Properly mentoring young people in the shooting sports has never been as important as it is today. In a world where the firearm proficiency of law-abiding citizens is repeatedly called into question, and our Second Amendment rights are constantly under attack, we must ensure that our young people are taught how handle and shoot firearms the right way. This means teaching our youth proper gun safety rules, as well as ensuring that they can shoot accurately. All teaching requires patience and a few curriculum guidelines. While we can’t help you with the patience part, we can point you in the right direction when it comes to some critical guidelines.
Posters and Signs
Young people respond to visual stimulation more so now than ever. Having a poster or a sign up in your kid’s room that specifically states the rules of gun safety is a huge stepping stone in terms of instilling that safety in your child. Put it someplace where you are sure they will see it each day, meaning on a wall that faces their bed, not behind the door or inside the closet. Just the simple act of seeing the rules, in writing and every day, goes a long way in terms of teaching and learning retention.
While this may be a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many folks overlook this element when teaching youngsters to shoot. Shooting is inherently scary to most people encountering it for the first time, but especially for kids. You are essentially controlling an explosion with your hands. Set your kid up for success by starting with a small caliber rifle. This will minimize the fear factors that come along with heavy recoil and muzzle report. While you may be tempted to show your kid the big bang of a 20 gauge or the feel of your AR, you just can’t beat a .22 rifle when it comes to first-time shooters. Start small and build from there.
One Shot at a Time
Kids nowadays are exposed to immediate gratification that breeds a level of impatience. That impatience translates into all things and is particularly harmful when it comes to the shooting sports, a place where slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Start your kid off with a bolt-action, single-shot rifle. While there are plenty of affordable and quality semi-auto guns out there, choosing to start your kid off with a single-shot weapon ensures that they make the most of their one shot. Conversely, having a full clip of ammo and a semi-auto weapon tends to embolden new shooters into pulling the trigger more and aiming less.