water but you can`t make him drink." :)

possom813
June 11, 2010, 06:57 AM
You can lead a horse to water but you can`t make him drink.

But you can push the horse in and he's gotta swallow some ;)

On a more realistic note, my daughter is 7 and she's still on the pellet gun for now. She's getting better, but she's still 7 and I don't believe she's quite mature enough to handle her cricket on a regular basis.

I've taken her to our range and she's shot the cricket a few times, but sticks to the pellet rifle for the most part. I've tried to teach her at her own pace, but still, there are things she needs to improve on.

I say that, because sometimes people forget that shooting is supposed to be fun. But at the same time, while having fun, you have to remind the kids(and yourself sometimes) about the safety aspect. If you drone on and on about safety, then kids seem to lose interest.

I try to teach a little and have a lot of fun. She's getting better and better with the gamo and will soon move up to the cricket and leave the gamo behind for her sister. Her biggest issue now is over-excitement and she tends to turn around with the rifle and sweep me and the rest of the folks out there. Once she breaks that habit, she's good.

I do like the idea about paying for bullseyes, I hadn't thought of that.

Also, the dollar sixpacks of cola at any dollar store are great for reactive targets, but you have to clean them up.

Another thing we've been playing with are the little green army men from Walmart, she's getting pretty good at hitting those with the gamo at 50 feet.

Rambling a little because I'm a little tired, but I think most of that made sense.

Basically, take them with you when you're going to the range, let them watch, buy them a good pellet gun, teach them the proper techniques with the pellet rifle, make sure not to drone on one topic, keep their attention, be safe, have fun.

Sam1911
June 11, 2010, 07:04 AM
Wow. This is a great question and one that I've thought about myself.

My experiences almost exactly mirror Kentucky Rifleman's:
My father hunted and shot, and that's something we did together. That surely had some influence on me, but my passion for guns and shooting far outstrips anything Dad ever felt about it.

Conversely, Dad is an avid RC airplane builder and flier. fisherman. He was as passionate about the RC planes fishing as I am about guns, but I never caught the bug. I was happy to go with him ... but I have no interest in fishing outside of his influence...

My kids are modertely interested in shooting. The two oldest (8 and 5) have shot with me occasionally since they were both 3. I don't know if either will ever have any interest in competing or if the constant presence of shooting activities in their lives will eventually influence them to pursue something else that interests them more. Maybe because that other persuit seems more novel and more "theirs."

Similarly, my Dad never worked on our vehicles. Understood how engines and mechanical systems work (he's an engineer after all) but didn't build up or repair any of our rides when I was a kid and always bought pretty plain jane cars/SUVs. When I became old enough to learn such things, vehicles (well, Jeeps and trucks) became one of my personal passions and that was my thing that I learned on my own and practiced on my own -- almost entirely outside of his influence.

I wonder if he'd have been a die-hard gear head if maybe I'd have found some other hobbies as I carved out my own little niche in the world. Hard to say.

Manco
June 11, 2010, 10:22 AM
Well, in general people these days are "influenced"--or rather indoctrinated--by the media and social institutions from a young age to hate guns (but love them in movies, apparently :scrutiny: ), so I suppose that doing the opposite is also possible. It's a lot easier to teach kids to hate, though, through misinformation, but if they're given an honest perspective and some positive hands-on experience, then they can decide for themselves whether they're naturally inclined to enjoy shooting. It's more of an anti-negative-influence than an actual influence, but I'd never suggest indoctrinating kids to love or hate anything like anti-gunners and environmental extremists, for example, try to do (I'm all for conservation, but I'm even more for common sense and critical thinking as opposed to the latest fad to supposedly save something).

My father owned several guns but he rarely shot them. He didn't make a hobby out of shooting. He did teach my brothers and I to shoot. I am the only one who likes guns in the family now. My brothers don't even want any of my dad's old guns.

