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How I spent my Sunday

Teaching some kids to shoot a handgun. The inlaws came by and their kids wanted to go shooting. So, we broke out the suppressed Walther and went to work. Junior witnessed the goings on and wanted to give it a shot, so I let her. I’d never pressured her to shoot and figured when she was ready, she’d tell me. She did. She shot off two magazines. Don’t tell NY, but I took some pics too:

From Kids

This is why we practice our Todd Jarrett Kung Fu Grip. And, I know, you gun nuts are gonna get all where’s the eye protection on me. And, while I probably should have, didn’t think it was necessary with the 22.

35 Responses to “How I spent my Sunday”

  1. julie Says:

    what a great photo … and yes, you should have …

  2. Chris Says:

    Other than the eye protection, good job.

    Where you able to successfully describe the sight picture to a kid that age. I let my daughter shoot my .22 revolver yesterday, and I’m not sure I was doing a good job explaining it to her. But we had a good time. I’m taking the same approach as you. I don’t push it, and when she’s ready to stop we’re done.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    She was doing something right with the sights. She got 6/10 on the 8.5X11 sheet of paper on the target. Twice.

  4. Scott M Says:

    I have only one thing to say…. cool.

  5. Captain Holly Says:

    My first thought was not that you weren’t wearing safety glasses, it was “Get a haircut and shave, hippy!!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. LFS Says:

    Excellent! I wish I could take my daughter out into the backyard to shoot. But Northern Virginia counties have insane discharge ordinances… so insane that sling shots are illegal to discharge.

    BTW, my P22 sometimes emits bits of hot particles. They usually hit my hand or fore-arms but I did once have one hit my forehead. So eye protection would have been a good idea.

  7. TeamDub Says:


    However – eye protection is an absolute must – not only for the actual protection they afford, but for the instillation of good gun safety habits in a new shooter.

    Kinda surprised by the omission.

  8. Jay G. Says:

    Gonna be mighty tough taking her shooting again if’n yer blind, cap’n.

    And it might just be a .22LR, but one tiny piece of lead coming back off a ricochet will take out an eye just as well as a .44…

    Otherwise, great job unc!

  9. LKP Says:

    She’s adorable. And already has a good stance.

  10. Ride Fast Says:

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  11. FatWhiteMan Says:

    That’s it, I’m calling New York children’s services.

  12. Terrapod Says:

    I am just reinforcing a prior commenters note, do wear safety glasses, a hot .22 cartrige hitting the eyeball upon ejection is painful and can cause damage.

  13. Wanda Says:

    How old is she? She only looks like she is three or four to me. Aside from the fact that she does need eye protection, where do you draw the line on adult activities and activities for children? If she asks you to let her drive the car, are you going to let her do that too?

    She’s adorable but I think this is an awfully mature activity for someone her age.

  14. SayUncle Says:

    She’s five. She has asked and I did let her drive the car just like I let her shoot. With me over her shoulder.

    I think this is an awfully mature activity for someone her age

    It is. She’s been taught what to do. You know, learning from parents and all. Told her when she was 3 that anytime she wanted to shoot, she could. Just don’t touch any guns without me around. She does good.

  15. David Says:

    My grandfather and father taught me to shoot when I was 6. I had the standard safety rules drilled into my head along with the admonition that I was to never touch a gun without them around.

    A year later in a moment of intense stupidity my mother left me and my 2 younger sister asleep in the house while she ran to the store to get some milk. She also left a loaded revolver laying on her bedside table.

    When she came home the three of us were up and watching cartoons on TV. The gun was missing.

    After freaking out and tearing the house apart looking for the gun she finally asked us kids if we had seen the gun. I fessed up that I had unloaded it and hidden it because my littlest sister (4 yrs old) wouldn’t stay out of the bedroom and would not stop touching it.

    I knew what to do because the men in my life had started teaching me proper safety and gun handling when I was 6 years old and kept teaching me for years.

