Give Your Kids the Option of Armed Defense as Adults


Exposing children to guns isn’t about pushing an agenda or creating a potential for disaster. Responsibly and safely introducing kids to shooting can empower them to be able to rationally consider the option for armed defense as adults without the baggage of the fear of the unknown that some many adults currently have.

Quite often, I have discussions with adults who have recently accepted the need to be responsible for their own personal defense. Many times, they have intellectually acknowledged that owning and knowing how to use a firearm would be prudent, but they are emotionally uncomfortable with the idea of guns.

This never happens with someone who was exposed to the fun of shooting at a young age. While those who grew up target shooting with their family or hunting with their grandfather don’t necessarily have the skills they need for armed defense with a gun, at least they have a comfort level with the idea that guns are something much more than the talisman of evil that they are often portrayed as in popular culture.

As parents, we should all strive to raise well-rounded critical thinkers who have experienced many things in controlled environments and under the supervision of experienced people (ourselves or professionals that we hire). Whether it’s riding a horse, climbing a rock wall, learning about a different culture, reading a classic novel, shooting a gun, or playing sports, kids should be exposed to a variety of diverse activities that they can become comfortable with and use to make their own choices about what will be part of their adult lives.

“Guns & Kids” is unfortunately a hot-button topic in our society. The fact is that interpersonal violence is real and all parents should want to empower their children to be able to defend themselves. Preventing children from shooting at a reasonable age not only increases the likelihood that they will be involved in a firearm accident or injury from negligence, it could also make it much more difficult for them to be able to take the reasonable step of being prepared to defend themselves (and their own families) as adults.

Hunting, target shooting and competitions are a great way to get kids comfortable with guns. If you are not qualified to instruct your own child in the fundamentals, find someone who is. In most communities, there will be a resource for Youth Shooting Sports and you can always contact the National Rifle Association to find a certified instructor close to you.

Check out this CNN story about a 10-year-old competitive shooter.

More from PDN:

Kids and Guns: When to Teach Kids about Guns

Raising Children in A World of Guns

Kids & Guns: Three Airsoft Mistakes

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26 Responses to “Give Your Kids the Option of Armed Defense as Adults”

  1. WhoCares

    Show that photo in Calif/Mexico.
    And 5-0 will be right over to take your gun’s.
    And try and take you to jail. And child welfare.
    Will be at your door before you can fart a tune.
    Don’t show this in public are on the net.
    No way. Not in cesspool. Calif/Mexico.

  2. BILL

    I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. So did my kids. Ten of my eleven grandchildren hunt and fish. Four of my granddaughters carry for protection.

  3. Sovereign

    My father and older brothers never taught me anything about using firearms. Fortunately, I enrolled in Army ROTC in high school (that was before government schools had been taken over by the anti-gun, anti-military left) and learned a great deal there. Then service in the Army and more training later. So, I trained my child in shooting and safe use of firearms before the middle school years.

  4. Wayne Mackie

    Both my boys were taught to shoot and respect firearms at an early age. They had air rifles at four-five years old and went .22l/r plinker shooting from eight years old. We lived in the country. They still both hunt today.

  5. Bill Turnbuill

    Very mixed feelings about this story. Have 10 y/o granddaughter, and cannot imagine her handling a firearm.

  6. Don

    Another way to look at this is that the left wants to disarm this country with “common sense” gun laws that they will not enforce and therefore need tighter and more restrictive gun laws and the cycle goes on until we become disarmed like the UK, France, Australia, etc. A few months ago Trump could not have beat Hillary and Hillary could not be beat Trump ; thankfully Hillary beat herself by treating Bernie so badly and intersecting herself as the Dem of choice. In the same way we are beating ourselves by not teaching otherwise well adjusted children about our version of gun control (keep your finger off the trigger, don’t point the gun anywhere but down range / in a safe direction, don’t shoot anything that you don’t want to destroy). After that teach them the value of gun ownership, gun pass times and looking ahead to their family : when they need the police in 60 seconds (based on the fact that police can’t be everywhere at once) it will take them 5 or 10 or more minutes to arrive. Without reasoning when and how to start kids with guns we are handing this important issue to the Left of the future. We owe something better to our kids.

  7. Jazz Aquino

    Don’t child-proof your guns. Gun-proof your children. Teach them gun safety an early age.

  8. John

    I was taught how to shoot a variety of firearms when I was a child. My family had a large piece of property and we setup targets all the time for fun. I was around 5 years old when I first fired a 22 rifle. Not only did this take the fear of firearms away but, also taught me the power they have and the damage they can do. I learned to respect all types of weapons because of this. I feel the sooner people learn about guns the sooner we can prevent accidents from negligence or just plain ignorance.

  9. Jojo Afable

    “Curiosity kills a cat”. It applies well with children and mind you, even adults who’ve never handled gun all their lives believing “gun” is bad and evil. That’s all I can say.

  10. Different mike

    sorry got cut off because of Internet connwction. anyway. u showes your own arrogance on the topic. your not able to look past your own narrow single.minded ignorant view obviously you can’t place your mind in the place of a reasonable adult or child. Of course they will think they are cool. Most kids find anything new or different among other things cool to them…the whole reason for educating and teaching them proper safety skills and all the other basics as well as what a bullet and firearm can do to someone or something the dangers and responsibilities as well as the good sides to using or having holding all of that that comes along with firearms. You have to teachieve them the fUn and the dangers hence the whole reason for teaching them basics at a younger age. I’ve been shooting and everything since I was 5. I’m not gonna say my military occupation but I will tell you this. It’s a very highly skilled well trained soldier that very few can make it to…nuff said. I can handle myself with or without a firearm against multiples anytime. I promise and know for sure because it’s a tested and proven many times over that I can…now I would be doing my little girl a disservice if myself as a father didn’t teach my little girl starting young the same skills that took me years to master the same sets of skills. I personally don’t wanna have to send my daughter put into the world not being able to handle herself in any situation if she needed to and I hope she never does but that don’t mean to not prepare her and teach her the skills to handle what arises. If you want to be that dad that sends his out running like a chicken with no sense that’s your right just like it is your right to post your comment. Your that kind of person. I’m the kind of person that will prepare my kids for the real world just like I’m also the kind of person that fought for your freedom to post your ignprance and sit on your couch doing it….while the rest fight. By all means do u’s a favor stay there keep typing do us a favor…
    Different Mike than above
    U.S. ARMY

