Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pushing Kids Too Fast.

I finally got to watch some hunting shows and Pig Man was one I've been hearing about so I tune in to the Cotton Mesa TX hog episode. Everything's fine until the dad wheels out the lil 6 year old and says he's gonna be using what appears to be an adult size high powered rifle. They don't show either shot the boy takes at a hog, probably because the little guy can't handle the rifle himself. Later when they find a hog they think is the one he shot at Dad is carrying the rifle.

Why do some dads insist on starting kids WAY to early with big guns? It's unsafe since the kid can't handle the weight and length of the rifle nor the recoil. Pushing a kid into a gun too big for their little bodies is also a great way to develop a flinch in a new shooter. I was tall for my age and wasn't allowed to carry a rifle other than a .22 until I was almost 10 years old. I can't imagine handing a small child a rifle and expect him to be able to control the muzzle like he should.

One recent instance of this nonsense I witnessed was at the trap range. One dad was insisting junior shoot dad's older shotgun and the poor kid couldn't even shoulder the gun correctly. Even when it was pointed out to dad that it was teaching the kid poor gun handling and shooting skills and also how unsafe it was for the kid to fumble around the shotgun, pop insisted on continuing their practice. Grrrr, sometimes you just want to shake people.

In many states youth hunters can't hunt big game until they are 12 years old like here in CA. I'd say that's about the right age but each kid develops at their own pace. When a young hunter should be trusted with a firearm should be up to the parent to make the right call, and PLEASE, leave all the macho BS out. Make the safe decision.

Between the gun safety nonsense I've seen on 3 "Wild Within" TV shows already and this it's gonna drive me back to Oprah and The View.

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