BRIEFING ROOM:
Mentoring Young Shooters

Whether your politics are conservative, liberal or centrist, one thing that almost everyone can agree on is the importance of the young people in our lives—children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

With the left-leaning propaganda bombarding the public from the mainstream media and even in our schools, it is incumbent upon us to pass on to the next generation the things we have derived so much enjoyment from.

Some of the fondest memories from my own youth are my Dad teaching me to fish, hunt, and shoot. Similarly, memories of sharing outdoor activities with my children—and now grandchildren—are some of the most heartwarming memories I have.

Although there is no empirical evidence, common estimates of the attention span of children—and even many adults—ranges from 10 to 20 minutes. With this in mind, it’s important to keep any activity fun in order to maintain interest.

Let’s talk a bit about shooting with a youth. As with an adult, best results are obtained with a rifle that fits them well. For younger or smaller kids, a great choice is the Mossberg 801 Half-Pint .22. This rifle comes with a magazine that limits it to a single shot, but it can use a Model 802 ten-round mag when the user is ready to move beyond a single-shot rifle.

It has been my experience that most kids don’t start caring about a good group on a paper target until their mid-teens. If you have a 10-year-old shoot a few rounds, then walk to the target to check and mark the hits, and then do it again, it won’t be long before their attention wanders to birds and butterflies.

I like to use targets that provide instant visual feedback. A jug filled with colored water hits with dramatic results and will elicit a grin every time. It also emphasizes that guns are not toys but are capable of devastating results if not used safely.

As more proficiency is attained, the size of the targets can be reduced. A can of ravioli that is nearing expiration is a good example. A balloon that bobs in a gentle breeze provides some movement, requires a bit more concentration, and is a heck of a lot of fun when it bursts when hit. And I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like to pop balloons!

Use your imagination to keep your time with your kids interesting and fun. Get your kids outdoors and they may discover the graphics outside are even better than those on an electronic screen.

Until next time, stay low and watch your back.

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