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. #1
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    Guns and children

    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?
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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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?
    Ive been shooting with my kids since they were 3-4 years old. They shoot with their kids. HEck, my granddaughter has a 'bedazzled' set of ear defenders. All of my grandkids have their first gift from me...a Ruger 10/22 rifle. I buy it for them when they are babies, they get it when their parents feel they are old enough to handle them. When they are in use they are with an adult. When they arent in use they are in a gun safe. Guns have never been stigmatized in our family and have never been a big deal. My kids werent 'fascinated' by them because they were commonplace and were always treated responsibly and safely.

    You use an anomaly to form an opinion? Sometimes people do stupid and reckless things. One of the things that bothers me about the rush to exploit every tragedy as an opportunity to seize other peoples guns is that we lose the opportunity to focus on some very VALUABLE lessons. Weapons safety and responsible gun ownership should be at the forefront of the discussion. Instead, people will take an incident involving a single shot pink hello kitty rifle and use that as their justification to impose assault weapons bans, magazine capacity bans, gun limits, etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: Guns and children

    I think the top one sums it up, it's up to the parents to determine their child's ability to handle a firearm. Some might be ready younger than others. Definitely not the 0-4 range though, preschoolers and younger just can't handle that type of responsibility.


    edit: Actually after I wrote this and read VanceMack's reply I would say that with a capable responsible adult, a younger 3-4 child could handle it. Again it goes back to the parent and how responsible they are.
    Last edited by americanwoman; 07-03-13 at 08:53 AM.
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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?
    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.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Ive been shooting with my kids since they were 3-4 years old. They shoot with their kids. HEck, my granddaughter has a 'bedazzled' set of ear defenders. All of my grandkids have their first gift from me...a Ruger 10/22 rifle. I buy it for them when they are babies, they get it when their parents feel they are old enough to handle them. When they are in use they are with an adult. When they arent in use they are in a gun safe. Guns have never been stigmatized in our family and have never been a big deal. My kids werent 'fascinated' by them because they were commonplace and were always treated responsibly and safely.

    You use an anomaly to form an opinion? Sometimes people do stupid and reckless things. One of the things that bothers me about the rush to exploit every tragedy as an opportunity to seize other peoples guns is that we lose the opportunity to focus on some very VALUABLE lessons. Weapons safety and responsible gun ownership should be at the forefront of the discussion. Instead, people will take an incident involving a single shot pink hello kitty rifle and use that as their justification to impose assault weapons bans, magazine capacity bans, gun limits, etc.
    Thanks for your view. It's an interesting perspective.

    I'd just argue that the more guns you have, you will inevitably have more gun related "accidents". And the more kids you provide with guns, the more kids will die. That's simple math, unless you ignore reality.

    I know back in kindergarten, we even got special low-risk scissors for kids. Normal "adult scissors" were taboo. Obviously, we have a very different background.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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    Re: Guns and children

    I don't know the correct answer as I have neither, but at what age should a child have wine or a beer? I imagine that anything that should be used responsibly requires exposure and education.

  7. #7
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    I don't know the correct answer as I have neither, but at what age should a child have wine or a beer? I imagine that anything that should be used responsibly requires exposure and education.
    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.
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

  8. #8
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    Re: Guns and children

    First of all, one can't legally own a gun in this country until the age of 21.

    I was introduced to firearms around the age of 5 or 6 but, only while observing adults on hunting trips. Around age nine I was allowed [on my own] to access any gun in the cabinet and was trained in care and safety of said guns. (we lived in a small town with lots of open country around)

    I hate to bring this up but, Germany in particular, probably has a negative attitude about guns due to the WWs. (misuse of power, disarmament, political chaos, etc)

    I would bet before those wars, it was very common for young European boys to hunt and target practice with their families. There's also a long line of fine gun makers from that region of the world.

  9. #9
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Thanks for your view. It's an interesting perspective.

    I'd just argue that the more guns you have, you will inevitably have more gun related "accidents". And the more kids you provide with guns, the more kids will die. That's simple math, unless you ignore reality.

    I know back in kindergarten, we even got special low-risk scissors for kids. Normal "adult scissors" were taboo. Obviously, we have a very different background.
    Its a false analogy. You can have few guns and treat them irresponsibly and you will be far more likely to have mishaps than with an armory handled responsibly. One person that buys a handgun and rather than securing it leaves the weapon in a purse and leaves the purse where kids can get to it...thats a recipe for tragedy.

    I have 4 kids. All 4 are very good shots, very comfortable with weapons, enjoy shooting sports, and understand how to safely manage firearms. The quantity of firearms is irrelevant, as is the age when they start shooting. Responsible parenting and mentoring is what is relevant.

  10. #10
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    Re: Guns and children

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Thanks for your view. It's an interesting perspective.

    I'd just argue that the more guns you have, you will inevitably have more gun related "accidents". And the more kids you provide with guns, the more kids will die. That's simple math, unless you ignore reality.

    I know back in kindergarten, we even got special low-risk scissors for kids. Normal "adult scissors" were taboo. Obviously, we have a very different background.
    Unfortunately, your argument applies to just about any technology that has a potential for harmful use. The more cars in use the more chance of accidents. The more toys in use the more chance of accidents. The more electrical appliances in use the more chance of accidents. On and on.

    Should we therefore keep children out of cars, from using the toaster or electric fan, or playing with toys? Or should we rather act responsibly as parents and (using VanceMack's example) guide and supervise our children in their proper use with safety foremost in our minds?
    Last edited by Captain Adverse; 07-03-13 at 09:26 AM.

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