My dad owned at least three guns that I recall: an M1 carbine (like the one he carried in 'Nam), a Colt M1911 (ditto), and a Walther PPK. The only gun that he talked about much was the PPK for some reason, but he never shot them (that I'm aware of), did not keep them loaded for defense (I don't recall having ever seen any ammo in the house), and neither encouraged nor discouraged anybody to like guns and shooting. Without saying a word, he sold them all at some point in time, so I don't have any of them now. My own interest in firearms as a hobby and for defensive purposes far exceeds his, so I guess I'm naturally inclined toward liking them, although I imagine that I would have become a gun owner a lot sooner if my dad had encouraged the family to shoot and become more comfortable and familiar with firearms (particularly as kids--all I ever shot as a kid was a BB gun, learning all by myself, but it was still a form of shooting).

Is it possible to influence your kids to get into shooting?

All you can or should do is encourage them in order to see whether it catches on. Sometimes the shared experience of a fun family outing that involves shooting can positively influence them a bit, as we're all in large part a collection of associative (i.e. interrelated) experiences and memories.

Is it possible for you to try to influence them into shooting and they just don't get into it even if it is your main hobby?

I think it is both possible to "brainwash" them into liking something to some varying degree (not recommended! :eek: ), as well as for them to reject encouragement or even indoctrination altogether (depends on the individual). Hopefully whatever decision they make will be based on real knowledge and personal preferences rather than somebody (e.g. parents or the media or their schoolteacher) beating some kind of dogma (which always includes a huge amount of ignorance) into their heads. :uhoh:

I just hope my kids will enjoy shooting like I do. It would be a shame for my guns to be sold off after I'm gone.

I'm with you there, but individuals ultimately have to decide for themselves who they are and what they like to do. Even if shooting doesn't catch on with your kids, however, hopefully their memory of you would give your guns a special meaning to them, and of course there will probably be grandkids someday who may be interested. ;)

Similarly, my Dad never worked on our vehicles. Understood how engines and mechanical systems work (he's an engineer after all) but didn't build up or repair any of our rides when I was a kid and always bought pretty plain jane cars/SUVs. When I became old enough to learn such things, vehicles (well, Jeeps and trucks) became one of my personal passions and that was my thing that I learned on my own and practiced on my own -- almost entirely outside of his influence.

My main interests are exclusively my own, as well, as nobody else in my family is into firearms or astronomy (I'm "shooting for the stars," I guess ;)). I don't believe that I would have been discouraged had elder family members had the same interests, though, because I'm not known to be "rebellious" in that way (I like what I like and don't feel a need to either be the same as or different from anybody else).

TX1911fan
June 11, 2010, 11:00 AM
Start with a .22. That's the most important thing. And if you take your kids, especially young kids, then remember that you are there for THEM. You can go by yourself or your buddies if you want to shoot every gun in your arsenal and stay there for 10 hours. If you take your kids, it is THEIR time. You focus on them. Encourage them, never criticize, never raise your voice, and, if they get bored, even if after only 30 minutes, then LEAVE! If they leave thinking what a fun time that was, they will want to go back. If they leave thinking "every time we go I have to stay and watch dad shoot his guns for another hour" they will not want to come back. Keep in mind, for a 10 year old, an hour is like a week. I used this process with my daughter, and she loves to shoot. My son got dragged along, got bored, and now doesn't like so much. If you really want kids to like shooting, you have to make some sacrifices early on. Now, my daughter will stay at the range all day long if she can.

Chemist
June 11, 2010, 11:01 AM
+1 to Sav .25, but always be careful not to drown the horse!

pockets
June 11, 2010, 11:21 AM
You can lead a horse to water (influence) but you can't make him drink (like shooting).
Both of my sons grew up in a house with guns of all sorts, both learned to shoot well, and one son even went hunting with me for awhile.
Neither of them "liked" shooting enough to retain it as a hobby for themselves.

Carter
June 11, 2010, 11:31 AM
Well, in general people these days are "influenced"--or rather indoctrinated--by the media and social institutions from a young age to hate guns (but love them in movies, apparently ),

Don't forget Call of Duty...*sigh*


However kids aren't generally interested in the hunting rifle, but the flashy ones. Maybe a tricked out .22 if they find it fun?

You could even get them airsoft guns to shoot at the house? I grew up with those (parents anti anything that could be remotely destructive...) and had a lot of fun with them. Got me interested in the real life versions. Taught me how to use such rifle to a good degree as well. Also, if you have the backyard or basement for it you could set up a tactical range for the airsoft guns. They would love that. As they progress in age and maturity you could move that on to the real range (if it is permitted).
Paintball would be another route, but more expensive and messy. Plus not as firearm like as airsoft. Airsoft guns can range from $12 walmart specials or $1200 or more fully auto m60's. Your choice.

