Thursday, January 7, 2010
7 News Features: Study Aim Fire
Each year hundreds of kids are accidentally killed by guns. That has lead many people to conclude kids should be kept away from guns, but is the solution the exact opposite teach kids about guns and lets them shoot guns, does it work? Patrick Fraser has the story tonight in Study Aim Fire.
WSVN -- Kids and guns, Coral Springs a 14 year old accidentally shot by her best friend. Kids and guns, Fort Lauderdale a 13 year old accidentally shoots and kills herself. Kids and guns, South Dade 10, 12, 14 year olds firing away, shooting and shooting.
It's a Wednesday night at Trail Glades Range in South Dade. Twelve kids with 12 gauge shotguns having a blast trap-shooting.
Patrick Fraser: "How would you describe it to somebody who has never shot a shotgun?"
Eric Reichert: "Amazing, exciting, you feel like nothing is there, like there is no world. It's just you, the gun, and the target, that's it."
The kids are in a club called Aim Academics Integrity and Marksmanship, created to teach youngsters about guns.
Patrick Fraser: "Makes them safer with guns?"
Tony Clay, Organized Club: "Oh, definitely, definitely, before they can even shoot out here, they go through an hour safety course."
Patrick Fraser: "When many people hear the words kids and guns their first thought is no, don't let the kids get near the guns. The parents of these kids believe it is the exact opposite. Yes, let them shoot the guns."
Shoot to learn to handle a gun safely. Shoot to take away the fascination of a gun.
Peter Nunez, Instructor: "I believe probably 99 percent of the accidents that occur with kids and guns is curiosity."
Peter Nunez is one of the many parents who took a class to become an instructor. His son Brian is 11, and now has his own shotgun.
Patrick Fraser: "People watching this are going to say, what's an 11 year old doing with a shotgun, does he know what to do?"
Brian Nunez: "Yeah, I know what to do, because I have all these coaches that teach us and it's really fun."
The kids group is sponsored by the Cuban Hunters Club, which provides guns to kids who don't have one. It only costs $15 to shoot each night. Any kid can join if they make the grade.
Peter Nunez: "They have to bring a report card every grading period, and they must be all A's, B's, and C's, 98 percent of these kids are all A's and B's, I haven't seen a C this period."
Not only do the kids get to shoot, they get to compete against other kids from around the country. They have done well in the classroom and they have done well on the range.
Patrick Fraser: "What can you shoot out of 25 on a good day?"
It's rewarding. It's fascinating. It's fun.
Pete Hernandez comes out here with his grandson. As a retired police officer he wonders how many lives a course like this could save.
Patrick Fraser: "What would happen if every kid in Dade and Broward was able to do this for a few days or a few times."
Pete Hernandez, Instructor: "I think it would be great. I think we are doing a great thing here. We are teaching them about guns, safety number one and responsibility, and that's what it's all about."
The kids are learning about guns and they are learning about themselves. They may not realize it, but their parents do, Peter has seen it in Brian.
Pete Hernandez: "It's changed his life, his self esteem. His self esteem has gone through the roof, he is so sure of himself."
Kids and guns.
Patrick Fraser: "What's it like to shoot a shotgun, how do you describe it to someone who lives in the city who's never shot one?"
Jay Ritter: "You feel on top of the world, it's amazing."
Safety and fun. Study, aim, fire.
For More Information:
Aim Youth Program