The Column, No. 23:
Guns and Schools, A Good Mix
I've worked on a rifle range. I know that there is only one way to keep kids truly safe with firearms, and that is to teach them how to use them properly. If a kid is using a gun safely and correctly, there will not be an accident.
Unfortunately, the modern school system has several things against allowing gun education in schools: lawyers, liberals and the media. Lawyers seem to be a group that likes to ruin life for the rest of us; a large percentage of liberals (there is a good portion who have heads on their shoulders, but not the Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi types) absolutely despise guns; and the media constantly portrays firearms as inherently evil machines.
The media is the major problem. They portray guns as causing terrible things to happen, incidents that could have been prevented if there wasn't a gun. NEWSFLASH! There were insane people and evil people before there were guns! Just the fact that they have a gun does not change the reality that they are crazy.
But, there is a way to prevent the tragedies that occur due to accidents. Just like power tools, guns are dangerous when not handled properly. That is a fact. Unfortunately, the schools don't want to teach kids proper firearm handling practices that could save lives. They will teach them proper sex, but not proper firearms handling! This reflects the schools' unreasoning, hypocritical anti-gun bias.
It wouldn't take that long, either. I learned gun safety after an hour long class at BSA Camp Parsons in Washington State. Amazing as it may seem to those of us who spend a lot of time around guns, many people simply don't know how to handle them safely. A simple addition to the schools' PE course material would cover it.
Some simple concepts to teach:
RESPECT. A gun is a tool, not a toy. They are dangerous when you don't treat them with respect.
SAFETY. The NRA three safety rules are quite excellent for this, and the 10 Commandments of Firearm Safety are quite useful as well.
So here's what we should do: go to the local school board. Convince them to add a gun safety course to the curriculum. Heck, volunteer to teach it yourself! You can save a life. And it's real simple to teach people how to use guns safely.
If I can save at least one kid from a gun accident, I have done my job. And we should all strive to save lives. So let's get it in the curriculum!
Copyright 2006 by Schuyler Barnum. All rights reserved.