Just don't over kill the safety thing. Teach them of course, but if you scare them s***less they wont like it. Nor will they respect it if you're super anal about it. But don't let them do anything dangerous. Its a tricky business.

Here's another idea. Get bowling pins and play bowling with 22's. You can get the cheap plastic ones or real ones, up to you. Saw it on youtube. Looked really fun.


Good luck

DammitBoy
June 11, 2010, 11:35 AM
My Dad taught us gun safety and basic marksmenship. Out of five sons I'm the only one involved with owning and shooting firearms. He loved to golf, I hate golf.

My daughter loves to go shooting and my son isn't interested in the least.

ArmedBear
June 11, 2010, 11:37 AM
Is it possible to influence your kids to get into shooting?

Absolutely.

Keep your nicer guns in a locked glass cabinet. Wear a holstered handgun around the house. Make sure they see guns, and that they are YOURS.

Do NOT let your kids touch the guns. Do not let them play with toy guns. Ground them for two weeks if they come with 5 feet of a firearm of any kind. Let them read books about guns, though, and watch movies involving firearms. Just never let them touch one.

By the time they're 15, the only thing in the world that they'll want to do is get their hands on a gun and go shooting!:D

Carter
June 11, 2010, 11:38 AM
ArmedBear,

you are an evil evil man. But that would definitely work. You gonna write a book on how to raise kids using that method?

I was being serious about it working, not sarcastic.

nyrifleman
June 11, 2010, 12:00 PM
ArmedBear, If I were your kid, I'd hate you with a bitter passion!

On a serious note, I think it's important not to force anything on your kids. Wait for them to ask you if they can go shooting with you (if they're old enough of course... if not, tell them what age you feel is right and make it a big event on their birthday). Meanwhile, go to the range regularly without them. I'm lucky in that my fiancee shares my passion about shooting, so it'll be an activity both their parents exclude them from.

I never needed telling. I was playing with toy guns (or sticks that were supposed to be guns) as far back as I can remember (even though it wasn't so popular with our liberal neighbors... my parents go on the warpath if anyone tries to take away something their kid sees as fun). There was no question about whether or not I'd like to learn the real thing. My dad took me shooting when I was 8.

CraigC
June 11, 2010, 12:33 PM
Start them early and before they play video games. Make it fun and take them shooting whenever you can. The key is to influence them early and often. They may or may not get into it but either way they'll make an informed decision, rather than getting their education from video games and the evening news.

rondog
June 11, 2010, 12:57 PM
I got my grandson started in shooting, and now he bugs me all the time about going to the range. He loves it, is very safe about it, and is a pretty good shot. Little hog shoots up all my ammo though.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/misc%20shooting/200810051650002.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/misc%20shooting/mp501.jpg

WhippingBoy
June 11, 2010, 12:59 PM
Oddly enough, ArmedBear's method is precisely what my parents did to me. Well, almost. They didn't own any guns, nor were any around the house. The rest is on target: I wasn't allowed toy guns, not even squirt guns really. Anything that looked like a gun was promptly confiscated. So, my toy guns were kept secreted away.

Now movies; hardly any restrictions were in place there. All manner of shoot-em-ups were ok, just don't pretend to do that yourself. Crazy, eh?

Well, now 30 years later I have my own range dug into the front yard and own a modest collection of pistols, rifles, and a shotgun. That's only 5 guns, but I just love shooting them! I load my own ammo and carry a 1911 IWB everywhere I go. I just can't get enough of practical hand-gun shooting. I even compete in IDPA every once in a while.

Surely, familiarity breeds contempt, and absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Now my three kids (3,6,8 yrs) see dad and his guns, but it's so commonplace they couldn't care one bit about them. The oldest one could do 4h shooting, but who would want that? Guns are boring . . .she says. Sheesh!

