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Thread: Kids at the Range

  1. #1
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    Default Kids at the Range

    I'm all for kids learning gun safety and shooting, hunting, etc. but man... I saw some things the other day that are cause for concern.


    I go to the range and am getting setup at the handgun range. A guy is doing the same and has his truck backed up with a topper with a couple girls inside, maybe 6 and 10? No prob, they have hearing protection on and they are in a safe place while dad is getting setup. Then somewhere along the line the range goes hot and one of the kids is with dad and the other is down at the other end unattended. He hollars her back and I'm thinkin that a little kid running around a hot range with about 10 people shooting is not a good thing. Anyway, she comes back. He's shooting a carbine and another gun I think, an auto pistol and has also loaded up a revolver and says "here" or something to one kid and he sets it down on the bench, he's trying to coral the other one and/or also shoot or help her shoot, or load mags or something. Lot's going on at the same time…. Then the girl grabs the revolver off the bench, does a pivot while cocking the hammer, points it right at me and starts to walk around over to dad, she's pointing it at him and the other girl and not paying attention to the muzzle, all the time the hammer is cocked and a finger on or near the trigger! I hollar "HEY HEY WATCH IT!!" Dad takes control of the gun and then helps the girl shoot it. I didn't see any type of correction at that moment.

    I think the guy had too much going on at one time to be safe with all of it. He's loading and shooting several different guns, trying to get the kids lined out to shoot and keep track of both of them running around and doing his own shooting. I've been thinking about this and it seems that there was not a very good example being set for gun safety. When the girl grabbed the gun off the bench, cocked the hammer and started walking around and then when Dad took control, he should have used it as a teaching moment and then shut the whole operation down and gone home and let the moment and the correction sink in.

    I'm not trying to be an A-Hole but please people. If you take your kids to the range to shoot, maybe you should work on one thing at a time like one gun, one target, one kid at one time and focus on Safety and how you handle guns at the Range, etc. If you want to shoot several guns at once at a bunch of different targets leave the kids at home. We were all fortunate that she didn't discharge that revolver and shoot one of us but it wasn't because she did anything right. It was pure luck… or Divine Intervention. Please, Please, Please rethink how you do things when you have them out the next time.

    If you happen to be the guy and are reading this, I was the guy you gave the Ruger sticker to. Thanks again but please re-think your range time with your girls. We want them to be safe and act safely.


    Perry
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again

  2. #2
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    Snyd - I have just very recently embarked on the mission of introducing my Grandson to firearms, it is gonna be a long laborious road (as are most things with young children) and I would NEVER (NEVER) even momentarily consider doing what you just described watching (experiencing) - You are not, IN MY OPINION, being unreasonable in any way, shape or form - What the "gun world" does not need is another "accident" involving a child, let alone a child with a parent involved - these things are best reserved for individual time with complete concentration from all parties concerned ! there are more than enough places to do this in most areas - like "the man said" ... "common sense ain't all that common any more"

  3. #3

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    My SOP is one child at a time on the range/or hunting. That way I can watch and maintain control of the firearm and child at the same time.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I look at it a slightly different approach- one child (inexprienced shooter) to one adult. Sometimes I will go to the range with five or six people. Then, we have an adult sorta standing back to say "STOP". at that signal each inexprienced shooter freezes, and we evaluate what happened. Have to do it to my 28 year old step son all the time. He has a barely noticable learning disability. But, due to that disabilty ........sometimes he behaves like a child. And that closes range time or even hunting time for today. Due to his latest attitude, his moose season this year is over. (PERIOD).

    We have to be safe, and we need to look out for the safety of others while we are handling firearms.

    I beleave I would have tried to have a quiet word with the parent in this case Perry.
    Concrats on keeping your cool.

    Chris

  5. #5

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    Snyd--I can wholeheartedly second your opinion on this. I work at the Birchwood Range on the Rifle/Pistol side of the range, and I see a big variety of approaches that people take when their kids are along. The one that works the best and keeps safety in the forefront is this: the adult directly supervises at most two kids. The adult (ideally a very experienced shooter) is not shooting. Muzzle direction control is the primary safety instruction, and is not negotiable at all. Kids "get it" when they are working closely with an experienced shooter, most times. Kids' attention span is shorter, so until the safety rules become routine, you cannot depend on the kids to handle safely without direct supervision. Even really good kids have days when they aren't focused, and the session should be shortened and limited to practicing one or two skills on days like that.

    I would heartily recommend having your kids participate in the Youth Shooting Leagues that are coming up soon. Only one kid is firing at a time, and very experienced personnel are supervising and instructing. The shooting is all done with .22 rifles. Many parents accompany the kids, and help teach and co-supervise. The Leagues are specifically focused on safety, and then on accurate shooting. The Leagues will be tailored to group differing skill levels, so all kids will be challenged and will progress with their shooting skills. If you are interested, the club website brspclub.com has a calendar and some more detailed info.

    For adults who want to become more skilled with pistols and/or rifles, the Adult Leagues are also about to start for the winter season. Shooting in these leagues is done with .22 pistol, .22 rifle, and centerfire pistol (no magnums). This shooting is about accuracy and speed, utilizing a variety of steel and paper targets. Shooting in the Adult Leagues will be excellent practice for any adult who wants to instruct his kids in shooting, too. Safe gun handling is always the first focus, and practicing it helps it become ingrained in the brain so the sport is always kept safe.

    We encourage all of you to engage your kids in the shooting sports, and we welcome all ideas and questions you may have.

