Friday, April 27, 2007

Educating Your Kids

If you have a firearm in the home, then you are responsible for educating your children in the safe way to handle that firearm. I wrote an earlier post titled "Kids and Firearm Safety ". In that post I mentioned what I consider the minimum responsibilities of a parent who keeps firearms in the home.

So now you have been a responsible parent. You have taught your children how to safely handle a firearm, and you have even taken them out to the range. You may find that they enjoy shooting as much as you do, and want to become even better at it. Now what do you do, where do you go to let them participate in the shooting sports with kids their own age?

If your child is in high school, there is always the JROTC. Many JROTC organizations have air or small-bore rifle teams. The JROTC rifle teams compete in local, state and national competitions. At the higher levels, these kids are extremely competitive. The 2007 National JROTC Air Rifle National Championship took place on April 12 to 14 at Fort Benning GA. The Individual National Champion in the Precision class was decided by mere tenths of a point after two days of shooting. The final went down to the last shot with Amber Criss hanging onto the Championship with a narrow lead of 1273.7 to Kyle Phillips 1273.15. As you can see, marksmanship is the one arena where the only thing that matters is the individual, the girls can beat the boys (and often do).

Another organization that promotes the shooting sports is the 4-H. The 4-H offers a very wide variety of opportunities in the shooting sports. Archery, black powder, hunting, air rifle and pistol, rim-fire rifle and pistol, center-fire rifle and pistol are all offered by various 4-H groups. If your child has an interest in shooting, the 4-H may be able to help build upon that interest. The Texas 4-H and Youth Development Program is sponsored by Texas A&M University. The Texas 4-H Shooting Sports is a very popular program attended by one heck of a lot of kids. If you go to the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports site, click on "State Games" to get an idea of what all if offered. The 4-H State Games is literally a mile of kids on the firing line, and it is a blast to attend. The 4-H also has a national match that is very competitive.

My #3 daughter competed in both JROTC and the 4-H. She stuck with the 4-H longer because she enjoyed it more.

If you are looking for a shooting sports program for your children, the 4-H or the JROTC are both excellent programs that will teach more than just marksmanship.

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