Here's the last irony to my story: my mother, who instituted the gun ban at home, now has a CCW permit and is shopping for a pistol! Reality caught up, I'd say.

buck460XVR
June 11, 2010, 02:55 PM
You can expose your kids to firearms, teach whatever you know, go shooting, have fun, but in the end they'll decide whether guns will be part of their lives.

Yep........and that's the way it should be. Sometimes they want to imitate you and be just like you and other times they want and need to be their own person. What their friends like to do has as much influence on them as what you do with them. Many parents in their scheme of trying to educate, drive their kids away with negativity and constant criticism. Keep it positive and upbeat regardless of their success. Even if they don't become the best at something doesn't mean they can't enjoy it.

Start them early and before they play video games. Make it fun and take them shooting whenever you can. The key is to influence them early and often. They may or may not get into it but either way they'll make an informed decision, rather than getting their education from video games.

My youngest son(17) is into video games.......mainly first person/third person shooter games. He is a better shot at the range than I am mainly because of all the practice he gets between range sessions while playing video games. Leading a running target/lining up sights and placement of crosshairs is the same on video games as it is in person. The hand-eye coordination is exactly the same. On top of that he can basically name virtually any gun ever used by any military organization and can tell you their limitations and their primary use. He also looks forward to using the real models of guns of those that he uses in the video games......i.e. my '03 Springfields, Colt 1911s, Model '97 trench guns, revolvers, coach guns and levers. In my sons case, they have not been a deterrent to guns and shooting sports, but an enhancement. Besides........I kinda like 'em also.:D

rr2241tx
June 11, 2010, 06:46 PM
Take your kids hunting and you won't be hunting your kids.

My boys grew up in town and military bases in a nice selection of unsavory places so when I got retired, I built us a shooting range in the back yard with animal gongs and paper target holders with a shaded shooting bench big enough for all of us to shoot at the same time. Then I bought three identical Marlin .22s and a cases of ammo. We had several sessions of safety training and the standing challenge to shoot against Dad for gas money. I made sure to lose at least once a week and before long I got to shoot with the boys pretty regularly. I was real popular when gas was almost $5/gallon although I was no longer missing on purpose by then. Both of them are avid hunters and recreational shooters now and regularly send me iPhone pictures of their targets hoping I am going to send gas money again. They went through the safe and put dibs on everything in there about the time they got their drivers licenses so I know they'll check on my health once in a while. My guns are not going to the Feel-Goodie Gun Buy-Back Program.

Manco
June 11, 2010, 07:35 PM
Keep your nicer guns in a locked glass cabinet. Wear a holstered handgun around the house. Make sure they see guns, and that they are YOURS.

Do NOT let your kids touch the guns. Do not let them play with toy guns. Ground them for two weeks if they come with 5 feet of a firearm of any kind. Let them read books about guns, though, and watch movies involving firearms. Just never let them touch one.

By the time they're 15, the only thing in the world that they'll want to do is get their hands on a gun and go shooting!:D

I take it that you're kidding, but responding in earnest to the general concept anyway, while this certainly would be highly effective in piquing their curiosity, it is no guarantee (even after 15 years ;)) that they would develop a long-term interest in firearms. As a kid I had cap guns, squirt guns, miniature replicas, and even a BB gun (haven't shot my eye out yet, but there's still time!), and this doesn't seem to have diminished my interest in real firearms any. It's probably a better (and safer) idea to let children become familiar with handling firearms from an early age (unloaded and under close supervision) in order to satisfy their curiosity rather than effectively daring them to defeat one's security measures and play with one's guns when nobody is looking (you'll shoot your brain out, kid :uhoh: ).

Enachos
June 11, 2010, 08:25 PM
I don't see how anyone can't love guns! My oldest memory of my father was of him letting me handle his 4" Smith and Wesson revolver and his 12 gauge shotgun (unsure of the model).

