To train or not to train? That is the loaded question. In a world with extreme conservative versus liberal views and a media that spins numbers with misleading statistics, you will find some varying passionate answers to this question. When should you start teaching kids to shoot?
If you’re looking up statistics, I would urge you to proceed with caution. There is a lot of “spin.” While the numbers may be correct, the way they are presented is typically deceptive to serve propaganda purposes. For example, you will see certain numbers for “children killed by guns” per year. The information you are not getting is that, in these stats, a child is considered anyone under the age of 21. So while your mind is picturing a young child who has accidentally shot his or herself or someone else, the reality is that the majority are older teens and young adults who have intentionally committed a crime. Guns do not kill people. People with ill intent wielding guns do. I believe there is a greater need for fixing our moral compass rather than expand gun control.
There are cases, however, where a child has found a firearm and horrible accidents have occurred. This can be totally thwarted with proper education and training. If you have firearms in your home as well as children, you have a responsibility to educate and train them on gun safety. Taking it a step further, training them to shoot under your guidance is even more beneficial.
To get a better understanding in this area, I asked five firearms experts to weigh in on how and when to begin training young shooters.
Fred Mastison — President of Force Options Tactical Training Solutions
I am a firm believer in teaching kids to shoot. There are many reasons for this, but two main points are safety and self-confidence. If you have firearms in the home, it is important that kids understand them in totality. Not only that they are potentially dangerous, but if they are treated with respect, they can be enjoyable. Kids that learn to shoot safely and correctly gain a level of self-confidence that is tough to find elsewhere…