One morning I was browsing through The Firing Line, a firearms discussion forum, and came across the following picture and comments.
Here’s what the former boy in the picture had to say about kids and guns:
“I sure don’t see anything wrong with a 6 year old shooting – here’s me with the .22 single shot I got for my 6th birthday and the evidence that I knew how to use it. ‘Course, we lived in very rural western Nebraska sandhills and we were overpopulated with Jack Rabbits so it was our obligation to reduce that overpopulation! This picture was taken in about 1932.
“We may not have had movie theaters or soda fountains but, we weren’t deprived of good clean fun!!!
“[The gun in the photo] was a Remington 36 but, my wife kids me about my memory as I approach my 80th birthday (in 2 1/2 months).
“I have an answer for her ( as any husband should) – my serial number when I enlisted in 1943 was 17147374 and when I signed up in the USNR as a Battalion Surgeon for a Marine Artillery Battalion in 1949, it was O 530250. Now, as to what we had for dinner last night – well, it was good whatever it was!”
“OJ,” thanks for allowing me to post that photo here, and for sharing your story. It only serves to underline that kids can be taught firearms safety at very young ages.
In 80 years, human nature hasn’t changed — but many in America have surely lowered our standards about what to expect from our children. We wring our hands over whether to allow boys who should already be men, or girls who are nearly women, to do things that kids routinely and safely did at much younger ages only a generation or two ago.