My eight year old grandson Jace was watching TV with his Dad a few days ago and they were watching a show where someone was shooting a machine gun. Jace was fascinated by the guns and asked his Dad about them.
His Dad said, “Would you like to shoot a gun?” Jace said, “Sure, but where can we get one?”
His Dad said, “Pappaw has some guns.” Jace said, “He does!?”
I guess he has never looked up from his Game Boy when he is here.
So this morning, we made a range trip. I talked to Jace about Safety and made him memorize the First and Second Rules.
“Treat all gun as if they are loaded and never point a gun at anyone or anything you are not willing to shoot.”
He listened carefully and paid special attention, and did not make any safety mistakes.
I showed him his rifle which I gave him on his first birthday. It is a Remington Speed Master, .22 semi-automatic, than belonged to my Dad and then me. It will be Jace’s as soon as he is old enough to take care of it.
I showed him how to insert the cartridges through a hole in the side of the stock and let him load it.
The rifle was a little too long for him to put it on his shoulder and use the sights properly, but we got close to the target and let him blaze away.
He loved it!
I then let him shoot a .22 single action pistol.
I told him it was the kind of pistol cowboys used and he said, “I’ve seen this type of gun in cowboy movies!”
He was able to line up and see the sights and shot this one pretty well.
I kept reminding him, “Finger off the trigger while you cock the hammer.
Arms straight out. Line up the sights and squeeze the trigger.”
He did really well and loved loading and shooting the pistol.
Lastly, we loaded up one of my AR15’s and let him blast away at the target.
It has a collapsible stock, so we were able to get it on his shoulder.
He really liked it and thought it was great fun to burn up Pappaw’s ammo.
Of course, being a boy, after we shot he collected a bunch of spent brass and I let him get a couple of bullets out of the berm. He said he wanted a “Collection”. I told him to be sure that he didn’t take any of the brass to school as he might get in trouble. He said, “I don’t know why. We have ARs there.”
I finally realized he was talking about a reading promotion called the AR or Accelerated Reader Program. I told him this was different.
Oh well, a great first range trip for the Grandson and his Dad.
If you get a chance to take a kid to the range be sure to do the following:
- Stress Safety, first thing and constantly.
- Have ear and eye protection for the kid.
- Let them shoot a gun that doesn’t have heavy recoil.
- Let them get really close to the target so that they hit something.
- Give them praise for doing well.
- Let them help load the firearms if they would like to.
- Watch them very carefully, stay very close to them, and never let them break any Safety rule.
- Help them hold the firearm if it is heavy for them.
- Let them shoot until they are tired and then quit.
- Make sure it is fun, so that they will want to go shooting again.
Jace learned something very important today.
He learned that shooting stuff is fun.