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Education / Training Parents: Do you know where your children are?And what they’re doing?Part 2

Parents: Do you know where your children are?And what they’re doing?Part 2

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Today, I’ll finish the discussion of children and airguns.

Children often have poor judgement. In fact, one of the principal duties of raising a child is to protect them while their judgement matures. If a child shows curiosity about guns, the safest solution is to educate them in gun safety. Obviously, the education must change as the child matures. Very young children should not be allowed to hold guns of any kind without 100 percent continuous adult supervision. The NRA Eddie Eagle program teaches all young children to simply walk out of any room if they see a gun in it. As the child matures, they are given more responsibility after they demonstrate they can handle it. But not all children mature! In fact, this is the crux of the problem.

Age doesn’t guaranty maturity
There are parents and grandparents with poor judgement, too. Being lax about their own responsibilities, they feel strongly that their children should be left to their own devices, as well. However, when something bad comes their way they are the ones who scream loudest, “No fair!” These people are a major cause for the type of society we live in. They don’t want to be responsible, so laws are made to protect everyone from their actions, and they are the first to cry whenever they get bit by the consequences.

No room for a mistake!
There are no second chances anymore. If someone violates school policy by taking a non-firearm gun on school property, the school will prevail. If someone brandishes an airgun in a public place, the police have the right to respond – often with deadly force. Yes, there will be an inquest into the officer’s actions, but the child who was shot will still be dead regardless of the outcome.

I live in a state where concealed carry is widespread. When I go to a gun show, the police have a booth outside the show where all the carry guns are unloaded, inspected and disabled with a cable tie while the owner is in the show. But, they still permit the guns to be carried into the show! The same station serves those who want to take in guns that aren’t concealed – the guys who walk around with signs they have guns for sale. That is the responsible side of law enforcement. And, we haven’t had any shooting incidents at gun shows in recent memory. In sharp contrast, there have been “accidents” at gun shows in states that have very restrictive gun laws.

However, when I go to the courthouse in my town, a sign on the front door tells everyone who is not law enforcement to disarm before entering the building. Some commercial businesses like banks have the same sign. And, our schools have the same zero-tolerance policy about guns that you’ll find almost everywhere in the U.S.

But children don’t have good judgement, yet. They may not obey their school’s policy, even though they know it well. So, parents must protect their children from indiscretions by controlling the BB guns, airsoft guns, knives, bows, etc., they let their kids have. It’s the parent who must exercise good judgement, and they must educate their kids to understand the consequences of bad judgement. That’s the really hard part, but also the most necessary, because sooner or later kids will begin trying things on their own. If they’re educated in gun safety, they’ll know instinctively that they shouldn’t brandish an airsoft gun in public.

The end
Bottom line? No one can show a gun in public without risking dire consequences. Children have no experience to gauge how bad things can get – nor do they appreciate finality. When the game is really over, there’s no coming back. Friends who died in car accidents in high school are still dead fifty years later. So we don’t “teach” children by letting them figure things out on their own if there are severe risks involved. Putting it bluntly, parents need to keep the gun secured – whatever it takes. No excuses!

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

22 thoughts on “Parents: Do you know where your children are?And what they’re doing?Part 2”

  1. Hey B.B,

    I have a Gamo CFX and I have the scope stop that comes with it. My question is how do I mount the scope and scope stop so that the scope stop actually works? I have tightened it as tight as it will go and yet I still experience scope shift. Thanks!


  2. Sorry, the scope itself moves as well as the scope mount. As far as I can tell, I do not believe that the scope shifting effects the point of impact, but it’s hard to tell. I’ve been trying to use the scope to hit cans at about 30-40 yards, but I haven’t had much success. I tried the method found on the pyramidair website with the two dots, but I haven’t been able to hit the can at all. I’m using crossman premiers in my gun in the .177 caliber.


  3. B.B.
    I also have a CF-X with scope and scope stop. I haven’t had any trouble shooting targets with it, but I’ve only shot at 10 yrds at the most. My scope shifts within the mount (not a whole lot), but I do notice scratches on my scope due to it shifting within the scope mount. Is it possible to avoid getting those scratches or is it normal for that to happen?

    -WP99 guy

  4. Gene and WP99 guy,

    Have you tightened the scope ring screws enough? With a 4-screw ring cap, it should be impossible for the scope to move within the ring. If you have a two-screw cap, that could be a problem.

