Don’t wait until you’re in the grave to give the kids something of real value. I’m not talking about imitating the biblical father who handed over a large sum to his prodigal son. In some cases, this early inheritance can cost less than $100 per child.
How can a parent do this? Buy a child a gun and take the time to teach how to use it responsibly and safely. When the child turns 18 (rifles and shotguns) or 21 (handguns), it becomes their personal property. There are several reasons for parents to take a proactive role in training kids in this vital skill.
Youngsters and teens in all levels of the government school system are subjected to a constant barrage of anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment propaganda. If a child never experiences the responsibility and pleasure of gun ownership and never gets to use these tools (that’s all a gun is when you get right down to basics), their views will be shaped by socialist indoctrinators.
While a parent can spend as much as they want for a gun, literally hundreds of reliable firearms can be obtained for modest prices. In some cases such as old bolt-action military rifles, .22 rifles, single-shot shotguns and the occasional .22 or .38 Special revolver or East Bloc surplus semi-auto pistols the price tag can be $150 or less.
Don’t worry if limited funds are keeping you out of the AR-15 or customized pistol market. The first rule of gun ownership is to have a gun. You can always upgrade later. When it’s crunch time, a basic, reliable weapon in hand beats the photo of the “gonna get it someday” high-priced dream piece. To use an analogy, a real bowl of soup beats an imaginary steak every time.
This isn’t esoteric theory. Many freedom-minded parents who believe that gun ownership in America isn’t a guaranteed forever thing are planning ahead with their children in mind. Here’s how one preparedness-minded man handled the challenge.
Tim and his wife Anne have five children. This is a one-income family, with Tim earning a very ordinary wage while Anne homeschools the kids. The family’s modest gun collection consisted of a .32 ACP pistol and two no-frills .22 rifles. Tim doesn’t hunt, so he never had a desire for anything bigger. That was until he realized that his children would need something they could call their own while firearms can still be bought privately in most states.
While he’s more of a casual gun owner than a much-maligned “gun nut," Tim understands that the Second Amendment has a fair number of enemies in both the Democratic and Republican camps. Since his knowledge of the market is limited, Tim enlisted a gun-savvy friend as an advisor. They hit paydirt right away, buying a new in the box .410 NEF shotgun for $50 from one of Tim’s co-workers.
The little single shot is at the low end of shotgun power range, but its mild recoil and easy handling have made it a popular item around the house. The next purchase a like-new Mosin-Nagant 7.62 x 54R bolt-action carbine for $90 is somewhat more potent.
This old Soviet rifle was in excellent condition. Made for service in World War II, the Mosin sat in a warehouse for decades before being exported to the U.S. in recent years. Mosins are known for ruggedness, decent accuracy, and cheap surplus ammo a perfect combination for Tim’s low-budget arsenal. Tim’s oldest son Greg (age 19) enjoyed shooting his uncle’s .270 deer rifle, so he got the Mosin and its stout recoil.
Wanting to expand his horizons, Tim shopped at a local gun show. He learned a great deal about different models and current values, but found little in his price range. His mentor spotted a nice 1960s vintage High Standard .22 revolver for $100, which is below the going rate. Tim and his friend checked out the gun, which comes with a nine-shot cylinder. The seller said he would take $95, and Tim snapped up another good deal.
Four months passed before Tim made his next purchase. A friend was going to advertise his SKS rifle in the local shopper for $175. After Tim expressed an interest in the semi-auto, his friend realized he could save the cost of the ad and the hassles of answering phone calls and haggling by offering Tim a good deal. The $165 price included a gift of three boxes (60 rounds) of 7.62 x 39 ammo.
Four down, one to go before each child would have a start in practicing the Second Amendment. Anne rushed home to let Tim know about the guns she saw at a garage sale.
A nice Marlin .22 rifle stood out among the junky offerings. The seller wouldn’t budge on his $90 price for the popular Model 60 semi-auto, but Tim gladly paid up. It isn’t just a guy thing, as Tim’s daughters also enjoy target practice with the user-friendly .22 rimfire.
Tim and the family now go to a local shooting range for occasional practice. The .22s are the usual weapons of choice, as they have little recoil, and the ammo is incredibly cheap. These range sessions are a great time for the family, providing recreation, togetherness and training at a low cost.
Some of the many members of the Colt .45 ACP and .44 Magnum Fan Clubs might scoff at Tim’s unpretentious collection of firearms, but they’re missing the point. There are millions of Tims and potential gun owners who would like to get more involved with this sport/pastime, but they just don’t have large amounts of cash to lay out for high-end arms. That could change as incomes grow and time passes, but don’t knock the novice who is sincerely eager to learn.
Think of it this way: Every new shooter and gun owner is one more convert to the cause of freedom. Gun grabbers and professional control freaks such as Dianne Feinstein, Richard Daley and the pond scum at the United Nations absolutely despise the thought of a growing number of American gun owners. That alone should be reason enough to encourage more people like Tim to teach their children how to competently shoot and safely handle a gun.
June 27, 2005