A 30 January 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial (http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/youth-and-guns-weapons-sellers-vie-for-a-younger-clientele-672548/) expressed revulsion over the introduction of firearms to individuals as young as the age of eight, and disappointment that the United States military, 4-H clubs, and the Boy Scouts of America have facilitated such action at the behest of the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers, ostensibly to promote the safe handling of such lethal weapons.
Assuming for the moment that the goal of familiarizing children with guns is truly gun safety rather than gun sales, I wonder if proponents of the practice have given any thought to the fact that children are immature, lacking in the ability to reason in the manner of an adult and to thoroughly ponder the consequences of their actions.
Familiarity with guns helped to bring about the murder of a young woman and her unborn child at the hands of the eleven-year-old son of the woman's live-in boyfriend and the recent case of a 15-year-old New Mexico boy that used his father’s arsenal to slaughter his father, mother, and three young siblings. These situations are not anomalies; myriad other such horrors can be documented.
Instilling the gun culture in children and providing them access to firearms as many parents do often comes back to haunt. I stand with the Post-Gazette Editorial Board on the matter.