  11. Steve Kindle

    My son was interested in my guns & the gun cabinet at a very young age. From adout the time he was 8 I would take him to the target range to learn how to shoot & the right way to handle a gun safely. My son new that if he wanted to go shooting all he had to do was & the next time I could take him we would go. I think that because I showed him at a young age about guns that he never tried to get my guns when I was not home. He went on to go into the amry as an MP. He now works in a federal prison. Being confident around guns has help him to achieve his goals. Also teaching young children about guns takes all the mystery out of them.

  12. Jose Velazquez

    I was born and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, and never knew anything about guns or even hunting until I joined the military. Fast forward, after military service I moved to the south, and started my love for firearms. To make a long story short, I have raised my four children around firearms, and have taught them at a young age about firearms, and the need to respect and not fear them. I am happy to report that we have never had a firearm mishap with any of my children. Til this day they still respect and not fear firearms, and I am positive they will do well teaching their own children in the near future.

  13. Jonathon Hood

    Great information for everybody. My kids and now grandkids have all grown up around guns, shooting and hunting and therefore have the knowledge and respect for firearms and there potential, both good and bad. It’s all of our responsibility to raise our youth and older adults properly. Thanks a million!

  14. Kevin Hagus

    I didn’t thank my Father often enough while he was still alive for starting my firearms education at the tender age of eight. He taught me right, and in the right order. By the time I joined the USAF at the age of 19, I was already an expert marksman and proficient in Rifles, Pistol, Revolvers and Shotguns. I’ve now been handling and shooting firearms for over 50 years, and have never had an accident or negligent discharge. I’m a daily concealed/open carrier for many, many years. Handling a firearm is like getting out of bed and breathing to most people. It’s a part of my daily life, and will continue to be until my last day on Earth. I have my Father to thank for that. I feel sorry for all the kids growing up today with GenX parents who are scared to even look at the picture of a firearms. Their children will grow up to be scared little victims, and their children’s children will grow up to be the same. Unless they are lucky enough to have a mind of their own and the ability to logically cut through the ignorance and learn to be their own person. I’m grateful every single day for having grown up in a time when logic and truth won the day, and parents knew what they had to do to teach their children to be upstanding adults who were moral, courageous, and had integrity enough to make sure that they and their families would never get on their knees and succumb to being a willful victims. Thanks Dad!

  15. Bill Seiber

    i started my kid and my grandchildren out with nerf guns to teach to help them gun safety ,then we went to bbguns,then 22’s now they shoot everything we go to the range very often and they could probably out shoot many police officers.Shooting is not only a fun family event but a teachable moment that they will never forget

  16. paque

    As a person who has carried a gun in one venue or another for over 20 years, I have to say that exposing our children to firearms is a must. While all is good when we are around, what happens when we are not around and our kids encounter situations where they find a firearm. I always taught mine do not touch it and tell and adult. If someone else touches it, make sure you do not get in front of that barrel, get out safely and tell an adult. As my oldest son grew his interest in firearms and possibly the military grew as well. I gave him some basic firearms and self defense training and as he advanced so did his training. We shot some competitions together and to be honest those are some of the best memories I will have. Now that he is in college and wants to get his concealed weapons permit and I am all for it. I think he is a responsible young adult and can hold his own should he have to. Now I have a son in 1st grade and we start the cycle all over, I only hope I am still able to give him the type of attention I was able to give my oldest. As far as the picture goes, I think it’s a dang cool memory in the works…

    • William (Bill) Morton

      Perhaps Elder Brother could fill in for, “DAD”, if the courses of fire are too physically challenging? Might make a GREAT three way bonding experience? “You know little brother, back in the day, DAD taught me to do this. I’m just here to lend a hand”.

  17. Jerry Gabrovic

    If that picture is an example, you are no person to be instructing anyone on guns. Guns are not COOL. They are a tool for hunting and used otherwise only in the direst of circumstances. Kids might not get that!

      • Kevin Hagus

        Mike…..Jerry is obviously an Anti Troll. I just finished rolling my eyes at his post, and I read it like an hour ago. What a Derp!

    • Rollin McKim

      One can draw no conclusions from that photo other than the nonsense you did. Too little information.

      Would it had met your approval if she was in camo?

      In fact, sje looks to me likely to be one of tomorrow’s heroes, whether public or private.

    • Different mike

      Jerry, who are you to even say that.I am in fact a combat vet with multiple deployment’s as a very highly skilled soldier and person. The picture is a cool picture. Guns are a cool fun hobby as well as a powerful tool in the hands of the right person. You show your arrogance in the matter

    • Trent Schultz

      Jerry, I am missing what you are concerned with in the photo as well. Please explain.

    • Johnny B

      I fail to see how this a bad example of someone’s ability to instruct how to handle a firearm, Jerry. Proper trigger discipline, muzzle pointed in a safe direction, ears and eyes. Looks like she has the basics down. I’ve carried a gun all my life and see nothing wrong here.

  18. Gene1001

    I taught my children at an early age. Guns are a taboo subject in their house though. So sad.