Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shooting Sports

It's 4-H time! I'm happy to say I was a 10 year 4-H member in Indiana! But I'm even more happy to have started my kids in 4-H now too. Kansas 4-H is very different from Indiana I am finding out. (Sometimes things are even different from one county to the next in Indiana.) Even though Yip and Yap are only 6 they can participate in 4-H activities here but can't technically exhibit as a 4-Her until they are 8. And while the boys aren't too cracked on the idea of attending (boring, sit down) 4-H meetings, they were more than stoked to attend their first shooting sports meeting last week.

Wait!! You can't shoot yet boys! Time for some safety lessons first.
They are required to learn the parts of their gun, safety rules in handling their gun and the various shooting stances before they are allowed to shoot at meetings. And of course they have to put those safety rules into practice or they won't be allowed to participate.



The boys were more excited to after school to study their shooting sports than do their schoolwork. And schoolwork was easier!
I'm an advocate for 4-H shooting sports for a couple reasons;
First, my boys are excited about it along with lots of kids around this country. There is a growing population of young girls excited about shooting. Hence, all the pink guns now being offered in gun stores. Whenever a kid is excited about anything it becomes a great learning opportunity when he or she is guided by wise, knowledgable and caring adults.
Secondly, shooting sports teaches responsibility and safety not just for themselves but for others. Yes, guns can be dangerous when not handled properly but safety is the cornerstone of shooting sports. When handling a gun kids are taught not to think only for their own safety but for the safety of those around them. In this "me, me, me" culture our kids are being raised in, shooting sports requires them to be aware of their actions towards others and others actions towards themselves and to take responsibility for those actions. I've seen young kids call out older kids because the older kids weren't being safe with a gun. Shooting sports gives those kids a voice to hold others and themselves responsible for their actions. That sense of responsibility reaches other parts of their lives and then kids aren't always "me, me, me" but are turning their thoughts to the idea of "us, us, us".
I was raised around guns my entire life. Shooting and handling guns has taught me life lessons I'm glad to have. I'm happy to offer the same opportunity to my own children.

1 comment:

  1. LIKE!!!! I was a pretty good shot back before I had to get progressive lens! Not sure how good my aim is, but no on is volunteering to find out either! ;-) If I can continue to scare off the rabbits and vermin, I'm happy!


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