Guns- how old?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Nielz, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Nielz

    Nielz New Member

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    Hello all,

    There's no easy answer to this subject.

    My son is 17 - and is seriously interested in guns. I've let him go his own way, within reason, but sometimes he can be a little irresponsible.

    I can't lay down the law to him a his age, or can I? I'm 38, and my Dad was very strict with me. Joel is his own person. I'm just concerned about his excessive interest. He doesn't own a gun, but is always borrowing them.

    He's not a wild kid, but I still think it's young.

    Dave
     
  2. danny

    danny New Member

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    Take him to the range. Even if you have no interest, do so and you'll have some father/son time which is very important.
    This will also give you the opportunity to encourage safe handling.
     

  3. chorst294

    chorst294 New Member

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    I agree, I would take him to the range and make sure he acknowledges all the safetly rules and is able to safely operate the firearms he currently uses. I would also have a sit down chat with him and make sure he understands that guns are not toys, and make sure he's aware of the consequences of unsafe or irresponsible behavior with them. If he doesn't seem interested in listening, I'd seriously consider limiting his contact with firearms.
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    There was a similar thread awhile back concerning what was your first gun and how old were you when you got it. A lot of the responses were from life long shooters that had started at an early age. I started shooting beer cans with a BB Gun when I was like 4 or 5, but under constant supervision.

    I think, at 17, it would be a good time to embrace your son's interest because the more it's a "forbidden fruit" the more it is going to appeal to him. If you make him responsible for not only the shooting, the fun part, but also the buying the weapon, buying the ammo, the safe gun handling, and all the cleaning up afterwards, you might see a different level of interest emerge. Everyone loves to go shooting, not everyone wants to fund it & clean up afterwards. ;)

    If he is serious, and he is exposed to the correct way to own, maintain and handle a firearm, then you are much better off then him getting ideas from the lastest blockbuster to hit the theaters. :D

    JD
     
  5. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Let me add my voice to the chorus and suggest you help your son develop the interest.

    Certainly, you must lay down the law with regard to firearm safety. Have him take a look at this page for an example of someone who knew gun safety, broke the rules and now regrets doing so. (It's a little graphic, but not too bad.)

    My son is 14 and several years ago we took the mystery out of firearms. He enjoys shooting, but he certainly doesn't seek out guns around the house and mess with them precisely because they were never "forbidden"; they're just another item in the house.

    What kinds of firearms does your son enjoy?
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    That's one of the best, and self deprecating while making a point, examples I have ever seen. Really good point that is made on that page. Everyone, no matter how old, young, or experienced should read that and take note.

    You are never more at risk than when you are comfortable and complacent when it comes to weapons handling....


    JD
     
  7. Kestral

    Kestral New Member

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    Guns How old reply

    Have heard but not confirmed that some Chinese school children aged 8 years are issued with air rifles.They are taught how to use them responsibly,and anyone who misbehaves is demoted in class with severe loss of face.Wonder if it would work in the western world.
     
  8. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Well, what exactly do you mean by this? Irresponsible in general life issues or in gun issues? Staying out late or playing with guns as if a toy?

    I take it that you don't really have any of your own. Does your son borrow guns from his friends or neighbors and either shoots without proper safety procedures or do you mean he leaves them laying around where anyone can access them once he's done with them? Just impress on him the dangers of reckless gun use and also remind him that at his age he should understand he is responsible for his own actions. As a (legally almost) adult, it's his own self that will be held to standards and the consequences will fall on him if he is careless with firearms.

    You didn't indicate whether you have any guns, I assumed you don't because you said Joel borrows guns. If you aren't averse to guns, I also recommend some father son time at the range. If he sees you being responsible and giving firearms respect, he may do the same. Besides, it's fun!

    I also wonder what you consider excessive interest in guns? Does he talk about them all the time? Does he read gun magazines and does he research guns on the internet? In my opinion it's a gray area as to what constitutes "excessive" interest. Some people think any interest is excessive because they are scared of guns. Collecting different types of guns or a large number of guns is not excessive to me. A well rounded collection could consist of many guns. Some used for training, some used for self defense and some used for protection during disasters, and some just for historical interest.

    What I would be concerned about is if he was interested in guns because of what they can do. If someone is using gun ownership to boost self esteem, or to be a "big man" or to intimidate people, then I would consider limiting access to guns. Guns are tools and bad people can use them as well as good people. Spend time with your son, find out what his motivation is. If it's just because it's something he would enjoy for recreation, join in. If it's not, then take charge of the situation and let him know what guns are for and what they are not. Good luck.
     
  9. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    My dad introduced us to firearms when I was 5 and my brother 3. He drilled safety into our heads from day one. 17 might be a little old, actually, to introduce a child to firearms, especially if he has proven himself to be irresponsible.

    My best advice is to get him enrolled in a state Hunter Safety course to start with, then get him into some NRA firearms safety and use classes.
     
  10. CARNUT1100

    CARNUT1100 New Member

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    Definitely get down the range with him, and ask the range officer to go over safety rules, and give you both a lesson on safety etc.
    Take the mystery out, and you may find his interest vanishes, or it mighit grow into a long and rewarding lifelong hobby and sport.
    Shooting is fun, but it can also be hard work to improve yourself, and it can be expensive.
    It can also be very rewarding.

    If you ignore it, he will be getting hi information from someone else which could be a very bad thing.
    Get him taught properly to start with and give him a good base to work from in the future if he decided to pursue it as a sport.

