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Another Father Who Teaches His Children to Shoot


Steve - I read your recent article on shooting with your three (3?) year old. My, you started at a much earlier age than I!!!

Anyway, I too introduced my daughter (and later my son) to the joys of shooting. On the past 4th of July I decided to take my 11 year old daughter to my gun club's range. I told my wife that I would be doing this, and for some reason she didn't argue.

My daughter was eager to go, so I packed my trusted mini-14 and away we went. Upon arriving at the range we discussed gun safety first, then loading and aiming the gun. I took a few shots, then offered her the rifle. Needless to say, she was nervous! The .223 caliber round is not the meanest shell around, but to an 11-year old, it is mean enough.

I set the rifle on a rest, put her earplugs in, safety glasses on and told her to fire away. After the first shot, she realized that the gun would not hurt her. Ten rounds later and she was knocking off soda cans at 25 yds.!!! (My range rifle has a scope) We blew through about 50 rounds before I told her that we should probably wrap it up for the day (.223s are not cheap!).

That day is one of the most memorable in my life. My daughter, who has endured many of my political rants, now understands what I am talking about. She has become a political junky and regularly engages her teachers in political debates.

Since that time, I have introduced my 8-year old son to shooting as well. We purchased a .22LR rifle at our local gun show and frequently go to the range to blast targets, cans and assorted fruits and vegetables.

Anyway, I applaud your efforts to introduce your young son to the joys of shooting. I think our kids will remember these outings as significant events in their lives.

Best wishes,

Shawn M. Hemingway
Manlius, New York