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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:50 pm 
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I think everyone has said everything productive on the subject of whether paintball guns are guns. Any further discussion should probably happen via pm.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:13 am 
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Are your kids all close in age? Did you move them 'up' individually according to some particular criteria or did they all lvl up together?


They are close in age and surprisingly close in maturity and intellectual development milestones. Each was assessed individually based upon observed behavior. Since it is impossible for me to be completely objective looked for particular things to gauge their maturity by.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:07 am 
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We have a lot things in common in our approach. And a couple big differences.

In our house, the guns have never been "no-no's" or off limits for the kids - so long as they ask.
So if the 3 year old wanted to look at the gun his older brother used to get the rabbits we were cleaning - he/she could. They just had to ask. And then we would make sure that they checked to make sure it was unloaded, on safe, never pointed in a dangerous direction, etc. That way they would learn to handle the weapon safely as soon as they became interested in them. And the guns became 'uninteresting' fairly quickly, in the same way that last years christmas presents are. If they can see a gun anytime they want, it is interesting to ask mom/dad and then get to hold it - about a dozen times or so. After that, it just isn't that fun or interesting and they ignore them.
That is how we have been able to keep guns loaded to use when problem critters show up. The kids have always been able to look at them if they wanted. They just had to ask, then to unload it, make it safe, handle it safely, and finally give it back.
Those guns get put up when the kids have sleep overs.

And we start the shooting a bit earlier. We usually have the kids shooting air guns when they are 3 or 4. And they practice with .22's and/or .410's around 5 or 6. They will also start hunting around that age. Not that they actaully do a lot of 'hunting'. It is more of an exercise in learning how to move around safely with a gun and learning outdoor skills. Although some of the kids have managed to bag game at early ages. Our 19 y/o boy was very good at it. He had his first rabbits and squirrels shot when he was 5 and his first deer at 10 on the very first day he ever went deer hunting.
The deer actually suprised me as we were sitting in the timber together and he had whispered a couple times about squirrels running around in the trees. I heard something behind us and turned my head to look around the tree and saw a small doe a fair distance behind us. Then I heard my son shoot. I was sure he had decided to shoot one of the squirrels and had ruined our chance at the deer - and I was ready to weave a verbal tapestry that would make sure he understood just how badly he had messed up.
Of course when I turned around to see a young buck laying on the ground he had shot....
He never has let me live down the fact that I thought he had shot a squirrel when deer hunting. I should have just kept my mouth shut on that one...

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