    Now as to the scope stop. A mechanical stop is always preferred, as no clamping pressure alone can usually hold a scope from moving. As I remember, the Gamo CF-X does not have a positive mechanical stop. The best you can do is back the Gamo scope stop to the rear of the dovetails and hope that it will dig in where the cuts run out. Then butt the rear scope mount against the rubber bumper of the stop.

    When I tested the CF-DX that’s what I did (if memory serves) and there was no problem. A large heavy scope could have enough inertia to cause a problem, I suppose. Please don’t ask me which models are too large – I’d have to test them all, rifle by rifle.

    It honestly sounds like your screws are not sufficiently tight yet.


  5. B.B.

    I have the BSA 2-7x32mm A/O scope, my mounts are the two screw mounts that came with the scope, which I have read on the site to be bad. If I only get the 4 screw mounts, would that be enough to solve my problem?


  6. Gene,

    Unfortunately, Gamo, who owns BSA and BSA Optics, puts the absolute cheapest mounts with their scopes.

    Yes, I believe better mounts will help, though I won’t promise they will solve your mount slippage problem. However, given how bad BSA mounts are, I think it’s the right thing to try.


  7. Umm, regarding the post at hand, I totally agree with the notion that age does NOT guarantee maturity. I’m fairly sure that parents’ irresponsibility has robbed our Canadian friends of their 500+ FPS air guns. As the saying goes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. It’s ridiculous that everyone must suffer for the, unfortunately grievous, consequences of the adamantly ignorant. The same thing is happening in the car communities where, because of the relatively few illegal modders and street racers, everyone suffers the crack-down of the police. In California it’s nearly impossible to fix up a car because, even legal mods, attract police attention. But I digress a bit far.

    There’s one point that I feel you didn’t discuss very thoroughly. The more responsible parent often shields a curious child from guns entirely. This solves a part of the problem but presents a new problem. As soon as the child obtains some money or something, he or she’ll start looking for ways to get a hold of a gun. A parent, I feel, should humor the child’s curiosity *to an extent.* Letting the kid get whatever arsenal he or she wants is asking for wanton destruction, in my opinion. I hardly see how it can even be remotely “responsible” to allow a kid to have a Remington 870 or something or rather but if constrained too much, the kid will probably end up with shadily obtained gun of some sort. It’s basically like letting a kid have a little bit of candy rather than forcing him or her to steal it to get a sugar fix.

    Great article though!

  8. Gene

    I have a cfx and the 4×32 bsa scope that came with it. I bought a scope stop from gamo to prevent this scope movement that you talk about. The stop works with 2 side clamp screws that secure it to the dovetail and a third top screw that mechanically locks the scope and stop to the dovetail. There should be a small hole in the center of the dovetail, towards the back. This third top set screw screws down into the hole on the dovetail mount giving mechanical locking power. All you do is loosen the two side screws on the stop and slide the stop onto the dovetail. Then you just try to allign the set screw (on top of the stop) with the hole on the dovetail. Using an allen wrench, just screw this set screw into the hole untill it catches. I would make sure now that the stop can’t move and if it doesn’t then you know its lock and just tighten the side screws. Then slide your scope on and push the back scope ring mount up against the stop and tigthen all the screws on the scope. I would then probably do a onceover tightening all the screws again (dont strip them though) and you should be set to shoot. My scope is rock solid and I dont seem to notice scope movement.

    Hope it helps, KYLE

  9. BB,
    RE: “Best airguns under $200.00”.
    Since I also can not find that post you made, would like to request you to do a short list on the subject on this comment post if you don’t mind. Thanks,

  10. Slightly differnt question concerning children. I got into the habit of washing pellets that have a lots of stray bits of lead clinging to them, such as Gamo pellets, before shooting them. I do that because I have small children, and when I shoot those pellets, I’m not sure where those bits end up. My kids generally stay out of the room I shoot in, but I figure I might still track them around the house if they come out the barrel and end up on the floor. My question is, is the silvery-grey coating that pellet makers cover their pellets with (that I am also washing off) necessary to the health of gun barrels as some sort of lubricant or friction-reducer? I have heard that it helps protect them. If so, should I oil my pellets after washing them? Thanks for any advice.

  11. Pellet coating,

    That can be any of several different compounds, so I really can’t give you a good answer. The most common coating is graphite, which is used as an anti-oxydant. It prevents the pellets from turning white.

