I spent my childhood with a gun. Before I’d really kissed a girl, I was out hunting on my own. Um, I take that back; when I was in first grade several girls held me down on the playground and kissed me repeatedly. It was a traumatic experience. But, in my defense, there were four of them and only one of me.
My early firearms education was rather archaic, mostly limited to being told to; not point that thing at anyone, don’t jerk the trigger, and not to waste ammo. Since then I’ve attended many shooting schools, and it’s made me a decent shot. Looking at my resume though, you’d think I could perform at the John Wick level. I can’t. This might lead you to believe learning to shoot well, is about as hard as skinning a cat, in the dark, with a candle, and a butter knife. It’s not.
I know because I’ve taught my kids to shoot. Learning to shoot is easy if a simple rule is followed. You simply have to line up the sights on the target and pull the trigger, without disturbing the sight picture. That covers the hitting part, but there are other things teaching my kids to shoot taught me.
Kids are afraid to shoot guns because they’re afraid it’ll hurt. In truth, when it comes to recoil, we’re all a little scared. Shooting is supposed to be fun. Getting your eyes crossed every time you pull a trigger is not. Here’s another thing; loud noises are scarier than recoil. Kids deplore ear-splitting sounds because their ears have not been ruined; they can actually hear the things their parents are whispering while they’re in another room, even with the TV blaring. Always make kids wear hearing protection, use suppressors when possible, and avoid muzzle brakes.
The last thing I’ve discovered is that if you start a kid out right, they’ll progress fast because kids have an uncanny capacity for learning. Part of starting a kid out right is getting them a gun that fits them. Forcing a kid to use an adult size gun can be as traumatic as being held down and kissed on an elementary school playground.
Ultimately, your kids will grow into a full size gun, just like it didn’t take all that long until I didn’t mind being held down and kissed by a girl. The hard part is still acting like I hate it.