Gun Training for Kids as Young as 6 Years Old
Russ Chastain 05.29.19
I recently came across an article titled, “North Carolina class teaches kids as young as six how to use guns.” Naturally, I clicked on the link. It’s about a company called Echo Firearm Training which does indeed offer gun training for kids. For parents who are unable or unwilling to train young ‘uns in the use of firearms, this can be a great thing. After all, knowledge is power.
I have long maintained that my father’s early training of my sister and me helped immensely in making us safe and comfortable around firearms — with emphasis on “safe.” Dad had a few guns around the house, and most were kept loaded. As he taught us, “Nothing will get you killed faster than an empty gun” if you are ever faced with an armed assailant.
He told us we were always welcome to look at and handle any gun, as long as we asked him first. We fired his 22 rifle and the muzzleloading pistols he’d built from scratch. All of this helped take the mystery and allure away from guns, so we were not tempted to “play with guns.” We had knowledge and experience, and that’s powerful stuff.
Echo provides the same thing, but in a formal training environment.
‘It’s the parents’ choice of what their kids should be around,’ Pegram says. ‘I’m just offering a class to let them learn to be safe, if they’re going to be around them.’
They work from a Nerf gun, [Michael] Pegram [of Echo] says, to a 22 or nine millimeter.
Some students are as young as six, he says.
‘A lot of times they’re not shooting a nine millimeter,’ Pegram says. ‘But once in a blue moon, if they know what they’re doing, and I know they can do it, we have done that.’
Nothing wrong with that! This is valuable stuff, even for kids who live in a home that doesn’t contain guns… or perhaps it’s especially valuable for those kids. They don’t know what to do with guns, and without proper education their only information comes from TV, movies, video games, or school — all of which are notorious for getting it wrong when it comes to guns.
Pegram shares my belief in removing the mystery from firearms and empowering young people with information and experience.
Nine-year-old Aiden says he has learned about safety now.
‘If you see a gun tell your parents,’ he says. ‘Never point a gun at people.’
Which, for Pegram, is the purpose: Taking away the unknown for kids.
‘And they have the knowledge to be safe when they do come across a gun,’ he says.
Echo is located in Mint Hill, North Carolina. Wouldn’t it be nice if this idea spread across the country?