Kids interest in guns?


December 16, 2003, 11:26 AM
Another Christmas related thread. :)

It seems that a lot of people are getting thier child a pellet gun or something this year for Christmas, which leads me to ask....

At what age, if at all, did your children (those who have them) show any intrest in firearms? It seems like it's almost a universal phenomenon that a lot of kids (especially boys) will fashion sticks, dolls, toast, or anything that comes to hand into a gun and start going "BANG! BANG! BANG!" at another kid, who of course, will return in kind.

My kid is 4 right now, and I'm not sure he even knows what a gun is, which is fine with me. However, if he does show an interest, (which I assume he will do) I want him to participate safely in the sport, and most importantly, know what to do if he is ever at a friend's house, and there is a loaded gun accessable by kids there.

Right now, my kid has only seen me use my paintball gun, which he helps load sometimes, so now all shooting is "painting" for him. :p When does this turn into real interest in guns?

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December 16, 2003, 11:47 AM
Hey Jamz, this is such a neat topic. Let me explain. My daughter just turned 3. She is very much a Daddy's girl. She has known since she was 2, what a gun was, how to look through the scope of my rifles when i clean them. She knows they go boom, and she knows they hurt. She has been to the range with me, with her nifty little ear muffs, and listens to me very intensly. I have stressed, i repeat stressed, to her all the dangers of them. She listens so intently to me, because i talk to her, show her and explain to her all the things a gun is for. When we get home, she always helps me clean them. She looks through the scope while i clean it, and says " Daddy, Squirrel." This is in the house mind you, LOL. But the point being, is that because shes around them all the time, and i've taken the time, to show her, and talk to her and let her be a part, i TRULY believes she understands everything i show and tell her. Now she cries her eyes out, when i take off to the range without her. Some may argue that 3 is to young to even be touching a gun. But once we leave the range (Now dont get me wrong, i think shes only been twice to the range with me, and i was shooting my .17) but once i come home and clean my guns, which i let her help me of course, and she knows the gun solvent is Poisinous, and HOT as she says, they get put up, where she has no idea where they are, and long forgets about them, until the next time she sees me coming down the stairs with it. Feels like i just wrote a book, but this had been on my mind also, so this is my story with my children and my guns.

December 16, 2003, 12:03 PM
For some reason, none of my 5 kids ever displayed any interest in guns while growing up, despite the fact that I and my wife were both active bullseye pistol competitors. Since we lived in the boonies at the time, there were never fewer that 3 loaded handguns positioned throughout the house, but the kids couldn't have cared less. Most of them went to the range at least a couple of times to learn about guns and the safe handling thereof, but none ever wanted to take it any further.

Some of them are more interested now that they are adults and their spouses/significant others are hunters and/or CCW.

December 16, 2003, 12:16 PM
I have a 6 (boy), 4 (girl), and 2 (boy) year old. My boys have both shown interest in "shooting" with their fingers, toys guns, toast, whatever since about age 2. We live in a suburb of Chicago and most schools and daycare facilities are "zero tolerance" when it comes to kids pretending to play with guns. I even overheard a daycare provider telling a little boy that "guns are bad and people that use guns are bad" (to this day I wish I had corrected her)

My wife and I played along with this crap for a while but it quickly became evident that if you restrict access to something kids only want it more (why do humans have to learn this truth over and over again?)

Then and there I decided (and got my wife to buy in -- she's not an anti but she has no love for guns) that I take the would expose my kids to guns and make sure they know safety and appropriate usage.

SInce getting my kids involved, I've actually seen a DECREASE in the amount of "pretend gunplay" they do. They also can quote gun safety rules (thanks to Eddie Eagle). On a cub scout field trip to the police department that my oldest boy took, he received praise from an officer that he could quote safety rules.

As for shooting, my wife and I have negotiated to follow roughly the Boy Scout ages for supervised shooting. 7 yrs old = pellet guns, 10 yrs old = 22 rifle, 12 yrs old = shotgun / hunting

December 16, 2003, 12:22 PM
Kids will only play with them if you tell them they can't and make a big fuss about it. If the kid wants to shoot, you'll know when it asks to. Meantime, don't make a fuss over your firearms. Teach the kid they are big kid's toys and little kids must leave them alone unless the big kid is there. It's the kid's friends that are more likely to cause your grief. Especially from a home with no firearms.

