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I want to shoot with nephew but don't know how to approach...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jakemccoy, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    My nephew, age 12, has never shot a gun before. His parents (my sister, et al) don't even know I'm a gun owner. My immediate family has no gun owners, except me. (I already know that's a bizarre concept to many of you.)

    Anyway, I'd like to get my nephew into shooting. How do you guys think I should approach it? Or should I not approach it?

    One Approach Maybe...

    I have to get the parents' permission somehow. Then, I plan to take a hunter safety course soon, partly for the sake of my nephew to get involved taking a "safety course" and to give the parents a good one liner. I was thinking about bringing my nephew along so that he could start to learn safety from someone other than me. However, the course may not hold his interest at all. I don’t know.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  2. Cave Dweller

    Cave Dweller Well-Known Member

    Invite his parents to go shooting with you first. Pay their way. (first one is free, yes?)

    Invite your brother in law to a nice clean range, tell them you'll rent a few guns and "we can punch holes in paper, my treat". Tell him Jr can come too. Sound innocent Tell them you don't want to go by yourself (some ranges have a 2 person minimum for rentals). Once there rent a couple pistols you don't have, and introduce them to one or two from your collection (not the whole arsenal)

    Instruct them in firearm safety. and have a blast.

    Next time you can go out to your favorite shooting spot. But for introducing new shooters, there's nothing like a well run range. (just make sure you find one that has rentals)
  3. bigolddeerhunter

    bigolddeerhunter Well-Known Member

    Tell your brother-in-law that you want to start doing things together with his son, and that taking a hunter safety course would be a good start. Then take them to the range for a no cost to them treat.
  4. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    Tell your family, your ready to come out of the closet:D When they find out your only a closet gun owner, they'll be thrilled to go shooting with ya.
  5. Bronzelats

    Bronzelats Member

    Is your sister and her husband acceptable of firearms? That makes or kills the decision. Example, I was raised in a home with firearms. My father taught me and raised me with them. My mom and youngest sister have both fired firearms. They are not gurus, but they are acceptable of them. My oldest sister and her husband are anti guns. They don't let their kids play even with toy/water guns. Being raised in the same household as me and my other sister, you wouldn't think that would be an issue. Her husband was brought up with firearms as well. He chooses not to be a supporter of them.

    Ask them if they are ok with it. If they are, there you go. If they aren't well, now you know. Don't feel bad if they don't let you take him. Every one has the right to raise their children the way they best feel is suited for them.
  6. JWarren

    JWarren Well-Known Member

    You bring up a very important issue in the "Revitalization of our Firearms Heritage."

    Those of us who have grown up with firearms have to remember that many other families simply do not have this foundation. This is a foundation that has to be created prior to any family "activism."

    While I come from a "firearms" family, I HAVE experienced something similar with my nephew.

    My sister married a person with no firearms heritage. I would go so far as to say that he was anti-gun, but knew better than to openly state such in our household. However, my sister is a college professor and over the years became influenced by her collegues and her husband. She and her husband had a child.

    Skip ahead a few years.

    Said anti-gun husband ran off with a tramp. My sister had a rather scary situation at her work and actually called me about getting her CCW. She is now re-married to a very pro-firearms man. She has reevaluated her positions.

    Now I am the Registered Gun "Nut" of our family. A couple years ago, I was concerned that my nephew was not getting the exposure that I got from my father.

    So I went to Wal-Mart and got him a Red Rider BB gun.

    I had a talk with Ginny (my sister) about it, and prior to getting her approval I explained the rules I would lay out for using the BB gun. We spoke quite a bit about it being a tool to start the process of learning firearms safety. With concerns, Ginny accepted my proposal.

    Harrison (my nephew) has done VERY well with it, and is still highly supervised when using ANY firearm. Over the last couple years, he has shown enough care that we (my father and I) have gotten Harrison his own .410 single-shot Shotgun and a .22 Rimfire Cricket single-shot rifle-- both with my sister's approval.

    In addition, he has used a .243 hunting, and he has been shooting a Saiga .308, an AK-47, an AR-15, and a LR-308-- not too bad for a 7 year old.

    But NONE of this would have happened without the foundation of my father and I's background. Ginny had a certain degree of familiarity and confidence in us due to KNOWING our views on firearms safety.

    So how does that help you?

    Well... try this...

    FIRST, come out of the closet. You have to let your family know your interest. They have to see you as a responsible firearms owner before they would consider exposing you to kids. Let it slip about your interest and then give it some time to "soak in."

    Make SURE they know you have gone to safey instruction classes. You can always take the nephew again later. Don't be learning this stuff at the same time he is. If you are to be the adult, you should be seen as someone who KNOWS prior to the kid.

    Now let that set in a while.

    The NEXT step is to talk to his parents about VERY controlled shooting. This would be a good time to take them to the range.

    I am almost more interested in how YOU handle this than how they handle it. They may well reject your offer. How do you handle it?

    My suggestion is to accept whatever their decision is with NO argueing. It IS their kid. If you want to raise a kid a certain way, have your own.

    But accepting their decision shows maturity, respect, and responsibility. That will go a LONG way towards changing their opinion going forward. It may even open the door for another chance at it later.

