Sunday, December 11, 2011

Give the Gift of The Shooting Sports to the Young Ones In Your Life

With Christmas (and to my Jewish friends, Hanukkah) fast approaching, I'm sure that many of you are searching for the perfect gift for the children in your life. With all the things that appear on the wish lists, i.e. iPods, Playstations, XBoxes, maybe something you should consider for the responsible older children is their first introduction into firearms.
I will always remember Christmas morning when I was 12, when I unwrapped my first personally owned gun, a stainless steel Marlin 60, a tube fed .22 LR rifle with a scope. I had shot my brother's and stepdad's guns, but this Marlin was my first true rifle that I could call my own. After Christmas lunch, my stepdad and I went out into the back yard where he had set up a backstop and pasted some targets. I broke open the bulk box of Remington .22 ammo, and we sighted in the scope, and before you knew it, I was making ragged holes in the targets. It is one of my fondest memories of childhood, and to this day, that rifle is still one of greatest treasures.
In today's politically correct, over protective, sanitized world, it's frowned upon to put a gun into the hands of youth. And while I am all for safe practice and securing of weapons around children, I feel that it is imperative for parents who have a love of the 2nd Amendment and wish for the values and heritage of our Republic to continue on into the next generation should nurture the desire of their children who show an interest in the shooting sports.
If a child is taught at a young age to respect a firearm and to understand it's a tool and not a toy, this will carry into their adulthood.
I was at a local gun shop not too long ago, when a man a couple of years older then I came in with his son who was about 10 years old. The dad was discussing a a lever action rifle with the salesman, and while it was on the counter, the son reached out to touch the stock of the rifle.
The father slapped his son's hand and yelled "NO!!! YOU KNOW GUNS ARE BAD! DON'T YOU TOUCH IT!" Embarrassed, the boy walked away.The father then proceeded to purchase the rifle. The hypocrisy that the father demonstrated was staggering to me. He tells his child guns are bad, ingraining this into his son's mind, while he himself is fine with the idea of gun ownership. The dad may have only been trying to protect and teach his son not to randomly grab firearms that don;t belong to him , but the way in which he went about it, may have only damaged the child's view of firearms in the long run. That boy may always connect guns with his father's chastisement.
I know of several other parents who refuse to bring their children to shooting sessions, saying that it isn't the place for them. If you don't start making it a place for your kids, then the shooting sports are doomed to die a slow death.
Introducing your kids to firearms is necessary to the defense of the Republic.
When you teach a child to shoot, and give them the tools they need to be a good rifleman, you are passing on the heritage of our Founding Fathers, as well as the importance of continued vigilance in protecting our Rights.
There are many different programs to can assist you in introducing your children to shooting sports. One that really stands out is the Appleseed program,which has become quite popular in recent years. Appleseed not only teaches the fundamentals of rifleman skills, but also gives the students history and heritage as well.
From Appleseed's website:

Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills. Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”

Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy.

You can learn more about Appleseed by visiting them at .

This year, don't give the kids some crap they won't care about in a month. Give them something that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Give them a piece of their heritage, a link to their past. Give them something that may save their future. Don't be afraid to let them branch out. Teach them proper safety, teach them respect for dangerous things,but by all means teach them. They are our future. Without them, hope is lost.


  1. Great Blog. Nothing is as much fun as teaching a young person to shoot. To see the excitement in their eyes as they hit the target. Shooting is a great equalizer sport. You don't have to be a natural athlete to do it well. Perfect for kids.

  2. It's great father/son or even father/daughter bonding time. It's some of the "good memories" that I often recall. One day I hope to pass this on to my children if I'm ever blessed to have kids of my own. Until then, i will strive to share the skill with my niece and nephew.