Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, It’s About Time

For several years now Illinois has been one of only two states that doesn’t allow youth in 4-H to participate in shooting sports. FINALLY the University of Illinois’ 4-H program has gained approval to become involved in National 4-H Shooting Sports.

The focus of all 4-H programs is the development of youths as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. In the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program, youths learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery and more. The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people the opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics. The program has an enrollment of approximately 300,000 youth and 46,000 instructors across the United States.

I grew up being around firearms and spent many a summer day outside shooting with my family. My parents taught us that first and foremost you respect any weapon and know that it’s not a toy. Safety is the number one priority when dealing with firearms.

There is not any gun that can be completely child-proof, none. Therefore, you should, no you must gun-proof your child. That doesn’t mean keeping them away from guns, it’s actually just the opposite. You teach your child about them, that means how to operate them, how and why to respect them, but most importantly the safety aspects. That way when little Tommy is at his friend’s house and they discover a gun in his dad’s closet, Tommy knows not to play with it. If you remove the temptation and curiosity that comes with ignorance of firearms, a child is much more likely to handle the situation safely, should they come upon one.

My siblings and I NEVER acted inappropriately around firearms or played with them as if they were toys. Our parents taught us the correct way to act and most importantly the SAFE way. I am very happy that the 4-H youth of Illinois will now also have this opportunity. There is no reason why our kiddos here shouldn’t learn the same skills as kids across the nation.

No comments:

Post a Comment