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Matt Lauer has yet to inform the nation but this coming Saturday is “National Take Your Daughter To The Range Day.” If I can pry my daughters away from their friends and video games (and if the weather cooperates) I’ll be taking them to the hills for some target practice. My older daughter prefers our old-school 10/22. She likes the 3-9x scope, and the fact that it looks a little like the scoped Mini-14 from the ‘Left 4 Dead’ zombie-killing video games at which she is a stone-cold executioner . . .

My nine-year-old daughter (not pictured) has yet to forgive me for putting a fixed A2 buttstock on my AR. The old M4 stock fit her perfectly when fully collapsed, just like this youngster. She’ll have to take turns with her sister on the 10/22 or shoot my old Marlin Model 60 because my .22 AR upper is awaiting execution by firing squad and/or Tannerite.

In post-apocalyptic fiction, the family that shoots together stays together (or spends the entire movie looking for each other). In the real world, parents have a very short time to savor family life. Some of my fondest memories of my girls were created, will be created, with the help of firearms. You too? How often do you go shooting with your kids?


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  1. Never, I am delightedly childless! I shoot with liberals, which is as close to children as I care to associate myself with.

  2. Not enough. Especially as my older one scored 47 out of 50 on the NSSF target and was excited to earn his patch. Thanks for the reminder. I think we’ll hit the range soon.

  3. i can’t wait for my little boy to be old enough to be taken to the range. just turning 6, he’s not big enough to properly shoulder my ak 74. maybe a collapsible stock will need to be ordered.

  4. Took my 13 year old daughter to a National Wild Turkey Federation kids learn to shoot day last Sunday. Shooting sporting clays with a borrowed 20ga. She was nervous having never shot at this range or with a shotgun. After she hit her first clay, she gained some confidence and hit 11. By the end of the morning, she was loading like she had been doing this for years. It was a great day, no better day for a father or for her. Guess I’m going to be in the market for shotgun.

  5. Sure I bring my kids… Ruger, Smith, Mikhail, etc – every time I go.

    Oh, you mean children? None that I know of, although I’ve taken my former GF and her son to my local range a few times….

  6. I remember a story from a couple years ago, I think there was a video about it too. Glenn Beck took his daughters shooting and the handicapped one was so traumatized afterwards she cried.

    Even young boys can be afraid of it, the noise and all. That’s when you slap some sense into him and tell him to act like a man, like the Don did to Johnny Fontaine.

    • That’s when you slap some sense into him and tell him to act like a man

      Too bad nobody did that to you.

    • Or, if you’re a good parent, you go do something with your kids that they do enjoy.

      Your kids don’t have to share your hobbies, and visa versa. My parents have never shared my passion for firearms, and that’s fine.

      As for the crying, apparently it’s already been pointed out to you*, but they cried at the thought of having to kill someone, which seems to me to be a *totally healthy response*
      Then again, responding “no I really want to, but I draw the line at bunnies” when asked if she doesn’t want to go shooting again, does make it seem like she was horribly traumatized by the event.

      *in a comment on your blog when you posted the video. Your blog actually made it to the front page of Google searching “glen beck daughter shooting” so I don’t think many other people share your interpretation of the event, or *someone* in the media would have picked up the story.

  7. When I was a kid, my uncle let me and and my cousins (his sons) shoot his Luger. It was too much gun for us, and we didn’t hit the bottle five feet in front of us, but it was cool, and we were all a little awed. I think we all learned respect for firearms that day, which I think was the point.

    Hmm, all of a sudden, I’m wanting to get a Luger…

  8. I take my 11 year old daughter out about 3 or 4 times a year. She enjoys it for the most part. Two weeks ago she shot her .243 Winchester rifle for the first time. She hated the recoil. (I took time to place it properly in her shoulder — or so I thought. We’ll take some more time practicing how to place the stock in her shoulder.) It was her only shot because she was so scared of the recoil. But it was a great first and only shot. She hit less than 2 inches from bull’s eye at 100 yards!

