Ever since my son got his BB gun for his birthday back in September, he’s wanted to shoot it. Since he isn’t old enough to take the BB gun around on his own, I have to make sure he’s closely supervised – especially since we’ve added a new puppy to the family.
Since we have had a few days of temperatures below 10 degrees and even hit -15 at one point, it’s been too cold to have any exposed skin (which includes hands) while shooting. Well, it hit 38 degrees today, and even though the snow is coming down heavily, it was warm enough to let my son shoot his gun. So of course, we start with the rules, like don’t point the gun at people, the cats or the puppy. Don’t touch the trigger until Mommy says it’s ok, and always wear your safety glasses.
He remembered the rules from previous times shooting, so we went on our covered porch and shot into the open field. A target would be worthless as hard as it was snowing. It would have just gotten wet. But it was actually nice to let him just pull the trigger without the stress of trying to hit anything. Sometimes that is more fun for him anyway.
His squeal of delight after every trigger pull is enough to make any parent happy. We have found ways to make his BB gun fun in almost any weather condition. Bottom line: his BB gun makes him happy and it makes me happy he enjoys it so much. You can see the pride on his face when he finishes.
Starting with a BB gun and letting my kids shoot them once every few weeks (weather permitting) is not only an important bonding experience, it affords them the opportunity to learn about guns. How to safely handle guns should something happen at a friend’s house in my absence.
I’ve found that it also kills their curiosity. I allow my kids to ask me any questions they want about guns and for as long as they want. Now, there are actually very few questions I get asked because my kids see my husband and I both carrying daily. They also watch my husband prepare for hunting trips and he lets them ask questions about his hunting gun and why he’s doing certain things, like carefully selecting which kind of ammunition he will need.
I want my children to grow up with the confidence to not only safely handle a gun, but to question what they don’t understand. Hiding gun ownership from children only boosts their curiosity, putting them in danger.