Six Reasons BB Guns Are In My Boys’ Lives
For your edification, one of the best movies ever.
It features the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun that my boys and I love. We go out shooting frequently. Here’s why.
#1 Some day real guns will be in my boys lives.
(Not that bb guns aren’t real guns, but they are not firearms.)
An Old School dad doesn’t wait until a son is dating age before he starts teaching him how to treat a lady. It starts at toddler age with learning to respect Mom and his sisters.
An Old School dad doesn’t wait until a son is getting his first job to teach him how to work hard. That begins as a very young boy with his household chores.
As my sons become older, firearms will be a part of their lives in the form of hunting, target shooting home security and civic responsibility. The time to start teaching them the character traits and skills necessary for responsible firearm use is early in life. An important step in our process is the thoughtful introduction of bb guns.
#2 A BB gun gets the boys and Dad outdoors.
Sure, if I had sufficient room in my basement (I don’t) and set up the sufficient safety measures my boys could shoot the Daisy Red Ryder in our basement. But I won’t. When the boys look at me and say, “Daddy, let’s go outside with the shootgun,” I’m spending time with the boys, having fun and doing it all in the fresh air, woods and mud. Dig it!
#3 A BB gun teaches important safety lessons and life lessons.
Junior is not yet at an age when I’ll allow him to go out with a bb gun alone. He’s of the age where he is hearing and learning firearm safety rules and needs (and gets) Daddy’s constant supervision.
The simplest form of these safety rules is:
- Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
- Always keep your trigger off the finger until ready to shoot.
- Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
These rules, plus more helpful information, can be found here.
For more rules and the manual for the classic Daisy Red Ryder, click here.
About half of our homestead is wooded. My boy and I like to take a walk in the woods with the Daisy Red Ryder at hand. I explain to him what’s OK to shoot (targets, both manmade and naturally occurring) and what’s not OK to shoot (robins, frogs and let’s not forget — DAD!!)
We also talk about the beauty of creation, Mom, how nice it is to have a sunny day, God, the work we have coming up later that day, how good Cheez-its taste, and just about everything else. For whatever reason, fathers and sons are hardwired to have their deepest discussions while doing something. That “something” might be fishing, restoring a car, hiking, hunting or, it might be heading out with a bb gun.
#4 A BB gun gives the boys an appropriate taste of adulthood
A while back I wrote a post called Six Uses For An Empty Cigar Box. Because I have yet to write anything pretentiously self-laudatory in this post, I’ll take care of that now by quoting myself.
When I was a boy I had a few of my grandfather’s empty cigar boxes. As a little boy, these boxes were very special to me. Cigar boxes served as a partial ticket into the world of grown men. The pencil box kids used to have back then were nearly identical in structure but had no where near thecool value a cigar box had. It wasn’t the box itself as it was what the box. meant. Cigars were not forbidden for me because they were wrong. Cigars were forbidden to me because they were for grown ups only. Having the box was like having a little taste of adulthood. Anything that makes a kid aspire to proper adulthood is good. We have way too many thirty-five year old teenagers in this world
This same reasoning that applies to these boxes applies to bb guns. While my sons won’t have to wait until they’re eighteen to use firearms (as opposed to bb guns), they will have to reach a far greater level of maturity. BB guns give them “a little taste” of what that will be like.
#5 It’s fun!
Let me make this perfectly clear. It’s not only about the kids. It’s fun to sit and shoot some targets in the backyard. The kids just make it much more fun.
#6 It keeps our home safe from empty milk jug attacks.
Junior, taking care of business.
Keep it Old School, my friends
The Old Man
PS: Don’t forget our handy disclaimer at the bottom of this page.