    If we can get past her fear of recoil and practice some more, I am hoping that she will be ready for deer hunting season this fall when she turns 12. That will be a lifetime memory just going hunting with me for the first time. And if she actually gets a shot at a deer that will be another lifetime memory. Now if she manages to hit the deer and we recover it, that will be outstanding of course — and good eating! Imagine how proud a 12 year old would be knowing they could safely and effectively handle a rifle — and that she put that shelf full of meat in the family freezer!!!

    Yes, get out with your children as often as possible. Teach them safety and respect. Have fun. Those children will be some of the best, well-adjusted people in our society.

  9. My first is only 2 right now, so not yet, but my wife and I agreed on 7 for airguns and 8 for real guns. I’ll be taking full advantage of the time we can go shoot after that.

  10. Every chance I get. They range from 16 – 7 in age. Got my 16 yr old her first shotgun for her birthday she slaughters them clays like a pro. The seven yr old the only boy out of five, loves doing shooting drills with me he uses the walther p22. All know and follow the safety rules and all have a great time when ever we make it out to shoot.

  11. As often as she can drag me out. Dad has to finish his chores too…
    My 8 yo daughter’s favorite gun in the safe is the M&P 15-22 with a suppressor and red dot. No loud noises, no recoil and putting the red dot on a target works every time. When not shooting the .22lr, we park on the driveway (live rural), throw some soda cans out and call shots with our BB guns. Nice thing about a cheap BB gun is that you’re not upset when you have to shorten the Red Ryder to be a “d Ryder”. My youngest just turned 5 and she’s wondering when Papa’s going to buy her first BB gun… [can’t you tell that I’m grinnin’ from ear to frickin’ ear!]

  12. Well NOT OFTEN ENOUGH!!!!
    Ok I have 9 kids, yup a baseball team. Besides being perpetually broke I am also quite often hardly home.
    I don’t think the two year old is ready yet, but I think the rest we can get going on it.
    I am probably going to start with a 22 LR bolt action. Harder to wave around and do something stupid with. If they like it I can go from there. I won’t put them on pistols until I know they have respect for firearms and prove they are fastidious about safety.

  13. My kids are 4 and 2…can’t wait to take them shooting. In fact, I’ve been thinking of getting a Savage Rascal just to have at the ready.

  14. I prefer to teach women and kids rather than teaching men. School-age kids understand and thrive on instruction. They are also impressed with their own sense of responsibility. When it comes to guns, women of all ages know what they don’t know. On the other hand, some (not all) male trainees think they know way more than they actually do.

    I usually start kids off with .22s. They’re real guns, which gets the kids’ full attention and respect, but recoil and noise are non-issues. Once they’ve mastered the fundamentals with the popguns, that’s the time for kids to shoot more powerful guns.

    Contrary to popular belief, once trained, a grown woman can handle any handgun that a grown man can handle. Women invariably master technique, sight alignment and trigger press rapidly. No surprise there — the same gender that can knit rings around most men must also have superb digital control and eye-hand coordination, no?

  15. My grandson is 5 we go about once a month, funny that some of the ranges in our area won’t let him shoot because of his age. He has been shooting pistol and rifle ( 22Lr) since he was 4. He asks to go all the time,

  16. My daughter went to the range for the first time on her fifth birthday. She has ‘her’ pink 22 cricket with 4x scope, ear plugs and over the ear muffs and kid size safety glasses. She got on paper (barely) at 50 yards but she had a lot of fun.
    I think I’ll take her on Saturday just to see other girls shooting.

  17. My 4 year old daughter has a pink 760 Pumpmaster with a red dot on top. When I’m home, we shoot it as often as she wants to.

  18. I live very rural and have a range on the property. My son will shoot all day, every day, if I let him. My daughter has arrived at the point where shooting is a chore. In her 12 year old mind, shooting is loud and dirty.

    When my oldest reached shooting age, I installed adjustable stocks on everything applicable. This way the guns can grow as the kids grow. Cheaper for dad. 🙂

  19. Question of the Day: How Often Do You Shoot With Your Kids?

    Every time I see that headline my first take is “How Often Do You Shoot Your Kids?”

    But then, every time I see the road sign “right lane exits ahead” I always see it as “right lane exists ahead.” Even CA’s freeway lanes have existential issues!


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