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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so while shooting abysmally at targets for div 5 yesterday, i was set up at the bench next to a family of four. i don't know quite how i feel about this, which is why i'm posing the question, but in my opinion the parents were not doing an adequate job of instructing and monitoring their kids. on the surface it kind of seemed like they were, but there were a number of things that irritated/concerned me. first off the kids (a boy about 8 and a girl about 10) were pretty much setup at their own bench, next to me, while the parents were mostly shooting at the next bench over. every time one of the kids hit the target they'd let out a high-pitched "whooohoo!" i'm glad they're excited to be shooting, but i found the noise irritating, and if i was a parent i would (i think) want to temper my child's enthusiasm just a little so that they remembered the seriousness of what they were doing. add on to that, the majority of the time both parents were at the other bench and not actually watching their kids. at one point the boy was yelling something to his folks while still holding onto his rifle (some sort of little bolt action), but not paying attention and the rifle slipped off the bench and fell to the ground. the mom only saw this after the fact. she came over and said something but then turned around and went right back to the other bench.

maybe i'm being too judgmental, but it just seemed like there was not enough supervision going on for relatively little kids. nothing overtly dangerous, but a bunch of little things that could have become dangerous. thoughts?
 

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I will not take more than one kid to the range at a time. Even my wife and my 12 year old at the same time is a handful.

I stand right behind my son's left shoulder. The biggest concern is keeping the muzzle down range. That is a must at all times. He is pretty good at that now. He is also about 80% there at keeping the finger off the trigger. But that is something I have to correct him for.

I think a lot of pre-range instruction on these things, as well as the manual of arms for whatever you are shooting, goes a long way. It is a lot easier to learn without 44 mags going off ten feet away, and yelling because you are all wearing hearing protection.
 

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Wow, I think you had every right to be annoyed and even say something. Could have been a dangerous situation. Actually, was dangerous and could have been really bad. Seems to be an accident waiting to happen, just a matter of time.

All for taking your kids, getting them involved, but just face the fact that you aren't going to be able to shoot much because you will be over their shoulder and guiding them the whole time. Sounds like they wanted to shoot and just didn't have a sitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will not take more than one kid to the range at a time. Even my wife and my 12 year old at the same time is a handful.

I stand right behind my son's left shoulder. The biggest concern is keeping the muzzle down range. That is a must at all times. He is pretty good at that now. He is also about 80% there at keeping the finger off the trigger. But that is something I have to correct him for.

I think a lot of pre-range instruction on these things, as well as the manual of arms for whatever you are shooting, goes a long way. It is a lot easier to learn without 44 mags going off ten feet away, and yelling because you are all wearing hearing protection.
agreed, threefiveseven! mostly what i see are parents who ARE right there with their kids, and hands ready to take control of the weapon. to his credit, the dad did do this for a bit when the boy was shooting what appeared to be a mark lll. his hands were right there for that, but then when the boy went back over to the bench his sister was at, all that stopped. i know i wouldn't want to have more than one kid at the range with me at a time, and as you referenced even the adults can be a handful. i also agree that a lot of instruction at home is warranted AND the manual reading. when i got a BB gun as a little kid my dad instructed me how to load it, use it, carry it, importance of the safety, etc. but even then he made me sit down and read the manual from cover to cover before i was allowed to take it out to the back yard, and that was just a bb gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, I think you had every right to be annoyed and even say something. Could have been a dangerous situation. Actually, was dangerous and could have been really bad. Seems to be an accident waiting to happen, just a matter of time.

All for taking your kids, getting them involved, but just face the fact that you aren't going to be able to shoot much because you will be over their shoulder and guiding them the whole time. Sounds like they wanted to shoot and just didn't have a sitter.
also agreed! luckily they left after my first round, but it's stuff like that that makes me go take my chances in the desert. in fact, that was the first time i went to the rifle/pistol section of my range in a couple months. just doesn't feel super safe-- and they have great range safety officers, great protocols and everything, but you can't control every knucklehead who shows up.
 

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First thing I do when I get to the range is load up some kind of weapon that would usable defensively (i.e;. something other than a .22). I keep that ready on the bench as a just-in-case insurance. You are, after all, surrounded by a bunch of people of various skill levels, with various intellects, tempers, and mental states...

I figure anybody at the range could turn into a mass murderer, and I, for one, plan on either defending myself or dying trying.

That said, I think most people who go to the range are nice folks, typically there to better their skills.
 

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Fortunately, I live out in the sticks. I have had a 45 yd pistol range set up in my back yard for over 20 years. Just down the road I have a friend with a 125 yd range, and my brother (3 miles away) has a 900 yd. range. All of our young 'uns begin shooting at a early age. With easy access for shooting, we do not have to bother others, or vice versa.

