What's a Safety

By Bill Wade summer 2000

Your kidding right? Don’t I wish?

My brother Kyle and I have been working countless hours at the new acreage, (see New Playground, April 99).

Finally, safe for small children, his wife has been bringing their 2 youngsters to the farm to spend the night in their travel trailer.

They have a 4 year old boy, and a 9 year old girl. It has been interesting watching their reaction to a totally new experience. The boy stays in the trailer playing Lego’s and watching video taped cartoons. The girl has been driving the magnetic nail pickup around the area and fetching tools.

Neither child has hunted yet, but the girl has fired 22 rimfires and has her very own Red Ryder BB gun.

This past weekend, the BB gun made the trip to the farm and she got to mess with it, under supervision. I kind of blundered in from the field and pulled up a chair to watch. They had run out of BB’s and asked if my son had left his BB’s in my truck. He had, so they were back in business.

I filled the girls gun up and she went 30 feet or so away from us and went back to shooting.

Cocking a lever action BB gun is no small feat and can be awkward for a child to do. I watched as she battled with it and heard the occasional "be careful" from her father. I noticed the safety was not on as she cocked the rifle. I said, "put your safety on while you cock it" and the next thing I heard, sent me into shock.

"What’s A Safety"

"Kyle", I exclaimed. With a sheepish look on his face, he called the girl over and showed her how the safety worked. She has owned this gun for over 4 years.

My brother knows how I feel about gun safety and I did not need to explain my response. He offered no excuse and frankly, had none.

Now granted, the BB guns that he and I had as children, had no safety, but I believe they should have.

The industry is working to make firearms safer and in so doing, are protecting themselves and the sport. BB gun or 30-06, it makes no difference; if we ignore their effort, who loses?

Bill Wade

Back to CenterFire Central

Last Modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 8:58 PM