My post on teaching my daughter to shoot her BB gun provoked a number of questions and I wanted to answer a few of them. But first, yes, her shoes were on the wrong feet. While she knows the difference between left and right, she still doesn’t always get her shoes on the right feet.We are working on it. I let her pick out her own clothing and shoes and dress herself because it makes her happy and unless it’s really hot or really cold, I try not to dictate too much what she wears. We were also not out in public that day, as we shot the BB gun at the house, so I let it go. It’s one of those “pick your battles” moments of parenthood . . .
The next question was about whether she’s able to work the lever. No, she cannot. I have to do it for her. The rules were, she applies the safety with the BB gun pointed at the dirt, then lifts the tip of the barrel up. I would work the lever, putting the BB in position. She would then re-align herself and the gun, followed by taking the safety off and shooting the gun herself. It’s of immense importance that she learn safety first, and I always always put the safety of the gun on, if it has one, before handing it to another person.
The hunting discussion will be addressed in a later article. I felt it warranted its own discussion because she’s a smart little cookie, and her questions actually floored me. She even initiated the discussion when we were done shooting. I asked her if she had any questions about her gun or the rules. She said she did – just one – and it was a hunting question. She knows we eat deer and elk frequently because my husband, her father, is an avid hunter. We eat everything he hunts. Neither of us are trophy hunters, although I have no issue with it, we prefer to use the meat and donate the hides.
A great side benefit of teaching her to shoot: her brother now wants to shoot now, too. Since he’s turning three this weekend, Christmas might be a good time for Santa to bring his first BB gun. He has a way to go, though, so for now he’s content helping me clean my EDC.
The bottom line for me in all of this is safety. At this age, the kids need to know how to act safely around a gun because we own many. They also need to know what to do should they find one at a friend’s house. Guns don’t shoot themselves and they need to understand that.
I am more than happy to answer any more questions about our experience teaching our kids to shoot. How did you teach yours?