Apparently, in an effort to fix a hole in the budget, West Virginia is contemplating teaching gun training in its schools, particularly 7th through 9th grade.
I’m not going to go into how a gun class can fix a budget. You can read the AP article for that.
Instead I’ll like to comment on why I think that, budget crisis or not, gun training is not a bad idea, especially in a state with a lot of teens that hunt.
If a person decides they are going to handle and fire a gun, then they are going to handle and fire a gun.
Wouldn’t you rather that person knew what they were doing when they did?
How many deaths or injuries are related to people, in particularly kids, handling guns without knowing what they are doing?
You wouldn’t let a teenager drive without some training first.
In my opinion, one of the best forms of gun control is requiring people that want to own guns to go through the proper training before they can own one. This training can talk about and discourage inappropriate uses of guns.
In fact I think people in a home where there is a gun should take a course in gun safety and learn to use it properly even if they never plan to use the gun.
West Virginia has a lot of hunters. These kids are going to be around guns. Let’s make sure they understand that it’s not a toy. Let’s face it hunting is a life skill in West Virginia.
My father kept guns in the house when I was growing up. I was taught about gun safety since I could remember. He could leave that gun on the table and I wouldn’t touch it because I was taught and understood that it was a weapon, not a toy. When he thought I was old enough, he taught me to shoot. I could shoot skeet at 12.
Teaching someone to shoot will not necessarily encourage them to own a gun. In fact, it might discourage some of them — getting knocked on your ass with a little kickback can do that.
Today, I don’t own a gun. I’m not opposed to them; I just don’t have a need. But you can be assured that I damn well know how to use one. And when my kids are old enough, I will make sure that they can too.
I think if they understand what guns are, guns will lose their mystery.
In light of Columbine and other school tragedies, the idea of guns in school bothers some. On the surface I can see where the idea might be difficult to digest.
But let’s think about it. The guns that are coming into schools and killing kids are coming there illegally from the street or without permission from home.
They are being held by gang members or by mentally unstable or emotionally stressed kids or by kids that have never fired a gun and think that it’s this cool, hip accessory that will get them some cred.
I don’t know how to stop the first two categories, but if a little training will prevent that third group, than it’s worth a shot.
And if a little training in school will help to ensure an increase in the number of adults (because after all that’s who these students will become) who own guns and can safely use them, then I’m for it.
Besides these aren’t mandatory classes. And then guns will be loaded with blanks or disabled altogether.
Personally, I think it’s about time we start doing something to prevent these accidental deaths by firearms