View Poll Results: At which age should a child be allowed to own a gun?

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  • I don't think there should be age limits. It's the responsibility of the parents.

    11 22.45%
  • 0-4 years

    0 0%
  • 5-8 years

    1 2.04%
  • 9-12 years

    7 14.29%
  • 13-14 years

    3 6.12%
  • 15-16 years

    0 0%
  • 17-18 years

    14 28.57%
  • 21 years

    5 10.20%
  • Private gun ownership should not be allowed at all.

    0 0%
  • other (please explain)

    8 16.33%
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Thread: Guns and children

  1. #11
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    Re: Guns and children

    There is a difference between owning guns and having access to guns. I grew up around guns and began hunting somewhere around 8 or 9. Didn't own a gun until I was around 17 or so. At no time were gns treated as a toy or something sinister and evil,

    My grandson shot his first deer at 7, but once again, guns were never treated as toys.

    I have some problems with the Cricket style kids guns in that it is dificult for a very young child to understand the difference between a pink lethal weapon and a pink toy.

    Today I have more problem with gun games around young kids. Shooting the bad guy only to have him pop back up sends the wrong message. We knew better.

  2. #12
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    I'd argue that cars/motorbikes and low-alcohol drinks are much less dangerous than guns and rifles, and thus the latter should not be given to kids before the former.
    As I said, I don't know the right answer, but I guess it depends on the context. Here Johnny, take your .44 Magnum and go out and play with your friends is different than being with your child, handing them a secured handgun on a shooting range and then supervising the handling of the weapon.

    I have driven all over and I have also shot on a shooting range. I felt safer on the shooting range as the people I was around were very responsible. On the highways, eyeliner has caused more havoc.

  3. #13
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    Re: Guns and children

    It is always interesting when Europeans scratch their heads and wonder what the deal is with Americans and guns. They will never grasp how they represent freedom to us. It is not only the freedom to stand up to a potentially out of control government but the freedom to protect yourself and feed yourself. I got my first gun around 10 years old. Some of my best memories are rabbit hunting in the desert with my dad.

  4. #14
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    Re: Guns and children

    Deadly gun accidents involving children tend to involve children who had little to no exercise handling a gun - thus creating a curiousity about them, while not knowing how they work. Lack of knowledge can be deadly.

    Your poll is "off" as you ask about "ownership" - but talk about handling/using - which is something entirely different.

  5. #15
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    Re: Guns and children

    It's odd to me that there is this assumption that kids shooting guns does not happen in Europe. My father is originally from Ireland and he used to take me out shooting when I was a kid whenever we went back to Ireland. we'd go out with .22 rifles and shotguns (depending on what we were hunting). By the time I was 15, when we went back there I was allowed to go hunting with about 6 or 7 of my friends without any adult supervision. My brother and I were the only American kids in the group. The youngest of us was 14, the oldest was 17.

    whereas back here in the States, I didn't go out shooting with my father until I was 18.

    To me it seems like more of a rural vs. urban thing than a continent thing. My family is from a rural part of Ireland, so I guess it is more "normal" for kids to go out shooting there, I guess. Almost all of the guys I go hunting/shooting with here in the States are either from Ireland themselves or their parents came from Ireland (the few that aren't Irish are cops).
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  6. #16
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    One thing that totally amazes me about America (well, certain regions in America at least) is that guns are considered such a normal everyday tool that even children are provided with guns. The other day, I even heard that there exist certain rifle models that are designed for kids and advertized as such.

    Being European, this is culturally totally alien to me. And it strikes me as completely insane, no matter how I turn it. I bet the reaction of most of my fellow countrymen is similar. When there were cases in the news about 4 or 5 year old American kids shooting their younger siblings with guns their parents had given them, that was just one big "I told you so"-moment, as horrible as these cases are. I really think the parents should go to jail for this irresponsibility.

    Seriously: How can anybody give a child a gun? How stupid can one be? Guns are not for kids, period.

    Or do you seriously think kids should have access to deadly weapons that can kill in an instant and are exclusively designed for that purpose, but are not responsible enough to drive before they turn 16, or to drink alcohol before they turn 18/21?! (Or to have consensual safe sex, for that matter.) That simply does not compute.

