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
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
Shawn M. Hemingway
Manlius, New York