I want to talk about a tradition. If you have never had the opportunity to shoot a gun you really owe it to yourself to see what its all about. I grew up shooting, my grandfather bought me a little lever action BB gun when I was only four years old. So I don't really recall what it was like shooting for the first time. I can imagine it was intimidating, the kick back the loud noise. I'm not saying shooting is for everyone, but it is a tradition that has been passed down to me and I will pass to my son.
Shooting and handling guns thought me a lot of respect as a child. Even when handling my little BB gun, it was always treated as loaded and just as dangerous as a firearm. When my grandfather and I would finish, it would go right back in to the safe with all the other guns. A lot of people ask what age is to young to start letting your kids shoot. Really that is up to you and your individual child. Some kids catch on very young, others may not be ready until they are 10 or older. I know when I was shooting with my grandfather he was always right there and had his full attention on me. If you don't have experience firearms and don't feel comfortable shooting, then find someone who is. There are instructors at almost every gun range, and they are always happy to teach.
My father has property with a safe place to shoot, but I almost prefer to make the 45 minute drive to a public range. On a nice day there is sure to be other shooters out. I have met so many people from all over the state. In my experience everyone is very friendly and open to talk about guns. I have learned more about firearms from just chatting with other people at the range then I ever have on the internet. You get to know people and their experiences.
So where ever you stand on gun laws, please take the time and experience this sport for your self. You might just find that you like it.