This isn’t the sort of breaking news, horror show healine which generally makes the rounds when talking about kids and guns, but it’s a nice story which deserves a little more visibility. An “iReport” feature on CNN describes the education and competitive record of ten year old target shooter Shyanne Roberts of New Jersey.
Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter who is out to prove something: Children with guns don’t always mean disaster.
“I want to be an inspiration to other kids and be a leader,” said the girl. “Kids and guns don’t always mean bad things happen.”
The Franklinville, New Jersey, girl, who now has more than 20 sponsors, started learning gun safety when she was 5. After she could recite the rules and had grasped what guns can do, around age 6, her father started taking her to a gun range. Dan Roberts is a certified firearms instructor and a single dad. He has custody of Shyanne and her younger brother.
As noted, Dad is a professional instructor and has introduced his children to safe practices at an early age. While admitting that not every child is ready to handle firearms before they finish elementary school, we shouldn’t shy away from the idea that they can learn responsibility sooner rather than later.
“We can teach fourth-graders safe-sex practices, but we can’t mention teaching firearm education in a public grade school without anti-gun groups having a complete meltdown. … It’s completely ludicrous,” he said.
There’s not a lot more to add. This girl started shooting a lot sooner than I did, and I grew up in the country. (As best as I can recall, I was eleven when I received my first gun, a Remington bolt action .22 long rifle. I didn’t hold a handgun until I was at least 14, and that was a .22 also.) Not all kids are going to be able to – or want to – get into competitive shooting. It requires a lot of parental support, not to mention a fair amount of money if you’re going to pursue it seriously. But stories like this offset the awful headlines which the media loves to latch into every time there is a tragic accident. The video follows.