    Also. When Dad came home the next day and found out what had happened he changed the locks on the gun cabinets and would not give my mother a key. When I turned 10 he gave me one for safe keeping – just in case.

  16. Oscar Says:

    I see a gun;
    I see a child;
    And I see a whooooole bunch of “grass”….

    That’s good enough for a warrant!

  17. Top of the Chain Says:

    ZOMG!! NO EYE PROTECTION, AND AN EVIL ASSASSINATION TOOL, A SILENCER, ZOMG! THE ENTIRE TN DEPT OF HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES NEEDS TO BE MOBILIZED. Seriously people, let the man raise his own child and instill his own values upon her. Good for you Unc, keep it up. btw, when you do go find some safety glasses for her, Gateway Safety makes pairs specifically designed for small heads.

  18. DirtCrashr Says:

    Five-year-olds shouldn’t drive cars, they should drive tractors. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sweet picture of domestic bliss.
    According to the NNCC Five-year-olds are cheerful, energetic, and enthusiastic. They enjoy planning, and spend a great deal of time discussing who will do what. They especially enjoy dramatic play, usually with other children. Five-year-olds are more sensitive to the needs and feelings of others around them. It is less difficult for them to wait for a turn or to share toys and material. “Best friends” become very important.
    Sounds like a good age to learn to shoot.

  19. Dixie Says:

    “She’s five. She has asked and I did let her drive the car just like I let her shoot. With me over her shoulder.”

    Same way I learned to do everything from driving to shaving. Remember, the earlier kids get controlled exposure to an activity, the less likely they are to make bad choices about that activity.

  20. Wanda Says:

    “Remember, the earlier kids get controlled exposure to an activity, the less likely they are to make bad choices about that activity.”

    I can’t totally agree with this. There are some things that we grow up with that we end up making bad choices about because we lack the maturity to make better choices. (This could be anything from bad marriages to drinking and drugs to handling credit cards.) With other things, we make better choices, but perhaps not due to anything our elders taught us. An awful lot depends on the person and on other things, such as peer pressure, impulse control, etc.

    How many of us have done things that our parents told us not to do? I know I have and I’m willing to bet all of you have too.

  21. glenn b Says:

    Very nice indeed except of course as you pointed out no eye gear and as I will point out maybe no ear gear unlress she was using earplugs. These things should be a must for any shooter just in case.

    Sure it was suppressed except for the sound coming out the breech end. Then again heaven forbid the suppressor fails for some reason or the ammo makes the gun go kaboom (can a 22 do that if an overcharged load is fired. Kids ears are delicate indeed, then again all of our eyes are the same.

    Just a .22 so no eye protection was okay??? Maybe okay for you but if you were shooting around me I would ask you to reconsider in person and I insist anyone I teach to shoot wears proper eyes and ears. Either you do not have a lot of experience with 22s or are just very lucky and always use very clean ammo. The most stuff I have ever gotten in my face is blowback from 22 ammo either in a semi-auto or a revolver. Yet, there are at least two other reasons to wear eye protection – ricochets and catastrophic failure of the pistol such as the slide cracking apart and coming back into the child’s face. Accidents like those happen all too often not to wear eye gear.

    Well anyhow, it is a good thing to introduce new shooters to the realm of firearms and shooting sports. Keep it up.

    Safe shooting,
    Glenn B

  22. glenn b Says:


    We all make choices, but if we do not have the info about which to make the right choice then we could never make it except somehow by mistake.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

  23. SayUncle Says:

    Suppressors are hearing protection for everyone.

  24. Robb Allen Says:

    *looks at the .22lr shaped scar over his right eye*

    Granted, I’m jealous. My 7 year old has declared she doesn’t want to shoot. Hopefully it’s just a phase. She has other friends (girls) that seem to be interested though. Maybe it’ll rub off.

    If I gave a .357 Magnum to my youngest, I *know* she’d want to shoot it. But she’s got a few more years before I’m comfortable with her doing that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. RRK Says:

    While camping this weekend my 6 yo daughter decided she wanted to shoot my .22 rifle with me. She did an amazing job. I wish I had a camera so I could have taken a picture of her wearing my safety glasses and hearing protection. She enjoyed it tremendously and wants to shoot more now!