December 16, 2003, 01:10 PM

I'd venture to guess there wasn't a lot of TV on all the time, right???


December 16, 2003, 01:45 PM
Originally, my mom decided that she didn't want me to have any toy guns or any other violent toys. She changed her mind when I was about 3 and started going "bang" with sticks in my hand. I guess she figured it'd be harder to poke my eye out with a toy gun:D. I went shooting (.22 pistols and rifle) for the first time when I was about 14. I never had a realistic desire to go shooting before that, but since then I've been hooked. For a few years, my father and I would go to our local pistol range and shoot our .22s and occasionally rent their guns (up to a .44mag revolver). Last year, my parents got me a Winchester SX2 for christmas and I've been trapshooting pretty regularly since then (except for the last few months). This year, I started hunting with my father (he hasn't hunted since before I was born) and we'll probably add a couple rifles to our collection.
haha looking at what I just typed, I guess it doesn't really have a point, except that a kid can play with toy guns and use firearms when they reach an appropriate maturity level and still end up being a (relatively) well adjusted adult. I'm 20 btw.:)

December 16, 2003, 02:02 PM
Sunray: Exactly my point. :) one of my goals is to remove any curiosity about guns. I want them to know them inside and out, so they won't seek to do it when an adult is not around.

kris: those seem like pretty good age ranges to me.


December 16, 2003, 03:26 PM
I have two sons ages 5 and 1. My 5 year old started playing with toy guns when he was 2. He just loves guns and nearly everyday he will have one out playing with it. He could watch westerns all day, if moma would let him ;) . I have shown him some of my guns and I have taken him shooting a couple of times. I have not let him shoot one yet. I just wanted him to see and hear, with ear protection of course, what they were capable of. I hunt also and he gets to see what a bullet will do to an animal. When I was skinning a buck 2 weeks ago I let him hold the legs for me. I made sure to show him more than once the damage the bullet did.

Black Majik
December 16, 2003, 04:02 PM
My situation is a little more different.

I have 2 younger sisters who display interest in shooting with me. They are now 10 and 14 yrs old. The younger one always has a fascination with shooting ever since I showed her how to operate a pellet gun. She did quite well and always asks me to go shoot the pellet gun in the backyard. Both of them know proper gun safety as I have brought them both in the room and discussed all the safety measures. Every time they get near a pellet gun or a firearm I quiz them about the gun safety rules. The older one has gone w/ us to a pistol range, but due to the dumb owner of the range (we'll never go to that range anymroe) he wouldn't allow her to shoot, even when my dad was there.

Last skeet/trap session, me and my dad brought my 2 little sisters along. During our shooting session we saw a father teaching his 10 year old daughter how to shoot trap. My younger sister then wanted to try shooting the 20 ga. to see if she could break a few clays. Now, my dad and I both have different views on how this should be handled. I supported my sister in allowing her to shoot trap. My dad doesn't want them to get into the sport of shooting. I guess he wants them the be the "girly girls" and that "girls dont shoot guns." I on the other hand hope they become tomboys in a way so they can outsmart their guy friends w/ discussions such as cars and other "guy stuff".

Oh well, maybe one day I'll take them to go shoot once.

December 16, 2003, 04:46 PM
My daughter is 8, she's been shooting for about a year now. When she was 7 she would ask about my guns and want to help clean them which was an excellent way to teach her how they work. Things are coming along well and I couldn't be happier.

December 16, 2003, 08:03 PM
I have two boys 3 and 1 1/2, both know what a gun is and the oldest knows (for now) that you only shoot animals with them and that he can only touch them when mom or dad are around. They're both curious about how things look and feel so I try to let them hold one when they want to. So far the most enjoyment they get though is chasing after shotgun snap caps after I launch them out of the ejectors on my O/U :) . The oldest also tries to help with cleaning but like my wife quickly gets bored of it.

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