Elderly Man Reflects on Centuries’ Old Family Tradition for Boys on Hunting and Gun Safety

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posted on April 3, 2019
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In centuries’ old rites-of-passage, an Arizona man reminisced about how his family gave boys both their first guns as well as lessons on gun safety.

“When my father was a boy in the late 1800s and early 1900s, he and his friends knew how to handle a gun by the time they were 11 or 12. They knew proper care for a gun, where to aim the muzzle and the tremendous responsibility that went with owning or using a gun.”

Living in rural Indiana, his father started small animal trap line on his family farm similar to other youngsters his age. He earned income by selling pelts that helped provide spending money as well as funds to start college at the University of Michigan in 1916.

 “In the late 1930s and early 1940s, I eyed Dad’s .22-caliber gun with great enthusiasm, knowing I was nearing that magic 12th year when Dad was given his first gun. A little past my 12th birthday, Dad gave me that gun. I’ve had it nearly 80 years now and have shot hundreds of rounds from it. It is my pride and joy, as it was my father’s.”

 He learned about gun safety from his family as well as taking NRA classes. He earned two certificates. When he became a parent, he also enrolled his sons in NRA classes to learn about gun safety.

 “Both our boys got their first .22-caliber rifles after they reached 12. Both have enjoyed safe hunting and fishing for many years. And both have taken great pride in ensuring their children have the same respect for rifles as the generations of family members before them.”

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