I was simply fascinated with firearms since a kid and it's no wonder why I'm such a gun lover!

bannockburn
June 13, 2010, 06:00 PM
I never needed to influence my kids about guns and going shooting. Both my son and daughter came to me and asked me to teach them regarding their proper use and safety. I also let them pick out their own guns when it was time. The only one I bought for my son without his input was his first centerfire handgun. I wanted something that could be used both DA or SA first shot, was equipped with a safety that easily allowed that transition, and was in 9mm. I picked a Taurus PT-92 and he has been very happy with it.

walt501
June 13, 2010, 07:13 PM
Here's my experience. My two boys were 4 and 5 when the sling shots came home and a cardboard range was set up in the basement. The importance of proper eye protection was drilled into them before they they could shoot. That provided weeks of entertainment. They were 6 and 7 when the BB guns arrived along with another lesson on eye protection. Thousands of BB's went into a cardboard range. Then at ages 7 and 8 it was off to the north woods to camp, which was their favorite thing to do in the whole world at that time, only this time the old Winchester 62A pump I had learned on as a kid came along and so did a box of clay pigeons. The clays were placed in the branches of shrubs with a hill behind for a backstop. My oldest was concerned about the recoil of such a high power rifle - until he took the first shot. Then the competition was on as to which one could break the most clays in a row.

They're almost 22 and 23 today. My oldest is in the military and loves shooting handguns. He can out shoot the old man anytime, but I haven't told him that yet. My youngest has gone on to work with computers, but just recently said that that if we were to put a Trijicon sight on our M4 rifle he'd love to shoot it as that's what he uses in one of his computer games.

So my advice would be to start them early, and combine shooting and firearms training with other activities they already enjoy. Hope this helps.

wishin
June 14, 2010, 09:22 AM
You can expose your kids to firearms, teach whatever you know, go shooting, have fun, but in the end they'll decide whether guns will be part of their lives.
I couldn't have put it any better!

Manco
June 14, 2010, 12:11 PM
I don't see how anyone can't love guns!

Honestly, I feel the same way. I mean, what sort of person wouldn't at least consider guns somewhat cool because they go bang and allow ordinary people to wield the awesome power of life and death? (not that I couldn't kill somebody with a pencil if I were so inclined, but guns are usually more effective) One may fear the awesome responsibility that goes with such power, especially if one is the careless type, but to dislike or even hate guns seems crazy to me. :scrutiny:

Maybe some people are just brainwashed to say that they hate guns, considering how many of them probably enjoy watching movies that often exaggerate the level of violence of most uses of guns (apart from all-out warfare). Or maybe some people are afraid of themselves, believe it or not. I remember watching a video in which anti-gun activist and actor Sigourney Weaver (her name begins with "Sig" and has "Weaver" in it--oh, the irony! :D) was being introduced to shooting automatic weapons by director James Cameron. She actually enjoyed it, whereupon he quipped "Another liberal bites the dust" (obviously kidding, being on the liberal side himself, albeit with some mixed or moderate views). Afterward, Weaver said that in retrospect she didn't like having a feeling of such power and what it brought out in her. I take this to mean that she doesn't trust people who are not in authority (somebody has to keep the peace), including herself. How sad is that? We gun lovers are supposed to be the paranoid ones who don't trust people, but if you think about it just a little, we have to trust fellow gun owners quite a bit. It's the trust of government authority versus oneself and other decent folks (and most people are decent enough or else we wouldn't have societies at all) that separates those who tend to hate guns from those who tend to like them. Interestingly, they don't necessarily trust the government to do much else right, aside from keeping the peace, yet they want the government to do everything for them anyway. :scrutiny: I'm trying to keep this High Road here, but doesn't this seem kind of...childish? :uhoh:

BikerNut
June 14, 2010, 06:48 PM
I think what's more important than influencing your kids to like guns is to influence them to think for themselves, and to come to their own conclusions about guns, shooting, shooting sports, self defense, second amendment issues, etc... despite the liberal drivel that's driven into them by the school system.

You have to be a parent to have influence, and if your kids see you as a reasonable, responsible, respected and intelligent person who is a thoughtful, caring and loving parent... who happens to like guns... then that alone is a major influence.

My oldest son wanted an air rifle when he was 10, so I bought him one and taught him the rules of safe gun handling. He had a lot of fun with it. When he was 18, I took him to an indoor pistol range with a .22 SA, a .38 DA, and a 9mm auto. He enjoyed it a lot, and shoots better than his old man. But it was just a one-time thing with him.

My youngest never had much experience with anything other than tacticool airsoft, so I took him to an Appleseed with a 10/22 and an AR-15. He had a good time, but probably still prefers the X-Box version of firearms.