The shooting rules are just like any other lessons you teach as parents. Start early, be correct, be consistant. By the time they are out among others without you, they will act accordingly. I trust my children, nieces and nephews with any weapon I own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fortunately, I live out in the sticks. I have had a 45 yd pistol range set up in my back yard for over 20 years. Just down the road I have a friend with a 125 yd range, and my brother (3 miles away) has a 900 yd. range. All of our young 'uns begin shooting at a early age. With easy access for shooting, we do not have to bother others, or vice versa.

The shooting rules are just like any other lessons you teach as parents. Start early, be correct, be consistant. By the time they are out among others without you, they will act accordingly. I trust my children, nieces and nephews with any weapon I own.
first of all, i'm jealous. i need to start looking at making a land grab somewhere. secondly, you're dead on right, especially the consistency part. for all i know, the dad (who was clearly the main shooter in the family) may have said and done all the right things at home, but if so, there wasn't the follow- through. as a good parent you obviously know that the first time doesn't always take with kids and you need to repeat the lesson, sometimes every time for years until it's really in there.
 

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I take as many wants to go.
Only one shoots at any one time and I'm just off their shoulder.
 

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No matter who it is from my 2 adult daughters to an NRA certified instructor, my friend, we shoot one at a time and I watch them and monitor them. This is a private club and those are the rules anyway. The woo hoos would not bother me but safety infractions do. Yiogo
 

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The "One shooter at a time" rule applies to our ranges as well, and includes everyone. My brother was in "Special Boats" in the Navy. He did insertions and extractions of one of the SEAL teams. He follows the same rules as my youngest nephew who is 9 years old. We believe in leadership by example.

In all the years of shooting we have only had to boot one person from the range for not following rules. My nephew decided that she was not who he wanted to spend his life with (many other reasons as well, but hey... it was a sign).
 

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I'm saying this tongue in cheek:

Kids at a range making noise and having fun. Its my understanding that making noise is what children do best. I would rather be next to the kids then someone with a 50 cal. As long as they were shooting safely I'd just let them shoot and have their fun.
 

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At the range I go to if you do not have a CCW permit you do not get your own lane. No matter what your age is.
And the person with the CCW has to be with-in arms reach of that person at all times while they are shooting.
 

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Speaking of "kids" at the "range"... I went coyote hunting with my best friend and another "sort-of" friend. We were about to go home after no luck and I asked the "sort-of" friend if he wanted to shoot my Blackhawk as he'd never shot a handgun before. I put it on an empty chamber just to see him flinch (yes I know I'm evil :D) and he pulled back the hammer and did a full 180 degree turn muzzling both me and my best friend at the mid chest to ask me where to aim. :eek: Me and my friend corrected him and he said he wouldn't do it again. He was safe the rest of the night. Maybe the thing to do would be to just talk to the parents away from the children so they won't hear and just explain the situation with a smile on your face. Act like you're trying to make them your friend and they should understand.
 

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I will not take more than one kid to the range at a time. Even my wife and my 12 year old at the same time is a handful.

I stand right behind my son's left shoulder. The biggest concern is keeping the muzzle down range. That is a must at all times. He is pretty good at that now. He is also about 80% there at keeping the finger off the trigger. But that is something I have to correct him for.

I think a lot of pre-range instruction on these things, as well as the manual of arms for whatever you are shooting, goes a long way. It is a lot easier to learn without 44 mags going off ten feet away, and yelling because you are all wearing hearing protection.
With the kids, I always cover the 4 safety rules on the drive to the range. My biggest issues were the same as above: Muzzle awareness "muzzle down range" and "finger off the trigger" they've pretty much got it down now.

I was at a public range one time in NW Florida /Alabama state line. There was a guy there with his buddy and his 3 sons approx. 7-11 yrs of age. All five, all up in one lane at one time. The kids were poorly supervised and I could see this was not going to be a good day at the range. Sure enough one of the boys took a shot down range and then did a whole 360 degree sweep with his finger still on the trigger with a huge proud smile on his face. Poor kid didn't know any better, he was just proud of his shot until his dad came unglued because the uninstructed kid muzzled everyone at the range. I packed my stuff and left. I can't stand going to that range, last time I went with my dad and brother the RO muzzled my brother with his own gun, the gun was empty but doesn't matter none. Public ranges make me nervous, some more than others. The outdoor range I go to here in Mid TN is well run and the RO's are all over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With the kids, I always cover the 4 safety rules on the drive to the range. My biggest issues were the same as above: Muzzle awareness "muzzle down range" and "finger off the trigger" they've pretty much got it down now.

