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Dad! Dad! I got a bullseye! A bullseye! he exclaimed rushing up to me with the target with the biggest smile on his face. "I can't believe it. This is only like, my third time trying! I'm good at this!"
He had just shot his first BB gun and after the first two waves of failure, had started to put the sighting of the target together with my help. A wave of emotions came over me as I remember my own grandfather taking me into the woods next to his house and showing me how to shoot pop cans on a log.I can still remember the first time I knocked one off the log. I looked at him a long time just watching him while he shot and witnessed his determination turn into success. It was then that I decided that it was time to pass on the tradition. I was going to get a cool Christmas present for my son, a BB gun.
I'm not the camping type but I was doing it for him, for the experience we were learning together as father and son. Out in the woods "roughing it". Just two guys and their sleeping bags and three giant spiders feasting on the endless supply of bugs flying in through the gaps in our tent flaps. What I found was, I was enjoying this experience with him despite the smell that was emanating from his dirty clothes bag and we bonded over activities that I forgot about from my own childhood, namely shooting the BB gun.
My son isn't particularly blessed when it comes to sports. He unfortunately inherited almost all of my gangly awkwardness. What he does excel in is based on rules and procedures. He might be a scientist one day as he needs a verbal list of operations for the day to function. I knew that he could follow directions and be responsible with my guidance. I knew that he was ready for a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.
My family is not usually into guns though I had a Daisy BB gun of my own as a kid and I always treated it with the highest respect. Learning gun safety is incredibly important and there have to be ground rules about owning a BB gun. In fact, Daisy educates roughly one million of America's youth a year through their Ten Lesson Shooting Curriculum about BB gun use and safety. Daisy's educational curriculum has been around since 1948.
If you're looking for cool Christmas gifts or gifts for boys or girls this holiday season, consider a Daisy BB gun. I found mine at a Walmart in the Sporting Goods section near me though it took some time to track down the model I wanted.
The Red Ryder, the most basic model of the Daisy air gun line and the one I had as a kid. The Red Ryder is the perfect choice for Ages 10+, with a single lever action cocking style it makes it easy to load the gun without it being too difficult to pump. Other series like the 880, which are multi-pump action are better suited for older kids ages 16 and up because it takes some strength to effectively operate it.
Before we even took at look at the gun, I sat my son down and had a talk about gun safety. I quizzed him on the use of the gun and we came up with these rules:
- The safety should be on between each shot. You only release the safety when you are ready to shoot.
- The gun pointed is always pointed downrange and away from people
- Be aware of your line of sight and ensure anyone watching you is safely behind you.
In addition to that, I laid the ground rules down. No use of the gun without me, his friends are not allowed to see it without me present, no friends are to ever handle the gun, and that only targets were acceptable to shoot. As added precaution, I keep the ammo in a locked box away from the gun and purchased a trigger lock that has a key that I keep as an extra measure.
We also had an honest discussion about peer pressure. I gave him scenarios where his friends might get him to take the gun out and show them. I was proud of the way he responded and how mature he was about what were the right and wrong ways to talk with friends about the gun. He was told not to be boastful or talk about it at school. This is something we are keeping within our family and it is only something he can do with me and that bragging about it would only lead to bad things.
After that, we headed to the backyard and set up a range. I bought a target trap to prevent errant BBs and picked an area in our yard away from any houses or where a ricocheting BB could do any damage. Equipped with our safety glasses, we put our rules into effect and shot together for the first time away from camp. It was awesome and I was so proud of him.
If you feel your child is ready for a Daisy BB gun of their own, then enter below for our giveaway.
- Winner will receive a $100 gift card to Walmart for purchase of a Daisy BB Gun of your own.
- Open to USA residents ONLY.
- Must be 18 years or older to enter and provide a valid email address upon winning.
- Note: GIFT CARDS WILL NOT ARRIVE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS
- Winner of the giveaway will be notified by email. In the event that you are chosen, you will be given 24 hours to respond to claim your prize. If not, another winner will be chosen.
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