They may not grow up as avid shooters or gun owners, and that's OK. I just don't want them to grow up as anti-gun, anti-2A voters that believe anything the anti-gun activists spew out.

Especially since they will inherit a lot of guns someday...

ArmedBear
June 14, 2010, 07:06 PM
rather than effectively daring them to defeat one's security measures

Oh, you're absolutely right. The question was how to make them intensely interested in guns, not how to keep them safe.:D

If you want to keep your kids from shooting themselves or someone else, that would be a bad way to do it.:)

W.E.G.
June 14, 2010, 07:14 PM
In a suburban area, where even BB-guns and tin cans will get four police cars at your front door in three minutes, you might as well take a whizz up a rope.

AMHIK.

I have this fantasy that there are still country kids who spend afternoons in the fields and woods.

As to whatever guns I may own now, my worst nightmare is that there will be more than one or two guns in my "estate" when my time is up.

jnyork
June 14, 2010, 07:22 PM
My dad sure influenced me.
'
On VJ day I was 5 years old. We heard the news on the radio. To celebrate, Dad took his 1903 Colt 38ACP out on the back porch and ripped off a full magazine into a dirt bank by the chicken coop. I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen and I have been a gun nut ever since. I still have the Colt and take it to the range every so often and exercise it a little. :D

ArmedBear
June 14, 2010, 07:25 PM
LOL

I take it you didn't live downtown.:D

Sam1911
June 14, 2010, 07:33 PM
I take it you didn't live downtown.

That's funny. I shoot occasionally with my good friends up at Wilkes-Barre Rifle and Pistol club. Their history says that from 1923 to 1948 their range was 4 blocks from the square at the center of town! I doubt they had the 300 yd. rifle range they have now, but it would be a rush to run IDPA matches in the middle of the city! Might complicate muzzle discipline issues, though... :what:

Lee Roder
June 14, 2010, 09:40 PM
You can influence your kids to like anything, but you can't make them. And life is just too short to "learn to like" anything. As a former kid myself, I really think "parental influence" does more harm than good. They're different, not clones of you. Can you say piano lessons? Seriously, show them. If they are interested, show them some more. Otherwise just drop it and try again maybe later. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. I see #11 beat me to this. It's true. I work with horses.

nitetrane98
June 14, 2010, 10:21 PM
In my situation as a child, there were no fun guns at all in the house. Dad had a shotgun and a deer rifle. I was never invited to hunt. Looking back, probably a good idea. But nevertheless, I was a gun nut by age 8 or so. Literally any stick could be made into a rifle and with a little luck an appropriately shaped root served nicely as a handgun. Didn't know a thing about them, just what I had seen on TV.

My 2 sons were around guns growing up. We went shooting at the river occasionally but I was a LEO and didn't make enough money to support much of a shooting habit. They both have a few guns now but they're not real passionate about them. But they still enjoy burning up my ammo.

I have a 9 yo grand daughter who I asked recently if she would like to go shooting my guns at the river. Her dad is a LEO also so she has been around guns too. She was very enthusiastic at the prospect.

In response to the question, I don't know if simply exposing them to shooting will make them into a gun nut. I would say the possibility of making them hate guns is a very distinct possibility if they are pushed into it against their will. Or even for some reason they just don't like loud noises.

We would all like for our children to enjoy the same things we do and to the same level we enjoy them. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. I restored old cars for a hobby for years. Built a nice '76 Trans Am for my son's first car. I envisioned he and I working on it together. Didn't happen. Absolutely and totally disinterested in that part. He sure liked to drive it though.

So if you're hoping for a life long shooting buddy, you may get one and you may not despite your best intentions.

Jaybird78
June 15, 2010, 12:01 AM
As a new dad to a 1 yr old daughter, I am anxious about the future.

As a kid I begged for a bb gun for two years until I turned 9. I had a blast with that Daisy. Then I just stopped. An old friend received a .22 for his 17th b-day and I was "hooked" again. I feel I lost so many years of enjoyment that I could of had. I can remember asking my dad as a kid if we could go shooting (he once told me he had a .22 pistol). My dad damn near worked 6 days a week my entire childhood. We never went.

I pray that my daughter will want to shoot.

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