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. #21
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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?
    As a gun owner, life member of the NRA and staunch supporter of the 2A.
    I really hate it when people from other nations cherry pick certian isolated insidents and claim that its a national issue or problem.
    Anyone that allows a fire arm to fall in to the hands of a minor and said minor shoots anyone the owner of the gun should face prison.
    I dont care if its a sister shooting a brother, you shoot your kid "accidently" or your kid shoots himself.
    You own the weapon, you are the parent. Act like it.
    Do you leave your car running with your 5 year old inside bouncing around?
    Do you let your child play with matches?
    Same concept.
    And futhermore, anyones stupidity or criminal activity does not trump our 2A rights.

  2. #22
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    Re: Guns and children

    The world is filled with dangerous objects, children shouldn't be isolated from risks, they should be properly trained how to handle them. Guns, alcohol and cars are a items that have the potential for serious harm if used improperly. While its reasonable to restrict minors from using them unsupervised, its important that they be allowed to receive education on how to handle them from their parents. Its certainly safer for a child to handle a gun with a responsible parent present teaching them gun safety compared to an "adult" who is old enough but lacks the experience to handle weapons properly. The unfortunate part in the U.S. is that you can take you kid to the range to teach them how to shoot, but its illegal in many states to have a cold beer with them afterwards.

  3. #23
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    Re: Guns and children

    Just as Europeans are astonished by gun ownership in America, those on the American Left are embarrassed by the so called "gun culture" in America because of how Europeans view us. They want to be like Europe, and so gun control goes hand-in-hand with this objective.
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  4. #24
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    Re: Guns and children

    17-18 years seems to be the natural answer. That's when people are supposed to be mature enough to handle other serious responsibilities, like voting or marriage.

    As for supervised handling of guns - why, as soon as the child is physically and mentally capable to do it.

    Being able to shoot is no different from being able to swim or tell edible mushrooms from poisonous ones - a basic survival skill. And the sooner a kid has the NRA safety mantra drummed into his or her little skull - the better ("Always assume that all guns are loaded. Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy", and so forth).

    As far as I am concerned, this has nothing to do with some mythical cultural differences: a city-dwelling modern German is not all THAT different from his cousins in Wisconsin - or from the gun-toting Swiss, for that matter.
    I think the main dividing factor is that many in Europe - for obvious historical reasons - started to believe in safety and comfort that are not of their own making. But that is a dangerous delusion. You don't make yourself safe by delegating risky activities to the powers-to-be. You make yourself safe by learning how to handle risks.

    Of course, mine is a point of view of a lifetime NRA member.

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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    those on the American Left are embarrassed by the so called "gun culture" in America .
    Unless, of course, they are from Vermont: Arguably, the "leftiest" state in USA - and the most "pro-gun" at the same time. That's another great thing about America: we just too big and diverse to fit any stereotypes.

  6. #26
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    Re: Guns and children

    18 years old (the age one could smoke cigarettes), seems like a proper age imo. But I have no problem with a younger person shooting a gun with adult supervision. I've shot guns myself since I was 11.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Just as Europeans are astonished by gun ownership in America, those on the American Left Wrong are embarrassed by the so called "gun culture" in America because of how Europeans view us. They want to be like Europe, and so gun control goes hand-in-hand with this objective.
    Those on the far wrong, who are embarrassed by this and other characteristics which set the American culture so far above the European culture against which we rebelled, really ought to just consider moving to Europe. Presumably, they'd be happier in a culture that is more to their liking, and we'd be much better off without them trying to drag us back down into the primordial soup from which our ancestors shed so much blood to escape.
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  8. #28
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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'm sure that you would agree that kids need to learn the difference between tools and toys. I'd also presume that you would find it reasonable for that education to begin at a young age. Most people, for example, would have no problem handing their infant child a plastic toy hammer but not a 20oz, demolition claw hammer. The key to this, of course, is that what the child has access to and under what restrictions they have that access is dependent on the child's level of development. When it comes to guns the rules don't change.

    If I give my 3 year old a toy hammer and he pounds on the furniture even after I tell him not to I'm certainly not going to give him a real hammer. However, if my child shows an interest in carpentry or some other work I'm doing and acts responsibly then I might well give him a small hammer and nails so that he can kind of join in the work. I will observe what he is doing and instruct him on how to use the tool, taking it away if he acts irresponsibly. In a few years of this type of training I may well have him using different tools as long as he continues to show interest and responsibility. By the time he is 6 or 7 he may be using power drills or hand saws in a limited capacity.

    The natural progression of this type of education may well lead to handling firearms if they are common in the household. For example, if it is common for me to shoot coyotes or hogs on my ranch as pest control then it would be reasonable that my children would be aware of the practice and start participating in that chore at a fairly young age. The same would apply to a family that regularly hunts and fishes. I'll grant you that if I live in an apartment in lower Manhattan I probably won't be doing this kind of thing but if I live in rural New York I probably will.
    Last edited by Lutherf; 07-03-13 at 02:45 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Guns and children

    The poll questions leave a little to be desired and here is why. Gun ownership isn't simple in this particular day and age, it's not "the purchaser" and the "owner" necessarily being the same thing in legal terms. I think to actually be able to purchase a gun without an adult present a person should be 18 years old, or age of majority. But for a child under that age to buy a gun under adult supervision it should be up to said parent/guardian to determine that the child is ready to own one, but I would say somewhere around the age of 11-14 for something like that.

    To actually own a weapon, meaning legal transfer from adult to another person, I think there should be no age limit, again, when said purchaser of the weapon decides the youth is responsible enough to own it that should be the appropriate age. Sure, there are some adults who probably would misjudge that, but that's the case with just about anything in life.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by molten_dragon View Post
    It's appropriate whenever the kid has proven that they are responsible enough to handle owning one. I'll probably start teaching my kids to handle a gun at 5 or 6, though only under strict supervision, and only if they are mature enough to take it seriously at that age.
    Shot my first weapon at 6, a little .25 revolver. Shot my first rifle shortly thereafter, around 10, little .22lr. But before I ever had a weapon in my hand my dad drilled and re drilled safety into my head until I showed safe handling was natural to me.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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