    But I’ve seen other coatings that are also lubrication, so as I’ve said, there is no single correct answer.


  12. Well said! Thanks for the topic, B.B.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about immature adults. Seen ’em. Wouldn’t want to be ’em! For whatever reason, some folks seem to be incapable of recognizing and accepting responsibility for their own actions. In their minds it’s always someone else’s fault. I feel sorry for their children.

    Surely (I certainly hope!) well meaning parents teach their children not to drink household cleaners (That “Goo Gone” sure smells yummy!), not to slam their fingers in closing doors, not to run out into the street from between parked cars. Surely these parents teach their children that fire burns, that kitchen knives cut, that pointy things poke holes… “Don’t run with scissors in your hand!”

    Gun ownership including everything between a tyke’s toy and a firearm is a matter of personal choice, in the U.S.A., and I respect a person’s choice to not own them. But, choosing to not own/use guns isn’t quite the same as choosing to not own/use other things. A person may choose to not own/use a motor vehicle and live their entire lives without experiencing any kind of threat, because of that choice. Maybe that’s not a good example, but I hope what I mean is clear.

    IMO, if/when parents who choose not owning/using firearms want to be safe from ‘accidents,’ and want to have peace of mind that their children will be likewise, then both parents and children still need to have a good education. Ignorance is not bliss! Whether a person owns guns or not, ignorance of safe gun handling is an accident waiting to happen.

    Of course that presents a new set of problems… as solutions too often do. How can these kinds of persons/parents be reached? They are unlikely to be reading this blog. And, even if they could be reached is it possible for them to see how their choices may be turning them, or their children, into potential victims?

    Sorry, I don’t have a good answer to those questions. I wish I did! I’m not a big fan of ‘Nanny Government’ so I’m certainly not thinking, “There ought to be a law!”

    Perhaps it’s something the schools could handle. It’s a school rule that guns are prohibited from school property. Perhaps schools could explain there are very good reasons for that rule, explain the rule in more detail, and explain it directly to the children themselves… in words the children are equipped to understand.

    Isn’t at least one purpose of compulsary education to help children learn to survive and prosper within society? The rules of safe gun handling aren’t complicated or difficult to understand. They wouldn’t be any good if that were the case!

    Well, I hope the above makes sense without stepping on too many toes. I deleted two other posts, because I may have been ranting like a maniac! [grin]


  13. BB:
    I taught my kids about guns as soon as they were old enough to shoot them. I used to take them to an indoor range and they could sit and watch me from behind the glass or put on hearing protection and come in and shoot (.45, 9mm, .44 mag). After a while they found other thing to do with their time. I was always careful to answer all of their questions and taught safety first. The older never shoots any more, the younger is in the Coast Guard and can outshoot the range master. Here’s the funny part…they were never “curious” about guns>

  14. In my region, many of the traditional venues for children to learn firearms safety are being impeded from conveying this knowledge. We have a pretty vocal cohort of anti-gun advocates. These folks tend to play to type, being a combination of hysterical soccer moms and others of a political orientation which inspires them to perceive the mere existence of firearms as evidence of humanity’s moral failings. So they’ve harassed the Boy Scouts, local schools, civil and municipal organizations, and even ranges to do away with youth shooting programs. Their newest tactic is to claim that the kids will get lead poisoning.

  15. jndshdxgcdjAction is the only thing that will defeat these people. Staring an active shooting club for kids that keeps pressure on everyone because it is so popular. I was part of one for 6 years in one of the worst anti-gun communities in the U.S. Our kids went on to claim national titles.


  16. Unfortunately less and less people grow these days, and yes you’re definately right B.B., age definately doesn’t make somone mature, it used to alot more in the past based on what I know from my parents. But its hard to come by these days.

    Its sad to say many my age treat airguns or fire amrs with so little respect, I hear about stories down here in florida on the news ALL the time of people my age accidentally killing each other by playing with guns which is obsurd to know that it could happen by my age.

    I am 16, I have a ben/sheridan legacy in .22(full power version) and several other less power full air pistols and rifles, when I got my first airgun at 14, I educated my self VERY thoroughly about firearms and airguns.

    I didn’t get the legacy till near the end of last year when my parents trusted me enough to get one.

    But I treat my airguns with utmost care and safety following the rules so I don’t do something stupid.

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