Several people were quoted as saying that they were grateful for a chance for their kids to learn how to safely shoot a gun for their birthday, presumably instead of crawling through diseased ball pits and playing low-skill games for a chance to win a heap of cheap plastic crap from China.
The usefulness or wisdom of letting little kids run around with guns was not questioned. Texas is the only place in the world, apart from Uganda, where the importance of armed eight-year olds is considered paramount.
In other states, kids have to go through puberty without weapons. They are being raised by thoughtless people who don't even worry that their kids will someday regard their childhoods as being barren and deprived because they had to wait until they were thirteen or fourteen to gaze down the barrel of a firearm. These kinds of parents, when daydreaming/worrying about their offspring, think things like "I wonder if he's going to need braces?" or "I wonder if he'll grow up to be President?"
Texas parents fret, "I wonder when he's going to learn to lock and load?"
The use of the pronoun "he" is not accidental here. It's hard to imagine eight-year-old girls in party dresses running around clutching carbines. Although I'm sure it's been done. And had pictures taken of it. And those pics are posted somewhere on the Internet. I'm just not going to Google them for you. Do it yourself, knowing all the while you're the pedophile version of people who slobber over web sites like this.
Sorry. Little digression, there. My kid's too old for a child birthday party now, although I doubt I would have ever have taken him to a gun range for one. Even when I owned a gun, I never went to them, preferring to blast away in the outdoors. Gun ranges are loud, and you just know you are surrounded by people who are silently fantasizing about killing someone. This is probably true if you are in a crowded stadium or a supermarket as well, but in a gun range, it's dead solid certain.
You don't have to go to a gun range to learn gun safety, either. It's simply explained. Gun safety is a one-way street. It means making sure you shoot someone other than yourself. The concept is often explained in illustrated pamphlets, the kind an eight-year-old can easily comprehend.
So the parents of Texas sleep soundly, knowing their pre-teens are ready to stand up for themselves, if called upon. If a child army a la Joseph Kony invaded Texas, for example, Texas could field a child army of its own, so that the regular adult Army wouldn't have to bother with them. Or, in the equally probable event that some disease escaped from the Science Fiction Channel and wiped out everyone on Earth over the age of eight, the children of Texas could embark on a program of world conquest unimpeded.
At least until they got to Uganda.