Skip to comments.California Youth Flock to Sport of Shooting
Posted on 09/05/2013 4:09:16 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The NRA says it's teaching kids an American tradition, but critics argue kids shooting guns should be illegal, period
The NRA says it's teaching kids an American tradition when it comes to sport shooting. But critics argue kids shooting guns should be illegal. Stephanie Chuang reports.
Daimian Guzman said his first time pulling the trigger sent a thrill through him hed never felt before.
When you first heard the boom and saw the shell fly out, it was a fun experience, he recalled. He was ten. His father, Jordan, is a former Marine Corps rifleman.
He says he has been teaching shooting to people of every level, from rookies to shooting coaches. Teaching his son how to shoot was met with resistance by his wife.
She was dead set against it. She did not want me to do it because she was afraid and she said Im afraid of guns and I just dont like them, Guzman said. I took her out for four days and took her shooting, she had great exposure to it.
He said that was it, and the family now bonds through the hobby and sport of shooting. Jordan said he believes building up the next generation of shooters has been the objective of pro-gun organizations like the NRA Foundation.
High schools had shooting teams and slowly that disappeared. Boy Scouts have their marksmanship, Jordan added. JROTC, they do the same thing, they have ribbons and badges, the Young Marines, its the same thing. But little by little they start to disappear and a lot of that comes from lack of education and training.
Buck Buchanan and Tom Mattusch are both instructors with Safari Club International. Buchanan, who works with the Cubs Program, teaches kids how to shoot. But he says lesson number one, the biggest lesson, has always been safety.
A lot of these kids dont have mentors so thats where I come in, said Buchanan. Take these young people, untrained shooters, teach them how to shoot and handle firearm safety. The main emphasis is firearm safety.
Mattusch also helps teach young shooters. Weve always have a Cubs program, we feel its very important to bring children into the loop about value of conservation, value of shooting, value of safety. They learn a lot and they take it back to their friends, so that their friends become involved in these same ethics.
But these instructors have noticed something else: one generation that doesnt seem to know as much about guns.
When the kids come in, Id say 20 percent of them never shot a firearm before and their parents have no firearms background, Buchanan noted.
But the tide seems to have turned, at least if you consider what the U.S. governments 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, a report that comes out every five years.
It found the number of young hunters from 6 to 15 years old began to slip in the 80s, then bottomed out in 1995 at around 1.72 million.
In 2000 it started to turn around with a modest climb, the numbers finally hitting more than two million young hunters in 2010. While that isnt a dramatic rise, its the timing that may be notable.
That period of growth coincided with something else: the amount of money organizations like the NRA Foundation (NRAF) began to give through grants. According to the NRAFs tax filings, it gave over $10.5 million in grants in 2002.
Ten years later, that figure more than doubled to over $22 million.
More than 70 percent of that money, according to the NRAF report, went to youth-based programs.
To date, the NRAF reportedly contributed $210 million since its inception more than 20 years ago.
They say well lets help u develop some youth programs, said Jordan. These grants are a lifesaver. They go for a couple thousand dollars to buy some needed equipment to a couple hundred thousand dollars.
The NRAF not only gave the most grant money in 2012, it also had a higher total revenue for the year at a reported $46.2 million a 70 percent increase from the year before.
While gun advocates said this activity targeting kids teaches and American tradition, critics argued children using guns shouldnt be allowed.
Nick Ladany, Dean of Education and Counseling Psychological at Santa Clara University, said children simply cannot handle and process what shooting really means.
Kids dont have that appreciation that adults have, Ladany said. On top of that, youve got gun manufacturers that seem to be marketing to kids or getting them hooked early on this gun culture, and although legal, the question is: is it morally, socially ethical?
Ladany then compared guns to the use of grenades. We would never think to have kids use, handle, and practice with grenades because we know that would be over the line. The question is where is that line?
For Griffin Dix, that line is an extremely a personal issue. He lost his 15-year-old son Kenzo in an accidental shooting in 1994. Over the phone, Dix told NBC Bay Area that Kenzo had been playing at a friends house when that friend began fooling around with his fathers loaded gun. Dix has dedicated his life to gun safety ever since, now leading the Oakland/Alameda County chapter of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Dix said educating and training people on guns, including kids, is a good idea. But he also said the gun industry has been sending too many mixed messages that end up endangering countless lives.
Theyre trying to sell guns to people, and dont provide good means of safe storage and that allow people to have quick access to firearms.
Still, Jordan and Daimian Guzman are steadfast to their belief that the real danger lies in avoiding guns altogether.
Their philosophy: learn first, and then decide. I feel like they dont understand, said the younger Guzman, now 14 years old. They need to learn it and try it and see how it is.
Dove season just opened.
Will Kids be the new target (after dogs?)
Parenting fail, but he wants to keep everyone else from being safely trained.
Liberalism is a mental disorder.
I'm sorry, but ANYONE who doesn't teach their children about guns and how to respect and handle them from about age four on up, is partially responsible if something like this happens, IMHO.
Try that crap at a "regular" social function or some demoRat type gathering and see what happens.
The "gin culture" is generally comprised of stand up folks. A great example of humanity for kids to see. d:^) -Schneeks..
Took my 10 and 12 year old sons to the range last weekend. They had a great time and learned alot. There were lots of fathers there with their kids. There were also many women.
“Ladany then compared guns to the use of grenades. We would never think to have kids use, handle, and practice with grenades because we know that would be over the line. The question is where is that line?”
Moron of the year award. We train kids at our gun club to safely handle and fire weapons. I would trust any of those kids than anyone associated with that moron Ladany.
Chit.. That’s “gun culture”.. **eyeroll**
***...now leading the Oakland/Alameda County chapter of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. ***
I believe the man who shot the mayor of San Francisco and Harvey Milk was a member of HCI, the first Brady Center group.
I was on the rifle team, an NCAA sport, at the University of Akron. At the time my gear was worth about $5-6K. We would all leave our things out at college ranges and in the summer at the outdoor matches at Camp Perry. Bricks of Lapua would be easily visible in my shooting bag. I would even take out my right diamond earring and let it set in my ammo box without fear of it being pilfered. When I ran track in high school I couldn’t even expect to find my water bottle should I have put it down.
Only if they go out with Dick Cheney. :-)
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