I was at a public range one time in NW Florida /Alabama state line. There was a guy there with his buddy and his 3 sons approx. 7-11 yrs of age. All five, all up in one lane at one time. The kids were poorly supervised and I could see this was not going to be a good day at the range. Sure enough one of the boys took a shot down range and then did a whole 360 degree sweep with his finger still on the trigger with a huge proud smile on his face. Poor kid didn't know any better, he was just proud of his shot until his dad came unglued because the uninstructed kid muzzled everyone at the range. I packed my stuff and left. I can't stand going to that range, last time I went with my dad and brother the RO muzzled my brother with his own gun, the gun was empty but doesn't matter none. Public ranges make me nervous, some more than others. The outdoor range I go to here in Mid TN is well run and the RO's are all over it.
that's yet another reason i'll be happy when/if i move back to montana and can join the range my friends belong to-- virtually no chance of anything like that happening there. private range, and you're usually not sharing space with others. that RO doing that is SO unacceptable it boggles the mind!
 

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Larry the Conservative
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Here is a video of our last family picnic. We have an effective method.



OK, you knew some body was going to bring that video up. Seriously, we never took our kids to the range until they were old enough to shoot. For my son it was 7 years old and my daughter was 9. But you also have to understand that our kids were raised with guns very aviable and while they were secured and locked, there were guns that the kids could touch - nothing that was capable of firing. I mean that these few rifles and a couple handguns were missing firing pins, hammer springs and had plugs in the chambers. Before anybody goes completely ape, understand that I feel that the kids seeing guns was to be a natural thing. There's my table, a chair, a bookcase, dads shotgun moms knitting and her pistol. Nothing that could have been fired was out of a safe or did not have a lock on it. They might have picked them up if we weren't around, we never caught them playing with them and THAT was the goal.

I was in the army and was always OIC of the armory except for my first tour. If we had an inspection coming up and had a lot of work to do in the arms room, my wife and kids were there with me. It was good for the guys to have a family around during these "off duty" work hours, it was good for my morale, it was good for the kids to see that guns were just another tool, another piece of equipment. The kids also saw mom and dad working together with the troops calling dad sir and mom Mrs K.

It didn't hurt that my son bore the same first name as our commanding officer and he was a cute, outgoing little fart that had a way of saluting officers long before he should have understood the concept. There were three wives allowed in the HQ building, the commanders, tops, and mine. So our kids learned to field strip a M16 before they were ever in kindergarten.

I said how old the kids were when we started teaching them to shoot real guns. As I recall I started them out with air rifles a year before that and popgun things that shot corks a year before that. These toys were locked in my safe along with all our other guns. When they graduated from one to the next, we made a big deal about it, bigger than birthdays - and the older "toy gun" was moved totally out of the house where they might never see it.

This all went good until we were shipped to Germany, and we could not have any civilian owned guns in our apartments. Most of my guns were left stateside with my brother but we took a few things. Our first trip to the public range in Germany was a different event since kids were not only not tolerated, it was illegal for them to be there. For the next 3 years the only "shooting" we did as a family was down a long hallway in our apartment with a air rifle. The kids got to go with me on the weekend visits to the armory, but that was about it until I was retired.

Today, my son is my #2 shooting buddy, only surpassed by my wife. My daughter is not too interested in guns and her husband is not at all. Neither kid had any incident with firearms and are normal aside from their parents.
 

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I have a CCW when my grand kids came back from DC. We went to town.I went into the bedroom got into the safe and put on my LC9. Pulled my shirt over the top. And we all went out to eat. When i came back my 9 year old grand daughter saw my weapon. She said is that real.Can I hold it. I said yes. I pulled the mag. unloaded the chamber in front of her and we both looked into the chamber.I stuck my finger into it. Then said it's unloaded. Then engaged the safety. I said be careful don't point it at anything.She said I have a BB gun.And i know that you always point it at the sky or the ground.My son-in-law is in the Navy and taught her well. I then told her to never touch it without grammy-her mom- or her dad being there. AND if she ever sees a pistol or rifle (don't touch it)(and don't let anybody else touch it.)BUT TO START SCREAMING LIKE YOUR HURT. And I would give her $20
 

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Bat Man
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Oh, I tell them to run around and leave me alone, but I do give them a gun so they look like they should be there. :)

My kids know exactly what to and not to do at the range... they don't worry about the range officer, they worry about ME. If they get it wrong they'll never be back. Now that they are older, 14, 17, it's not as big of an issue.

If you have a problem with anyone's behavior at the range you should inform the range officer. A range is no place for kids that are not behaved properly.
 
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