Christian Valley, CA — “If you think your toddler is too immature to properly handle a loaded firearm safely, think again. We here at APSAK (Americans for Protecting the Second Amendment for Kids) have decided to devote our weekends to teaching toddlers in our community firearm safety and proper handling of firearms.”
That is the mission statement as posted on APSAK’s fundraising website.
Condon Goss, director of APSAK, explains, “I think toddlers, maybe 4 and under, are in their really formative years. This is the best time to introduce them to the tools they’ll be using later in life. Be that crayons, pencils, knives, pencil sharpeners…look, eventually they’re going to need to use a tool or a weapon. I don’t care if they’re only 3, if they need to fight for their family, they need to know how to safely do that. That is our mission. That is APSAK’s mission.”
We were at APSAK headquarters, a sprawling foothill ranch donated to the cause by an area philanthropist. There is a variety of outdoor shooting ranges, but the indoor range was where the Toddler Firearms Safety Course was in session. We walked in to see 7 or 8 kids as young as two to as old as five firing off rounds at shadow targets 100 feet away and even hitting them…sometimes.
Goss explained, “We took them for some outdoor shooting once, but they were shooting at squirrels and woodpeckers and birds…and windows…goddammit.” Pausing for a moment to gather his thoughts, Goss continued, “Um, anyway, we found the kids stay far more focused when they just have the one shadow target. Plus the skeet shooting knocked that one kid…uh, Brent, I think, clean on his ass. I think he suffered a scratched butt, or something. He’s fine. We just don’t do the toddler firearm training outside anymore.”
Brent is the 3-year-old who “suffered a scratched butt” when he was firing a 12 gauge shotgun at, not skeet like he was supposed to be doing, but an eagle that he spotted near the trees. The recoil sent him sprawling ass first into the dirt behind where he had been standing. Don’t worry, he’s fine. He flew off. Brent, on the other hand, has suffered a broken tailbone and will require surgery.
Condon Goss points down the line of kids shooting 45’s, 9mm’s, 38’s and more.
“Now, don’t you see some disciplined firearm handling going on there? When the apocalypse comes these kids are going to be ready. They will be the only ones who know how to properly handle a firearm, and one of these kids with a gun in his hand might save a – Jesus, Andrew! Not at real people! If you point that thing at anybody again you are getting time out – Anyway, what was I saying?”
That one of these little kids with a gun in his hand is a good thing and might save my life. Should that little fella be doing that?
“Andrew and Eric, you both get time out. Go sit down!” responded Goss. “Anyway, the safest way to make sure these kids are safe is to make sure they know how to properly handle a firearm. What if a robber knocks your gun to the ground and your 2-year-old doesn’t know what to do with it? It could cost you your life, so yeah, one of these kids could save your life. Knowledge is power. Know this. You need to get ready, Mr. Tesh, because it is coming.”
“The Apocalypse, man. Or the government takeover. Haven’t you been listening?”