Monday, August 28, 2006

Teen Shoots Younger Brother

As reported by

DALLAS -- A 13-year-old boy shot his 12-year-old brother with a rifle Saturday afternoon, Dallas police said...

...The teenager said it was an accident.

Another firearm "accident". This one involving children. The article is short, not much detail, just that one brother shot the other by "accident". Even though it is a short article, there is a lot we can infer based on what was reported. When the story of what all happened in that apartment on Saturday comes out, our generalizations will be proven correct.

The parents were not home. The rifle was unlocked, or the kids knew where the key/combination was located. And, this is the most important part of the story, the kids were told to "never touch the rifle" by Dad. This approach obviously did not work. Just as locking firearms up does not work with teenagers. Teenagers are an industrious lot. I know, I used to be one. You tell them to not touch, or stay out, or leave alone, and they will find a way to get into what you want them to stay out of .

I received my first firearm when I was seven years old. It was an over/under .22/.410. It was beautiful. It was mine. My brother shared a bedroom, and we often wrestled and fought as brothers do. I never "accidentally" shot my brother. My teenage friends and I often went out into the desert to shoot. We would bring enough guns to arm a small platoon. We never "accidentally" shot each other. How is that? How is it that I have been around firearms for almost 40 years and never "accidentally" shot anyone? How come my brother and my friends never ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound? We often went shooting without adult supervision.

I can give you two reasons. My Dad, and Jay Boone. These are two of the four or five men that made me what I am today. Dad bought my first firearm, Mr. Boone gave me my first hunters safety course. Mr. Boone had a lot of guns, I mean a lot. And I got to shoot a good portion of them. Dad and Mr. Boone took away the mystique of a "gun". They made it another tool for this young lad. They also hammered in to me the four rules of gun handling before there were four rules of gun handling. As a seven year old, I would no more cross another person with the barrel of a firearm as I would pull my pants down in public.

So, what is the purpose of this post? The purpose of this post is to give a parent some very valuable information. If you are a firearm owning parent, you have a responsibility. Both a legal and a moral responsibility to your child and to the community. You have a responsibility to teach your children the proper respect for firearms and the four rules of handling a firearm. You have the responsibility to take the "forbidden fruit" mystique away from firearms. The only way you can accomplish this is to take your children out to the range. Take them out with you before they are old enough to shoot, so they can see you and other responsible firearm owners shooting and handling firearms safely. Let them help you clean your firearms. Let them handle your firearms, teaching them the four rules. When they are ready, take them out shooting. You may want to enroll them in programs like the Boy Scouts or the 4-H, two organizations that teach the shooting sports to children. There are also NRA programs that teach children firearm safety and marksmanship.

If you have firearms in your home, and even if you do not, teach your children to respect all firearms. Teach them the four rules of handling a firearm, and let them shoot. Take away the mystique and when they are over at a friends house, they will know what to do if the friend takes out "Daddy's" gun and does not know how to handle it.

If you have never shot a firearm, or if you would like to go out with your children and learn proper firearm handling as a family, I would be more than happy to take you if you are in the DFW Metroplex. Just send off an email and we will get together. I really enjoy introducing people to the shooting sports. If you are not in the DFW area, I may be able to find someone that would be happy to help. So send off an email anyway. Email

My oldest Grandson is seven. His first rifle is at his Papa J's. Maybe some range photo's will be in order soon.

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