Thursday, February 3, 2011

A proposed solution for a safer society that has guns in it.

In addition to picking apart the statements and suggestions of those opposed to the free exercise of the right to keep and bear arms, I feel I should also offer some suggestions that would actually help make our country safer.

My belief is that in a country such as ours, which has the highest rate of gun ownership of any country in the world (approximately 90 guns per 100 people), we should be putting more effort into firearms safety.

I don't believe that any training should be mandatory to own or buy a gun, because when you put restrictions on a right, it is then treated like a privilege, only allowed to be legally exercised after meeting what could be arbitrarily set conditions. Once you allow a right to be treated like a privilege by the government, that privilege may be revoked.

Instead, a much more effective method that would include more than just gun owners, would be mandatory education in schools, and for public education to embrace, instead of shun, the proper gun culture in this country.

For elementary education, mandatory gun safety training explaining the danger of firearms, with emphasis on "Stop! Don't touch! Leave the area, and tell an adult." How many of the children involved in firearms accidents have ever had any proper education to KNOW that's what they're supposed to do if they find a gun?

In Middle School, continue the same mandatory education, except expand it to include some optional safe firearms handling. Allow an optional strictly supervised marksmanship and firearms handling safety class. One middle school I attended back in the 80's had an "outdoor education" class, where we shot pellet guns in an extended classroom with direct supervision and a great focus on gun handling safety. Completion of the class even counted towards the hunter's safety certificate required by the state for a youth hunting license.

In High School, there should be mandatory classes on self defense. This doesn't even have to have any substantial focus on firearms, but instead steps to avoid using physical force to defend yourself. Situational awareness, crime prevention steps for the home, how to avoid becoming a target for a criminal to begin with. There should also be some instruction on what options there are if you ARE the target of a violent criminal attack, what legal and moral responsibilities go along with defending yourself with physical and/or deadly force. Shooting sports should also be offered at the high school levels, such as marksmanship and sporting clay target shooting. Shooting sports do have a better safety record than any other sport, with less injuries than any other physical sport - even golf!

Just like our public schools try to help prepare our children by teaching sex education and drug education, we could also be teaching gun education as well. Many high schools have mandatory classes teaching "personal finance" to try and get them ready for the real world of bills and balancing checkbooks. There is no good reason why we shouldn't also include education for how to avoid becoming a victim and what options there are if it becomes unavoidable. Much of the education could come from the optional classes and extra-curricular activities (after-school shooting sports).

Just like parents have the ability to "opt-out" their children from sex education and drug education classes, they could also be the option where parents can have their children excluded from gun education classes as well.

Such a plan would have far more advantages by educating more of our youth about proper gun safety and their responsibilities of self defense. I don't see any downsides that outweigh that benefit.

As always, your comments are encouraged.



  1. Orygunner for school board pres!

  2. See...this is too much common sense for "anti's" to deal with. We must be pushing some agenda by having firearm's safety classes in schools!

    *(Yes, that agenda would be the safety and good health of children and young adults in the US - I feel, as do many others, that mandatory education would cut down on the number of "accidents").

  3. @Pat, thanks for your comment!

    I feel that not only would it cut down on accidents, but it may also instill more sense of responsibility in our youth. Many kids are interested in guns. It would be a great way to teach personal responsibility and build confidence and self-esteem to give them easy access to a sport they could enjoy and excel in.


  4. Actually, it's too much common sense for any government official to like, period. Forget the pushers.

    Anything that would actually train and teach a society to take care of itself and not rely upon the state, isn't acceptable when the state seeks to continually expand its power and control of liberty and the individual.

  5. Not that I'm apposed in any way, but what about the students who are *mentally ill? EX: Kinkle. What about special education students?

    *What if said students had the idea that they wanted to hurt another student with the weapons provided in these classes? Would lethal force by the teachers be acceptable to prevent harm to other students?

    Just a thought.


  6. @David: Well, at the Middle School level the kids would only really have access to pellet guns, and it would be handled no different than any other assault on another student. The same would go with High School, except of course rifle team and clay target team members would have access to actual firearms.

    Do we put mentally ill children or special education students through sex ed and drug ed? Do we allow them to take wood or metal shop or auto shop, where they can use all sorts of dangerous tools to inflict harm (or even kill) other students?

    Considering the risk vs. benefit, there may be an increased chance of a mentally ill student having easier access to a firearm, but how does that weigh against the lives that could be saved by proper firearm safety education?

    Very good questions. Could we implement such education and safeguard against mentally ill students harming others with available tools?


  7. Well done, Sir. Very well indeed!


  8. We have a local public school in Saint Paul, MN that still has a High School Trap team (boggles the mind)...they can't bring their shotguns, nor ammo to they leave school grounds, and have their meetings and meets at the gun range where I'm a member.
    Funny - 'cause its kind of an inner city school too...yet these kids don't shoot each other even though they have access to firearms.

  9. I'm glad we agree that safety training is important. At Ceasefire Oregon we had a program called Speak Up which taught children in elementary school that taught exactly that "Stop! Don't touch! Leave the area, and tell an adult" language, but for some reason we stopped being active with the program. Funding, I think. We've been talking about re-activating it.

    As for teaching firearms usage in school, I feel it is inappropriate. Are there not already enough classes for this outside of area schools (via shooting ranges, Boy Scouts, hunter safety classes)?

    And I do not feel that it is appropriate, under any condition, to have firearms on school grounds, other than in the hands of law enforcement. While some kids may be responsible, many aren't, and most kids have moments of curiosity or impulsiveness. It's part of being a kid. I think back to when I was a kid, and the hard crowd I ran with. They demonstrated on many occasions how they could get into any locked area in the school, even the school office.

  10. @Baldr, I sure would like to know the reason why the CeaseFire program would drop a program that could actually be effective to increase public safety... I'm not even going to try and speculate as to their motivation.

    As far as firearms not being appropriate on school grounds except for law enforcement, they're just as human as everyone else and the badge isn't a magical talisman that prevents them from committing crimes or making mistakes. I carry my firearm into my kids' school every time I go in, because I'm almost always carrying it. How is that not appropriate, yet somehow for police officers it is?


  11. Here in Indiana it is illegal to have a gun on school grounds, I think this is illogical with the increase in school shootings in the last decade or so, as Ann Coulter recently wrote, the more (safe)guns in schools and on college campuses the safer the place.]

    I'm trying to work with Open Carry on Campus to start legislation that will change the law on public school property and encourage colleges and universities to allow carry on campus.

  12. @POC, I agree, it's pretty obvious that the overwhelming majority of the time, mass shootings a) occur in "gun-free" zones and b) only stop when someone ELSE with a gun is on the scene. While most of those times it's the police (minutes later), sometimes it IS an armed citizen.



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