    Best Regards,

    Jim

  6. #6
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    "I'm not trying to be an A-Hole but please people."

    No, no, please be an A-Hole. Shooting guns is deadly serious business. I would guess most of us are within "one degree of separation" of first hand experience of someone being accidentally shot. Young kids have no business on a shooting range unless they are actively supervised. I don't care how mature or experienced your youngster is in your eyes, it's like walking your
    pit bull, rottweiler, etc off the leash. Gee, he's never attacked anyone before... The odds may be low, but the consequences are likely to be grave.

    Over the last 25 years I think the shooting and handling of guns has gotten lax. I was taught by an old school NRA instructor and then shot on military ranges. Pain in the butt? Yup. Safe? As safe as can be while handling weapons. There are too many days that I have packed up my gear and left public ranges due to unsafe or borderline gun handling practices. Around here, young kids are involved a lot. I'm not blaming the kids. I blame the adults who don't supervise them. In my fantasy world, I would not allow any kid under 18 to shoot at a public range who hasn't been through a NRA hunter (gun) safety course. It wouldn't prevent every accident, but it's a start.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Kids at the Range

    Range time is pretty easy for us the way we do it. I have the kids take a game boy or just let them play with my phone till time for their 1 on 1 with me. My oldest has passed hunter safety and helps set up when we go shoot. The other two play games in the truck till their turn.

  8. #8
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    My SOP is one child at a time on the range/or hunting. That way I can watch and maintain control of the firearm and child at the same time.
    This makes a lot of sense, and/or what Lujon is mentioning

    I just had both my boys to the range, with both wanting to shoot some, as a first time experience,
    and it was really difficult to keep a handle on it,

    Either, one was getting all the focus, and the other was showing signs of boredom,.....
    (which all Dad's will know, is precursor to something bad happening,...the bored one I mean)

    Or I had them both lined out with something, and just trying to keep an eye on both, was crazy, and nerve racking

    I did wait for an evening, when I knew the range would be clear of other shooters, so it was just the three of us,
    and my 10 yr old is pretty experienced, enough to know, "if I wanted him to wait and be patient, he knows the range is no place to be squirrely at all."
    and I've poured it on about Shooting/Hunting in general, it's a place of respect,....
    so he was real helpful with his younger brothers anticipation factor

    the younger one, just 5yrs, had been to the range, many times in the past, and entertaining himself safely in the background, or in cab of truck while myself and the older son did the shooting, always worked good, plenty content, for a while anyway
    but now that he's felt the power of squeezing that trigger, those days are clearly over

    So, now, Suddenly, I found myself with TWO boys, wanting to turn stuff loose, had to try to juggle the young boy amperage,...
    by timing it so one was busily loading 10 round .22mags while I supervised the others actual shooting

    Just Saying, it's not a place to get yourself into on a whim, but be prepared, it can be crazy, (and my boys are above average self controlled, Calm)
    I was real glad there weren't a bunch of other guys around blasting away (sometimes nice to live in a small town !!)

    Next time, I may keep it to one at a time at the range, so they get my full focus

    and By the Way, Snyd, as a Dad of younguns,...
    I would have No Problem at all, having you correct my sons, or myself, in front of them,
    if something like what you saw had happened,
    In my opinion, "It should be clear to the boys, that We All take this seriously,....No Room For Slacking Off even a little bit "
    Like that's what good neighbors should be able to do, right

    If a Dad isn't able to be corrected for mistakes in front of his young kids now,...while they're young,....
    he probably will be in front of them, or by them, later
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  9. #9
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    Default Kids at the Range

    Kodiak, I wonder if having one of them always dry firing would help ease the tension on your part??? I know, treat each gun as loaded, and it always did bore me a bit my father having me dry fire, but more and more I find value in it, the practice calling my shot, etc, and perhaps this would allow you a bit more peace of mind....despite the nagging doubt that maybe you didn't have all the ammo accounted for, etc etc etc.

    No end to a parents' worry, but just a quick thought I had.

    And snyd, thank you for a good thread and you have every right, make that responsibility, to be upset and to raise this issue as you have.

    I would hope that any parent would appreciate correction of their child from a fellow shooter, despite the urge to bristle and be defensive. Maybe they will be thankful later upon reflection...

    Thanks for saying something here. One accident is one too many.

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Good thread.

    I have seen the same thing with folks who cannot control their kids. I really hate it when one kid stands behind me and cries, yells and carries on about how he or she wants to shoot while the other kid is getting attention. It usualy happens when a non-shooting mom is standing behind the line with the kid, so the kid knows to act like a jerk to get mom's attention.

    Half a century ago, I could not have imagined trying that around my dad. I would have been given "the look" followed by a could ass-whooping with a willow stick. Anybody nearby whom I had offended would have ben invited to give me a few more good whacks.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  11. #11
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I really hate it when one kid stands behind me and cries, yells and carries on about how he or she wants to shoot while the other kid is getting attention.

    Half a century ago, I could not have imagined trying that around my dad. I would have been given "the look" ,.....
    In my firm opinion, These Days It Still Applies,....

    if the first part of this quote is happening,...at the Rifle Range,...
    and you don't have "Who's in Authority Here," clarified,...enough so you can effectively administer, the second part,...

    "The Look, that ends the problem,..." at least temporarily
    You need to go home and get that established,...somewhere else, Before the Rifle Range

    Boys will be Boys,.... Yep, and that's why they have Dads
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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