Mum defends taking her children hunting by saying it keeps them away from phones
In the wake of the Parkland Shooting in Florida, and numerous other massacres which have occurred in the United States, Americans continue to debate their relationship with the second amendment and how gun legislation has affected their society. The Stoneman Douglas activists have rallied around this cause and are campaigning for tighter restrictions on guns.
But while liberals have decried the seeming ease by which American minors can access and use guns, the other side of the issue has been largely ignored by the media. Indeed, many responsible American firearms-users are outraged that they have been inconsiderately branded as potential spree shooters.
For instance, on social media, a young mother has provoked outrage and admiration in equal measure, due to her decision to regularly take her son and two daughters (aged 14, 12 and nine respectively) out on hunting trips with her, where she allows them to fire shotguns to their heart's content. Heather Del Moral, an Oklahoma state wildlife department employee, has defended her family's outings, claiming that it engages her kids with nature, teaches discipline and distracts them from their phones.
Heather first became a hunter back in 2014, after hearing her colleagues at the state department swap stories about their excursions. Her interested piqued, Heather asked if she could tag along, and one trip later was completely hooked and had soon acquired guns, ammo, knives, and fatigues of her own.
After a few weeks Heather started getting lonely and was soon joined by her friend and fellow female hunter Amanda, and subsequently her children Papi, Isa and Armonia. Now, the family treks out into the wilderness together most weekends, and the group regularly posts pictures and videos of their kills to social media. Unfortunately, Heather has faced backlash for this, not only from moral guardians, but from sexist male hunters too.
Defending her family hobby, Heather stated: "Some of my most memorable times with the kids are when we’re out hunting together. They don’t bring their phones, so we can properly talk, laugh and connect. We’ve started to document all our hunting stories, and we’re encouraging the kids to do the same so they have something to look back on. Even if we don’t harvest, hunting is always an adventure ... I’ve had people tell me they can’t believe I take my children hunting."
"I respect their opinion, but ask they respect mine too, and don’t knock something they haven’t tried. Hunting gets children out there amongst nature, and teaches them respect for animals. They’re fascinated by the biology of it all too. They help clean the animals, and I show them the heart and talk them through all the different chambers ... We beat it into their brain to always be aware of their surroundings – safety, safety, safety. It’s not a video game. These are real-life guns."
So what do you think? Is Heather right to teach her kids how to use firearms safely and responsibly? Or is she gambling with her children's lives and well-being? The answer probably isn't black and white. However, if you are interested in Heather's adventures then you can keep track of her excursions at Extreme Huntress.