The Evans children are armed and ready to go.
The five kids have their father to thank. Treves Evans of Kent, Wash., has taught his school-age children how to handle firearms – both as a form of self-protection and to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms, he told Barcroft TV.
“With all the recent shootings I feel that armed citizens are a good line of defense,” Evans, said explaining his reasoning on introducing his children to firearms.
His children, 6-year-old Raealonie and Charlisse, 10-year-old Celeste, 12-year-old Roberto and 14-year-old Verenise, are taught how to clean and handle the weapons carefully. “I want my kids to know how to handle guns in the event that they need them,” Evans said.
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Evans has an arsenal of 15 weapons in his home, including a pink rifle for his two youngest daughters. The 37-year-old father points to recent shootings, including the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last year as a reason to teach his children to shoot guns.
“Most of those shootings that have occurred, when they were confronted, they either surrendered or shot themselves. More guns, less crime,” he said.
Evans’ Facebook page is full of photos touting his belief in the militia movement, the idea of setting up paramilitary groups to protect the country from a rogue government. His last post on Nov. 9 features a photo of the American flag with the saying, “If you don’t turn in your guns when the government asks, they will call you a terrorist. We will call you a patriot.”
Another photo shared on his wall of a woman and a young girl with an automatic rifle reads, “Teach your daughters to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.”
In a recent interview, Evans said, “I feel the freedoms in our country are being eroded away. I don’t think there will ever be taken away, they’ll just be eroded at until there are none.”
To counter this threat, Evans familiarizes his children with firearms at an early age. He emphasizes gun safety, showing his kids how to clean and handle the weapons.
“The first thing is to teach them gun safety and the next thing is to let them handle a gun,” he said. “There's no mystery with my children - it's not forbidden. They're not going to sneak in when I'm not home and pull out guns.”
Photos of Evans’ children holding and shooting weapons are also shared on his Facebook page and group, “Family Shooting and Firearms Association.”
In one shared photo Evans comments, “Man was it a good time I love watching me kids shoot. Their skill improves every time i take them out.”
In another photo, 6-year-old Charlisse is shown with two rifles.
“My youngest daughter with her 410 shotgun and 22 rifle. I'm anxious to get her something bigger she loves to shoot and will attempt to shoot anything if I let her,” Evans writes. “She's an excellent shot for her age she's very hard on herself when it comes to her grouping she's a little bit different than my other kids the other kids just want to blow off rounds she wants precision.”
Despite Evans’ efforts to ensure his children’s’ safety, sometimes they get hurt. A photo of his 12-year-old son with a mark below his eye was posted on the Facebook group’s page:
“Roberto's battle wounds from shooting at renton Fish & Game Club a hot case got stuck between his safety glasses and skin,” Evans said.
Evans insists that publicizing his family’s fireams training is not meant to provoke any side of the gun debate.
“We don’t want to antagonize anybody that has a different belief system than we do,” he said. “We’re not hiding anything. It’s our right and we’re going to exercise our right.”