Respectfully, Wisconsin, I have to ask: Are you people frickin’ NUTS??
The state Senate has voted to lower the hunting age, the firearms hunting age, to 10. Yes, one decade old. As in, let’s give a ten-year-old a large lethal weapon and send him out into the woods.
I’ve gone through a bit of an evolution in my attitude towards hunting: I don’t do it and think it’s a pretty lame way to spend time, but I have friends who are hunters and understand the argument that if they didn’t hunt, deer would overbreed to the point of starvation. Also, I eat meat and certainly think killing an animal who’s lived its life out in the woods where it belongs is a whole lot more humane than cramming them into feedlots so I can have a cheap burger.
But the idea of saying, “Here, fifth grader, take this ginormous gun and shoot something with it” doesn’t seem all that smart. The bill requires only that a “mentor” be within “arm’s reach.” Which, if it’s a concerned father or uncle proudly passing on the family tradition of hunting to his child, okay…but I have heard enough deer camp stories to worry about that particular wording.
I understand that people who hunt love to do it and probably look forward to the day they can bring their kids out with them…but much like driving or drinking, I think this particular rite of passage can wait a little longer than a kid’s tenth birthday.