Maybe it’s just me, but I believe a gun should look like a gun. I’ve seen stories centering on the marketing of guns to kids and in truth I just don’t buy the hype. Kids cannot purchase guns and they cannot purchase ammo so even if a particular firearm is designed with kids in mind the parent has to choose and purchase the firearm. Now there are plenty of lousy parents out there who lack discipline where their kids are concerned. I remember being a kid and wanting something and my parents would say no. That was the end of the conversation. Today in any grocery store anywhere you could watch some mom or pop cave after being in the store less than a half hour. Parents are afraid to deal with their children and yes, I consider that lousy parenting. Not everyone gets a prize, some win and the rest lose, but I digress.
We have established guns can only be purchased by adults. So if a firearm is purchased for a kid the adult had to make the decision of which firearm to purchase. I am not so worried about supervised range visits with kids and a rifle as what happens when the firearm comes home. The kid certainly knows how to load it and fire it, but most kids have friends and like to show them their newest possessions. That is the point in time where I become concerned. That rifle may be seen as a toy and we all know kids like to play with toys. Just as you would secure your firearms away from kids, you need to secure their firearm as well. Especially if the firearm looks more like a toy that a gun. Some parents believe they have trained their kids and that is all they need to do for them to be safe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Young kids may not understand there can be severe consequences for certain actions. The parents may have tried to shield them from death and they believe someone is sleeping instead of graveyard dead!
As a policy, I don’t train kids less than 16 and then only I get the right vibe from the parent. I personally believe the youngest age to have a firearm is around 12, but only with the supervision of an adult. I still have my first shotgun and also the shotgun I hunted with, my grandfathers, when I was a kid. My father would not part with the single-shot Winchester rifle I used back in the day so I went out and bought one just like it. Those firearms hold many memories for me and are special, but they look like guns and I was old enough at the time I used them to know my actions had consequences and when something died it was not coming back unless it was a zombie and then you need to be sure to hit it in the head to finish it off. I think responsible kids can have guns, but I’d prefer the stock to be wood or dark synthetic and if they want to put stickers on it or paint the stock to customize it go for it. I’m not for guns which would be difficult to determine if they are a gun or a toy. I’m not going to tell some manufacturer what they should and should not make, but you’d think they could figure out when something is not a great idea. More than that, if the parent didn’t buy the colored firearm in the first place I’d not be writing this blog post today.