    Once you come out of the closet and have let your family get comfortable with it, you may well win converts. Recently, I told my nephew that as soon as he is old enough, I would consider taking him to an Appleseed. After explaining it to my father, he wants to go as well.

    The plan is now to pull his 5th wheel camper and have the three of us make a go at it as soon as Harrison is old enough. Side note... what is the min. age to go to an Appleseed?

    At any rate, I hope this helped somehow.

    -- John
  7. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    Thank you to all for the helpful responses.

    By the way, I have taken handgun safety courses, self-defense courses and one-one-one sporting clay instruction. I also frequent gun sites, which definitely support my hands-on training. I'm neck deep and no family members know, except my mom. I failed to mention that I've successfully taken my mom to the handgun range, and she's secretly hooked. (My dad's hardcore anti-gun.)

    I was a late starter (was 34). I'm more anal about safety than most old-timers I've come across, no offense to anybody in particular.

    JWarren made a good point about dropping the subject about my nephew if the parents say no, probably the best advice for me so far. Dropping the issue, however, won’t be a problem. I’m trying to teach my nephew more for the benefit of my sister's family, rather than for my benefit. If they don’t want the gift, I’m not begging to give it to them.

  8. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    The more kids, adults, that know how to properly handle a firearm, the safer we all are:)
  9. t3rmin

    t3rmin Well-Known Member

    For a second I thought it said "I want to shoot my nephew". :eek:
  10. MilsurpShooter

    MilsurpShooter Well-Known Member

    Going to be around the parents soon? Mention it casually at dinner or over a cup of coffee, I'm going to take a safety course but don't want to go it alone.

    Hey, I had an idea, why not go to the local range, go through some paper targets? Gauge the reaction and go from there
  11. protolith

    protolith Well-Known Member

    +1 for this approach, If the parents are likely open to the idea, and you want to seal the deal, be sure to casually bring it up with the parents in front of your nephew. :D
  12. brighamr

    brighamr Well-Known Member

    Is your nephew a boy scout?

    Is he interested?

    He'd get to shoot and learn a great deal...
  13. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    ^I didn't know that, thanks.
  14. scrat

    scrat Well-Known Member

    I think Cave Dweller said it best. For those of you who have had the experience of taking someone new shooting. ITs the best feeling ever. Old or new i have never had anyone walk away not liking it. I have always had people tell me "let me know when you go shooting again next time i will buy more bullets and buy lunch" or something to this effect.
  15. Nate C.

    Nate C. Well-Known Member

    You have to get the folks to at least agree to it. Take them all to the range. That was a great idea. I think attending a hunting/firearms safety course with your nephew is also a good idea.

    Please consider the 4-H Shooting Sports programs. 4-H encompasses far more than shooting sports. All of its programs instill self-confidence, responsibility, positive socialization and are just plain fun.
  16. XD-40 Shooter

    XD-40 Shooter Well-Known Member

    Bronzelats has the same situation I do, small world.:D My brother is vehemently anti-gun, his wife is probably on the fence. They have a 9 year old child, who I would at some point, like to teach gun safety and shooting, using my Ruger 22/45, which I think is a great intro gun. My brother is a probation officer and he is wedded to the blind ideology of "only criminals use guns".:rolleyes: About a month ago, me and my dad were showing off some guns to our other relatives, my brother told his son to go into the other room, that "you don't need to hear about, or touch this stuff".:barf::banghead: He treats guns like they are some kind of an evil, taboo, object with a mind of their own.:barf: I think if I did approach my brother about this, he'd go ballistic. I think its hopeless and a real shame, that my nephew will never get exposed to the awesome hobby of shooting.:mad:
  17. Cave Dweller

    Cave Dweller Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of a horribly misspelled billboard I once saw.
    It had several diaper clad babies, and simply read "get them shot" with a health org logo in the corner.
    I think it was supposed to say "get their shots" as in immunizations.

    That might work.
    "Sis, I have a problem, something I've been dealing with. I've been keeping it secret but it's just eating into my finances, and affecting the way I see things. It started out harmless, a friend said try it, and I did. Damn this addiction. I mean... Bullets are expensive, and a new rifle costs a mint these days.":evil:

    And +1 on the scouts, you can help him get his shootin badge.
  18. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    First ask the nephew what he thinks of the idea. He may not have an interest in firearms and could care less about shooting.
  19. 41magsnub

    41magsnub Well-Known Member

    That's not a gimme though, my boy scout troop back in the day did nothing with firearms. My dad wanted to host a shoot to do the merit badge but some of the moms got it killed.
  20. Ninja.of.Love

    Ninja.of.Love Active Member

    I would talk to the nephew first, approaching the parents may be a moot point if the kid would rather play Halo at home. I think starting with a safety course is a very good idea. As a teenager, I can tell you that as kids get older and start hanging out with friends unsupervised, knowing good gun safety becomes very important. The friends' parents' guns start to come out drawers and off the racks. Teaching him the destructive power of a firearm may save his life.

    Having knowledge of firearm safety and firearms is the best way to cut down on accidents.

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