This past weekend I went out to the farm to site in my rifle. The biggest thing on my mind was, “Who will watch Zoey?” My mom was still working. My dad was scoping me. My brother was fixing something in one of the barns. My aunt was m.i.a. and my cousins were all working.
So what was I to do? She came with me. I sat her in the truck with the passenger windows down, snack cup on hand, water bottle and my phone with PBS kids. I was worried. I have a smart 3 year old. She knows how to open all doors and climbs things like she’s spiderman.
I loaded one round in the .243 and took my first shot. I looked back and saw no feet on the ground and a head laughing at Curious George in the passenger seat. I was calmed. After 2 more shots my uncle showed up. Then after a few more my brother showed up. The both sat with Zoey and watched her play while I finished my shots.
At the end she was thrilled. Telling everyone I, “Mommy shot guns bang bang!” I told her not to tell people that. Not that I’m ashamed but that I don’t trust people in today’s day and age.
At work on Monday I was asked when will she be allowed to shoot. I thought of my first memory of shooting a gun. I want to say I was 4 or 5. With my dad’s .22 pistol shooting at a Mickey Mouse trash can at our dump. I now own that .22 pistol and I hope some day my daughter will shoot it too. This next year she will be 3 and I still think she is too hyper and young to fire a gun even with my help. I the next two years she will be around guns.
When she is 4 or 5 then proper care and shooting will be taught. I hope that she will enjoy them like I do but if she doesn’t I will not push guns on her. No matter what she will learn safe precautions and how to shoot a pistol and shotgun. I don’t want her to be afraid but I want her to be aware of how dangerous they are. In the end her safety is my main concern. I want her to be properly taught like I was and to know the ins and outs of weaponry.
Most people may think that guns and children do not mix. I think that guns in the hands in not properly trained adults and untrained unsafe children do not mix. We all have our “oh shit” moments when it comes to guns and some day I’ll share mine but my hope is my daughter will never have one.