In spite of the way guns are featured in news stories, they aren’t something to be afraid of and are safe in the hands of teenagers with the proper understanding of the responsibility they carry.
It’s difficult to define an exact age when your child should begin shooting, as all children are different in terms of maturity and behavior. Some may be ready to begin learning at a much younger age than others, while some children may need to wait a few years before learning about proper gun use. Regardless of the age you determine, it’s important to teach them how to own, handle, and store a gun properly so they learn how to be responsible gun owners later in life.
Gun Rights and Responsibilities
Gun ownership and use comes with clear responsibilities, generally summed by the idea the owner recognizes how useful a gun is as a tool, and how dangerous it has the potential to be. The most basic right is that unless someone is a felon, they have a right to own a gun. The type of gun which can be legally purchased varies by state and city, but anyone over 18, or 21 in areas, can buy a shotgun, rifle, or pistol. That’s not to say a child can’t own a gun, but before that age a parent has to buy the weapon and for safety should store the gun until such time as they can accompany the child at appropriate times to use it.
Learning and Training
There are a number of factors which develop shooting skills over time, including the type of weapon someone uses appropriate to their age and size. It’s usually a good idea to start with a BB gun so a younger child can learn the basic responsibility of how to hold a gun and when to shoot it, along with how to aim and fire. Young teens tend to do well with either a 20-gauge shotgun or .22 long rifle as their first “real” gun. Lighter and easier to use, the smaller guns are available in youth sizes for the young teen. By shooting at the range, or at targets in an appropriate area with enough space to shoot safely, the child will get better with their aim and learn what to expect from the kickback, and lso learn about cleaning the weapon and what to do when it jams.
An 18 Year Birthday Gift
Once your child learns how to shoot efficiently and shows the signs of appropriate gun safety, they’ll be ready for a gun more appropriate for hunting or self defense. High school graduation or an eighteenth birthday can be a great time to provide a full size gun in an appropriate caliber to a young person, and especially so if they are planning to join the military or law enforcement. It takes a realistic evaluation of the recipient, but assuming there are no signs of abusiveness or mental illness a gun is a great way to introduce your child to the world of adulthood.
~ Ready to Fire News