Relax…we aren’t going to buy our almost four-year-old an AR-15, so there’s no need to panic. But we live in Wyoming and I carry all the time. Not that I didn’t carry in California, but it’s easier here, so my gun is much more obvious to everyone, including my children. And my son has taken notice.
Seeing the gun on my hip all the time leaves my little man asking when he can have one. He asks my husband if he can go shooting when he leaves to sight in his hunting rifle. As his September birthday approaches we’re discussing a BB gun as a gift. He’s a little older than our daughter was when she got her BB gun, but she was more mature at the time. We wanted to ensure he’ll follow all the safety rules while shooting.
After a discussion, my husband and I decided that he’s ready and we’ll be getting him the same gun his sister has – only not in pink.
Most of the family who live here in Wyoming approve of this decision, however, some are worried that we might harm our son. I’m not sure how, but the more left-leaning in-laws tend to think that buying him a gun will somehow make him mentally unstable. Never mind that our daughter has had her BB gun for over a year and she not only loves shooting it, but she’s well adjusted, rides the bus to school, and is one of the most mature kids in her class.
But he’s ready. And he’s been asking. And in my very humble opinion, unless you teach your children when they ask, they will eventually teach themselves when they get in a situation where they can access unsecured gun somewhere. Talking about it and making it a family event will not only be fun, but a learning experience, too.
The most important thing is allowing him to grow up confident in the knowledge that he can handle a BB gun (or an actual gun, because he understands to never touch the trigger unless he’s going to shoot it). It’s also important to me as a gun-lover and gun rights activist that I teach my and instill my values about guns to my children, rather than allow the media or any anti-gun future friends to mold their little minds.