There is More to the Gun Debate than Gun Culture and Stats
Our own Mike Dwyer lays out an interesting argument about the appropriateness of children being trained to use guns. The comment section there has an interesting conversation about this and other issues. But there is a piece missing, which I mentioned in the comments but will expand on here: how children develop and grow, particularly their conceptions of death.
Young children do not understand death in the same way that adults do. Children under 10 tend to not fully understand the irreversibility of death; they do not grasp that it is permanent. They also tend to not fully understand that death poses a universal threat to all living things; they often believe it is something that only sick or old people are susceptible to. As such, they are developmentally incapable of fully appreciating the power of a tool like a gun. They do not fully appreciate that a bullet fired from it can kill anyone on the receiving end and that the damage done is permanent. This, to me, says that children should not be allowed to handle or use guns until they have achieved these key developmental milestones. This will vary from child to child, so a hard-and-fast rule would be difficult to come by, but I doubt any 5-year-old (the subject in this particular case) has achieved it. No matter how careful or responsible the adults around him might be, no 5-year-old should be allowed to handle a deadly weapon.