No way to intro kids to shooting
I ran across an AP story today that told of a marked increase in the number of serious injuries kids were getting from bb guns. These weren't the "put your eye out" stuff from careless/stupid handling of a Red Ryder. They were chest cavity penetrations, perforated bowels, penetrated livers and spleens. The article wasn't out and out anti-gun but the implications were clear that the AP writer wasn't thrilled with guns. There wasn't any explanation of why these injuries were happening, but I have a pretty good guess.
A couple of years ago I had some students that were exposed to some of the most idiotic irresponsible parenting I'd ever been made aware of. They knew I hunted and asked me if I'd ever been in a bb gun fight. It seems that some parents who ran in the same circle of stupidity, decided that paint ball guns were too expensive and messy. So they got themselves and their kids some air rifles and safety glasses and used bbs which could be swept up with magnets (when used in the basement) and recycled. I pumped the kids for as much info as I could and went looking for a responsible party to relieve myself of the legal liability of not reporting potential child abuse. Some of the boys had visible welts and punctures which they were proud to show off. I was advised to tell our school resource officer the next day as he was out of the building for the day.
The next day I did not pass go or collect $200 before finding our SRO. Evidently one of the little geniuses went home and told about how teacher was really interested in the bb gun fights. By the time the SRO got to them, it was like it never happened, and there were other explanations for the battle scars they so proudly displayed the day before. In the course of my conversation with them the previous day, I learned that there were rules about the number of "pumps" allowed in their Daisy air rifles. Of course if someone made you mad you could always sneak a couple of extras in. And then there were the kids that they invited in, not knowing that not all air rifles work alike. The inevitable escalation occurred and some of the parents went along with it to make things "fair." Without a significant wound and a kid willing to be truthful about how it happened, there wasn't anything the SRO could do because it didn't rise to the level of probable cause in the eyes of his superiors.
I'd be willing to bet that a bunch of the injuries being reported in the news articles come out of these on the cheap paint ball substitute bb gun fights.
Any of you ever hear of this in your neck of the woods?
BTW none of the kids hunted, or had taken the state's hunter safety course, but they all sure liked to wear their jeans below their waistlines, and their underwear above their belt lines. 'Nuff said.
BB gun wars happen alot more than you probably realize. When I was growing up in Iowa I know it went on alot, not usually with parental backing but it happens. I also did know of a place where every year on the 4th of July this particular family had a BBQ at their house, and would allow the kids to have bottle rocket wars. Yes actually shooting bottle rockets at each other just for entertainment. And the parents approved of it. Now I was young, but even then I knew just how STUPID it was. Just waiting for someone to lose an eye or worse, and the proud few would show off their scars as you describe also.
I think that kids that are taught how to treat firearms and anything dangerous safely think twice about stuff like this. But it isn't always the parents fault, however that is really sad that some parents advocate that kind of behavior, and then would probably want to sue somebody after their child gets injured.
Been waiting for this to happen in the wake of paint ball, which came in the wake of laser "tag." Mix in hours on Game Boys and such, and it's pretty hard for kids to distinguish between weapons. Mix in uninformed parents, and it gets even messier- whether they encourage BB gun wars or ban guns altogether. All the while letting their kids watch "cartoons" about super heros living out their shooting fantasies.
What a mess.
I beleive parents are allowing children to access these guns without teaching them anything about gun safety. Along with just seeing guns used in video games and movies. I am pretty young (14) and along with common sense and basic gun safety my father taught me i never got into any trouble with bb or pellet guns shooting them from 8 or 9 yrs old. And i did play these "violent video games".
it isn't the video games...
It's the movie & MTV series Jackass, that the kids want to emulate...Johnny Knoxville & his crew are always looking for stunts to pull that would impress audiences, & have made two movies, trying to out do the first one...
Not like it used to be
I remember growing up, my Dad left his shotgun and bird hunting vest in my closet because my Mom utilized most all of the space in theirs. Listening to the anti-gunners talk these days, its a miracle that I wasn't the victim or perpetrator of some tragedy.
I have four daughters that all know about safe firearms handling. Some have an interest, some don't, but the point is that they had to be taught.
Parents today should take some kind of NRA course in firearm/airgun/slingshot/whatever safety, because too many never had the benefit of growing up in a household with guns themselves.
Speaking of shooting and firearms safety, i have recently moved to Alaska and was wondering where some good target shooting areas are in the Palmer/Wasilla area. I would appreciate any help. Thanks
Birchwood range is a nice spot, though the membership fee is stiff. If you do a lot of shooting it might be worth it though you have to drive halfway to Anchorage to get there. I'm not familiar enough with Palmer/Wasilla areas to know what else might be closer to you in the way of an established range.
Place to shoot
Birchwood is $10 per day
An annual membership is $175 per year with unlimited access to include after hours access.
MatSu Valley sportsman has a nice indoor range that is $10 to shoot I think, you can buy a punch card too...
Both are nice and are cheap places to shoot....
Oh I belong to both...