I find this issue one of the greatest and most fascinating dilemmas I face. My boy is 8 now, and as I shared here some months ago, has had very little exposure go guns of any kind except the time I let him shoot the air-soft gun at a local carnival.
I tried to use it as an opportunity to teach him some basic safety rules, and I’m happy to report he hasn’t yet turned into a rabid killer or a fanatic gun nut. But, aside from the joke about rabid killer, that is exactly the dilemma, as I see it. I’m not convinced this kind of exposure for young kids diminishes the curiosity. Yet, I can’t bring myself to believe total prevention of all exposure is better.
This summer we’ll be visiting my family in the States. My nephews in Las Vegas, both in their 20s now, are serious gun enthusiasts. My brother says they’re extremely safety conscious. I’m considering taking my kids shooting in the desert with them, partly as an experiment. It would be an opportunity to put some of my theories to the test, to see for myself how kids react to guns upon first exposure as well as to observe my nephews in action, all under my supervision.