The posts that claim a 6 year old cannot understand such "mature" concepts such as proper gun use frighten me a little. As a teacher, I have seen the repercussions of patronizing our young. I fully believe that many parents (often because of noble reasons, like having to work to provide, etc) think/hope that the schools will be able to teach their children most of what they need to know. Because of this, they really cannot see what the children are truly capable of. Marks on a piece of paper don't translate well to real life. <br />
On a related note, I see so many youngsters overreact to skinned knees and the like because our current society tends to overprotect. We aren't really preparing our children for anything. We have college students who cannot emotionally handle life. And we have children who are so curious that when they come across something dangerous, they really don't understand the danger or how to handle it. It takes a whole lot more time and effort to help them develop the skills and attitudes necessary. <br />
Finally, to my point. As a child, my grandfather made sure I knew how to handle guns. He was a patient teacher. I have great respect but no fear and also no great wonder about the workings of these tools. Some we use for hunting and some for protecting ourselves. When I see or use a gun, I remember my grandfather's face and words of both admonition and encouragement. That teaching relationship developed over time. <br />
An occasional school training on the evils and dangers of guns or even benefits and use is not going to benefit many; neither is a fearful parent passing on the same fear. <br />
Empower yourselves and teach the next generation respect, not paranoia.
Very healthy and smart. Teach them while they are young to respect them and you will have no problems.
I was 8 when Daddy showed me how to handle the rifle, had me take a shot to knock a can off a post, and sent me, alone, to the timber to shoot a couple of squirrels for supper. That was a common age in the 30s and 40s for a kid to start carrying a gun as a companion and to start providing food for the family. Every kid I knew, boy or girl, handled a gun and often hunted alone and I know of no accidents they had with guns at that age or later in life.<br />
So it seems to me that one of the reasons guns are considered dangerous these days is unfamiliarity.<br />
I agree with the argument about exposing kids to violence. However, I don't know how to hide from them the fact that our food comes from enforced death of some animal or plant, and I don't see how we can keep them from seeing horrific stuff on tv at someone's house or learning of it from other kids.<br />
And kids experiment. I sliced my thumb open with Daddy's straight razor. Perhaps if he had taught me how to use it -- Learning is kids' work and experimentation is an important method they use. I don't know that we can keep them from everything that's dangerous, and that would seem to indicate that we should do our best to help them learn safely. If we consider that they might come across an unlocked gun in somebody's home -- the question, for me, boils down to what age we teach them, as has been expressed by others here.
Depends on the targets.
That seems a bit young to me.
As hell thats wrong.<br />
Don't know - but it is weird.
All 3 of my girls are excellent shots. Eff with them at your peril........
Healthy. I had my first gun at 6 it was a little BB gun. I still have; I learned where to point it,how to clean and how to load and unload it and about the safety button
depends on the child. My son took and passed his firearms state testing at 7. She shot in competition before this. Have nephews and they were little older before allowed to do this.
Healthy. My dad took me to learn to shoot when I was 8.
It is NOT too young and it does no more to teach them about violence then sending them to a public school where bullying is a daily part of life <br />
Not necessarily every kid gets bullied or becomes a bully but it goes on in EVERY public school and kids younger then 6 are exposed to it and unlike hunting (which teaches self confidence while providing food); Bullying is mindless purposeless violence that does nothing but teach kids that might makes right because the bully either has friends or is bigger then his victim or in some other way makes sure he has some kind of advantage over his victim or the coward would have chosen another, weaker, victim.<br />
This world is becoming far more violent anyway by the same liberals who claim to be against violence.<br />
They hate guns but then advocate "slow torture" for entire families when one member is (often falsely) accused of abuse of animals.<br />
They advocate violence against people just for believing in G-d and that advocacy is growing at an exponential rate. <br />
They support terrorism (like Hamas who they want to give more Israeli land to so they can have yet more territory from which to launch rockets at Jewish children younger then 6 (and all other Jews they can get)).<br />
In this world of increasing violence children need to learn all about guns as well as martial arts from as early an age as they possibly can start learning about these things and issues.
Teaching them how to shoot and giving them a gun to play is two different things...If the father then locks his guns securely, then what is the problem...As people say, guns are pretty useful during a zombie apocalypse... <br />
What I know about guns is all from the movies..Point and pull trigger...if it doesn't fire, and if the zombie isn't biting you, check for safety mechanism and bullets....then fire again...
Unhealthy. I know gun enthusiasts will be all over me for this but this is my opinion. <br />
We are a society which sets protocol for keeping cleaning agents away from children, keeping medicine out of reach in child proof containers, even enacted a law to mandate for baby seats in cars, we make our kids and teenagers wear safety helmets for sports, then we think it's okay to teach a six year (6) year old how to shoot a deadly weapon.<br />
Teaching young children about the dangers of guns are important, however, teaching children to use a gun is altogether reckless. Children don't have the cognitive ability to reason like that of an adult, therefore introducing them to a deadly weapon is not a bright idea.<br />
If this doesn't bring home the point how ridiculous it is to teach a kid how to fire a gun, look at the statistics. <br />
In 2008, an estimated 118,000 unintentional-injury deaths occurred in the United States.<br />
Fifty percent (50%) occur in the home of the victim<br />
Fourty percent (40%) occur in the home of a friend or relative. <br />
Presence of a firearm in the home (especially a firearm kept loaded and unlocked) is associated with an increased risk of unintentional firearm fatalities among children.<br />
An estimated 3.3 million children in the U.S. live in households with firearms that are always or<br />
sometimes kept loaded and unlocked.<br />
Forty percent of gun owners keep firearms in the home for protection and crime prevention.<br />
More than 70 percent of unintentional firearm shootings involve handguns.<br />
Unintentional shootings among children most often occur:<br />
When children are unsupervised and out of school. <br />
Shootings tend to occur in the late afternoon (peaking between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.), <br />
during the weekend and during the summer months (June to Aug) <br />
and the holiday season (Nov to Dec).
Unhealthy and stupid. A year old doesn't have the mental capacity to understand the dangers of guns. I'd like to smack stupid parents like that.
very healthy i learn how to shoot before i come walk and learn to respect them
As soon as they can get their hands around the grip is old enough. <br />
Having said that since long before my kids were born, I have yet to take them out to the range. I have also failed to purchase any weapons to do so.
I think 6yrs a little young,8-10 yrs,I think its a good idea,better understand than not understand.
yes it is to teach respect for a firearm.
Respecting a gun can be unhealthy? I think failure to respect human life is unhealthy. Why else would there be so much violence?