In America, parents are furiously attempting to prevent their kids from eating Tide Pods, an inexplicable “challenge” fad that has sent participants to the hospital. Meanwhile, in Switzerland parents are driving their kids to Jungschützen, or junior rifle courses. The number of Swiss children learning to shoot is growing rapidly. In the last two years, the number of Swiss youths participating in shooting courses has increased by over 40%. At SwissInfo.ch, the craze is explained:
The courses are designed for teenagers aged 15-20 to prepare them for their call-up to the militia army.
The federal authorities contribute towards the training. Last year, it handed over 10,585 army assault rifles and 930,000 rounds of free ammunition to gun clubs, the paper reported. Defence ministry support to junior rifle courses amounted to CHF862,000. A further CHF65,000 goes towards the training of junior rifle leaders.
The rise in young shooters is thought to be linked to a change in the law in 2016, when the minimum age for participants in this army preparation course was reduced from 17 to 15.
Some clubs in Switzerland offer shooting courses to children as young as 8-10. Newcomers start with air pistols and rifles shooting over 10 metres. During 300-metre shooting practice, they can try out an army assault rifle at a range.
Switzerland’s gun laws and high rates of gun ownership reflect the country’s deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms and the needs of its militia army. Shooting clubs are also popular. The Swiss Shooting association, one of the country’s biggest sports associations, has 133,000 members.
Today, Switzerland has among the highest gun ownership rates per capita among Western countries. It is thought that around two million are in circulation.
Read more here.
Both of my kids have participated in our local rifle club’s Friday night kids shoots, and they are proficient shooters. I suggest you find a good course for your kids or grandkids too.