    I was taught firearm safety from the age of 3 and it is second nature to me, but if you come to it late hten you really need some good instruction.
    17 is not too old at all, if he is taught properly. I have introduces several older people to shooting, a few of which have stayed in the shooting sport, other have drifted away, but at least they now know safe firearm handling.

    Give it a go. You might enjoy it too.
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I introduced both my son and my daughter (who was a better shot than my son) to guns when they were 8 and 10 yrs. old. I made them memorize the gun safety syllabus before even handling a gun. My daughter lost interest, but my son didn't. I bought him a single shot Marlin .22 when he was 9. He was not allowed to shoot it unless I was present, and he was never given any ammo for it. He was allowed to keep it in his room and handle it and clean it. During the hunting season I was able to leave a fully loaded muzzleloader on the dining room table with no fear of either of my kids ever touching it without asking permission. I had a range in my backyard, so we shot often and it became second nature and held no "mystique". At 10 I bought him a single shot 20 ga. H&R, and at 16 I bought him a Henry .22 lever action. If you take the mystery out of guns at an early age, generally there are no problems later in life, and you have added a new member to the ranks of hunters and sportsmen that exemplify our American culture, or at least used to!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  12. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Many schools ban dodge ball and tag because they're too "warlike" and "violently competitive" (those were the words used by a teacher at my son's former school). It would be great if schools taught proper firearm handling, how to shoot and how to maintain a firearm. It's not going to happen anytime soon on any large scale.
     
  13. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Especially not since schools are bastions of Liberal/So-ciali-st mind control.
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I to was introduced to firearms at a very young age. Like RL did with his kids I had to memorize the safety rules. I had to know how to line up front and rear sights with the target as well as know how to clean my gun first before every firing a single shot.

    It is not unhealthy to be very intrested in firearms. I have been that way since 6 years old. My son is now starting to show intrest in my guns. So it is not time to teach him the safety rules and get him out on the range.

    I would really go to the range with him a few times to make sure he is handeling the firearms with respect and responsiability. ext best thing to do is this once you determin that he is safe and responciable enough to shoot firearms you need to go buy his own doesn't have to cost $5000 just a good old 22lr for him to plink with. Should do him good support him and don't have such a negitive look on firearms. There are plenty o us on here that are head over heals nuts over guns you would not know it untill you asked us a gun question. We are normal people with normal jobs. I for one work in the IT Field so we come from all over.

    I get the feeling that guns scare you. I may be wrong but they are just chunks of metal and wood or plastic or both.
     
  15. Nielz

    Nielz New Member

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    Thanks - well, he's changed a lot over the last two years. Far more right wing, far more sure of himself - and he looks different too. He's taken up with some new friends who have influenced him heavily and who talk about guns in a scary way. He's just trying to be the tough guy!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  16. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Being more sure of himself is scary???? I guess you mean cocky? Know it all? Or he just doesn't accept everything you do? In reality it seems that he's just growing up and becoming his own man, no longer a boy.

    Please let us know what you mean by "talk about guns in a scary way." If he's talking about randomly shooting people, or engaging in criminal activity, or planning a massacre, then you have something to worry about. If you mean he understands guns are used to defend ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our country, and he's willing to take on the responsibility that gun ownership entails, then perhaps you may need more education about guns.

    Honestly, I don't mean to be rude, but this last post of yours seems to indicate you buy in to all the leftist, America hating, anti-gun drivel those who want to destroy our rights put out. Why would your son becoming right leaning be scary to you? Because he doesn't believe in statist twaddle coming from the likes of Harry Reid, Feinstein, Pelosi, and the False Messiah brothers Al and Barry?

    If he is not into hate and the desire to hurt people with guns or intimidate them, then consider yourself lucky, for your dear sir or madam have raised a boy into a MAN!
     
  17. Nielz

    Nielz New Member

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    I understand.

    Maybe I shouldn't have brought politics into this discussion.

    His attitudes, beliefs and appearance have all changed radically since his involvement with these new friends. He's welcome to choose all those things, of course, but I sometimes think they're leading him.

    It's great to see him more confident and sure of himself, but sometimes when it comes to firearms he talks like an idiot. Most people with guns behave properly, but there are exceptions. I've ried to talk to him about the seriousness of it - and I think I can understand that it's important not to pass my own fears on to him.

    I think he'll be OK. A lot of the tough guy talk is just that - talk. But I want to learn with him.
     
  18. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Keep an eye on things, be open and honest with him about firearms, and if you can get to the range and have him learn firearm safety and proper shooting techniques, that would be great.

    You be the judge of the nature of his "tough talk". If you want to share what he's been saying, great. If not, that's understandable.
     
  19. Nielz

    Nielz New Member

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    They're just jokes he's been saying. It's pathetic really, but hardly something to joke about!

    His whole life has turned around since he took up with this gang - and he looks so different that his old friends don't recognise him!
     
  20. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Tell you what guy,
    When I was 17, I had already tried pcp, mushrooms and hash, in addition I was smoking pot on a many-times-a-day basis. For some reason that has escaped me for about 25 years, I also hated both of my parents. I never did anything bad to either of them, but I distrusted both of them (maybe just the drugs).I used to think my old man was a sucker, always working hard to earn money to buy things the family needed. I figured there had to be an easy way, I started breaking the law soon after leaving home at 18, and was generally a worry if not a problem for my parents for years.
    Seems to me that teaching your kid responsibility with a gun is a lesson best learned as a youngster. Please do not furnish your boy the materials he might need to begin a crime wave- not just for the innocent victims, but also for your own peace of mind.
    Good Luck