Gun range offers lessons to kids

Stone Hart's Gun Club and Indoor Gun Range program gives shooting lessons to children ages 8 to 17

MIAMI – Stone Hart's Gun Club and Indoor Gun Range in Miami offers free shooting lessons to children between the ages of 8 and 17 if they're accompanied by an adult or guardian.

"We want parents and children to come in here and learn together, especially if they have never been exposed to this, to take away the negativity or tackle some of those taboos or apprehension they might have," said Martin Cardenal with Stone Hart's Gun Club and Indoor Gun Range.

"I'm in the health care profession and I hear all the bad things that have happened and I don't want my daughter to be scared of it," said Shenny Cordero.

Cordero recently began bringing her 16-year-old daughter Kristen to the shooting range.

"A lot of people think of guns as a negative thing," said Kristen Cordero. "I don't really think of guns as a negative thing because it's really important to know how to defend yourself if something were to happen."

Erik Alexander said his 11-year-old daughter Madeline is safer knowing how to use a firearm.

"It's really important for her to understand the fundamentals of it, the safety of it, how to identify if a firearm is loaded or not to identify a firearm at all, and also what to do in the event she runs into it," he said.

But not everyone thinks hands-on training is the answer. Maggie Macaulay, who founded Whole Hearted Parenting, said children can be taught to respect firearms without handling one.

"Kids are not the ones who are meant to be defending themselves, either in their families or at schools. That's an adult job," she said. "When we grew up, my dad had a gun. It was totally off limits to us. We knew where it was and we respected that and we never touched it and it was totally off limits."

Children are permitted at gun ranges throughout South Florida with adult supervision, although age requirements vary.