  26. BobG Says:

    “She’s adorable but I think this is an awfully mature activity for someone her age.”

    I was five when I learned to shoot both a 22 pistol (Ruger Mark I) and a .25 Baby Browning. I also learned to shoot a 22 bolt action at that age, though I had to use a rest since the rifle was awkward, though by the age of seven I was hunting rabbits with it.

  27. Bob Dole Says:

    BAD uncle! eye protection is good.

  28. RC Says:

    Oh for the love of Pete. The way so many of the people commenting here are talking it’s a major surprise the human race still exists and haven’t put out all their eyes and blown their eardrums out. Guess what, a lot of ammunition has been expended without the benefit of eye and ear protection and a freaking huge amount of those people didn’t put an eye out (contrary to expectations in A Christmas Story) and are not completely deaf. Should people generally use eye and ear protection, sure, but geez don’t be so OCD, people.

    As to being too young. Lack of historical context drives these kinds of attitudes. Back before way too many people developed the attitude that handguns are, “Death Buttons” and are just the tools they are it really never was considered so horrible for young children to handle guns. How else are they going to learn? And you know what there were not 5 year olds dropping left and right because they were exposed to the “Adult Activity” of using a tool. Homo Sapiens are tool makers and users after all, its a pretty natural sort of thing.

  29. RC Says:

    P.S. That is a great, heartwarming picture of a perfectly acceptable event that SHOULD be a landmark in any childs life. Learning the basics of weapons handling should be part of a standard activity in child rearing.

  30. James McManus Says:

    Those of us old enough to remember before the PC times of “for the children” remember when we learned to drive and shoot and cook or ride, and any thing Mom or Dad or older brother/sister/uncle wanted to teach us, and we wanted to learn, we did.
    We didn’t lose an eye or hearing or hurt anything.
    Get off it folks, she was in good hands and may very well ask to do it again. And I hope she does.
    I brought my kids, and grandkids up to drive, shoot, cook, work with tools, and not get hurt. If ya got shooting glasses that fit, fine. If not, we still gonna shoot.

  31. FatWhiteMan Says:

    My daughter turned 6 in April and I bought her a .22 Chipmunk. She already knew the first gun handling mantra by the time she was 3: Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult. Before she was allowed to handle her Chipmunk, she had to learn the next gun rules: Always keep a gun pointed in a safe direction. Do not load a gun until you are ready to use it. Keep you booger-hooker off of the bang switch until you are ready to fire. And finally, if Daddy is not right there with her, Eddie Eagle rules apply.

  32. ChrisTheEngineer Says:

    Ah, the heartwarming joy of a father teaching his children (and others) important and fun lessons of responsibility and liberty. If I had a sentimental bone in me I’d tear up. To those suggesting she is too young, get a grip (or go hide under your bed). Personally I want responsible and free young people. Great Job Unc and Junior!

    Well except for the eye protection thing. I understand lots of shooting has taken place without hearing and eye protection. When I was learning we did not use either. The modern techniques are an improvement for a number of reasons. But look, eyes are kinda valuable, and the protection is cheap, easy insurance. And a good lesson too. While rare, people do get injured in the shooting sports. So Dr. Engineer flunks you on the eye protection part, Mr. Uncle.

  33. Robert Says:

    Looks like she’s in good hands to me.

  34. julie Says:

    i’m amazed at the commentators who question your judgement about letting and assisting your child to shoot?!?

    better than letting your kid sit in front of the tv or play computer games all day.

    and YES my kids shoot and they love it ….

  35. SPQR Says:

    Nothing more rewarding than teaching the young. Especially one’s own.

    With great respect, I urge you to use eye protection and have the lovely daughter wear it as well. Having spent a dozen years teaching hunter education with .22 rimfire, I’ve actually seen more cases where eye protection was needed with .22 rimfire than with centerfire.

    Best wishes.