    So what do you think? Which age is appropriate for kids to have access to guns?
    I voted 13-14 years old. And that, in my mind, would be a hunting rifle -- maybe a shotgun. If one lives in the city, it's hard to imagine why a kid would want/need a gun. If one lives in the country? It's not hard to imagine at all. People in the "real" country, need guns in their home to protect themselves. You know the old saying? "When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away." In the country? They're 45 minutes away. Or more.

    If people are going to have guns in their house for protection (or hunting...or killing a rattlesnake in the driveway, for that matter), then educating children about them is not only proper, but necessary.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    It is always interesting when Europeans scratch their heads and wonder what the deal is with Americans and guns. They will never grasp how they represent freedom to us. It is not only the freedom to stand up to a potentially out of control government but the freedom to protect yourself and feed yourself. I got my first gun around 10 years old. Some of my best memories are rabbit hunting in the desert with my dad.
    For many Germans, cars and highways without speed limit represent freedom (there is that slogan "free driving for free citizens!") and there are many car crazy people who keep attacking the government for taxing gasoline and introducing speed limits, no matter how reasonable these restrictions are. I guess they'd also tell people they have to take their guns from their "dead cold hands". I don't understand these people either.
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    Re: Guns and children

    The age depends on the particular kid. I used to go hunting with my dad when I was 7 and would target shoot then as well. Gun safety was drilled into my head. Frankly, I feel more threatened by teenagers behind the wheel than teenagers behind a scope.

    The vast majority of times you hear about kids accidentally killing someone with a gun, it almost always ends up being a kid who hasn't had proper safety training and hasn't spent time on the range. Usually when you hear about a kid accidentally killing someone it is usually the first time they have ever even fired a weapon.

    I remember the first time I fired a rifle. It was at a deer range. My dad had set up a target and he was standing right behind me showing me how to hold the rifle properly. The kick I felt with that first shot taught me immediately that this was an object to be treated with the utmost care and respect.

  9. #19
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    One thing that totally amazes me about America (well, certain regions in America at least) is that guns are considered such a normal everyday tool that even children are provided with guns. The other day, I even heard that there exist certain rifle models that are designed for kids and advertized as such.

    Being European, this is culturally totally alien to me. And it strikes me as completely insane, no matter how I turn it. I bet the reaction of most of my fellow countrymen is similar. When there were cases in the news about 4 or 5 year old American kids shooting their younger siblings with guns their parents had given them, that was just one big "I told you so"-moment, as horrible as these cases are. I really think the parents should go to jail for this irresponsibility.

    Seriously: How can anybody give a child a gun? How stupid can one be? Guns are not for kids, period.

    Or do you seriously think kids should have access to deadly weapons that can kill in an instant and are exclusively designed for that purpose, but are not responsible enough to drive before they turn 16, or to drink alcohol before they turn 18/21?! (Or to have consensual safe sex, for that matter.) That simply does not compute.

    So what do you think? Which age is appropriate for kids to have access to guns?
    I can understand someone from Germany thinking our gun laws are too lax, because your guns laws are incredibly strict compared to ours, although the law here varies where you are in America. In the state of Georgia, you have to be 21 to buy a handgun, however you can possess a handgun at 18. For people under 18 handgun possession is restricted to certain activities, such as hunting or target shooting. As far as rifles and shotguns, minors can possess them. And something even people in some other American states can't believe, at 21 a person in Georgia can pay $75, get fingerprinted at the Sheriff's office, and get a criminal background check, then within a week can legally carry a handgun openly or concealed to almost anywhere (such as the grocery store or movie theater or around the neighborhood) without any training whatsoever. Crazy huh? By the way, in Germany is there still no enforced drinking age? And you have to be 18 to drive after some thorough and expensive training?

  10. #20
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    It is always interesting when Europeans scratch their heads and wonder what the deal is with Americans and guns. They will never grasp how they represent freedom to us. It is not only the freedom to stand up to a potentially out of control government but the freedom to protect yourself and feed yourself. I got my first gun around 10 years old. Some of my best memories are rabbit hunting in the desert with my dad.
    Keep in mind that Europe is still—and will probably always be—trapped in pretty much the same tyrannical mindset against which our forebears rebelled in order to found the United States.
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    We can be Godless and free. • “Social justice” through forced redistribution of wealth. • Silencing religious opinions counts as “diversity”. • Freedom without moral and personal responsibility. • Civilization can survive the intentional undermining of the family.

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